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  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Leadership Institute

Date: Monday - June 21, 2021
Location: Virtual Conference
June 21-23, 2021

2021 NWAIS Leadership Institute

June 21-23, 2021

Program Update:

This program has been moved online, the agenda tightened up, the price reduced and the content tweaked to reflect the current situation.

If travel or price were a barrier in the past, don't miss this opportunity to join your NWAIS colleagues for this impactful program for school leaders.

Not sure about the virtual format? See what colleagues said last year:

Definitely an excellent wrap up to the school year

You should absolutely go. Super valuable.

It is truly worth taking this time to take part, to learn, to think in different types of ways and to connect with others. I always learn with and from my colleagues at other schools and believe that this way of creating community goes a long way throughout the year.


Online Conference Overview

In the light of the current health crisis, NWAIS is excited to bring the Leadership Institute to you via remote learning.

The program will incorporate interactive presentations from our guest facilitators, small group activities and chances to connect with other attendees. There will be structured sessions to share our learning from this year as we start to look forward together. 

Based on the new structure of the event, we are able to drop the cost, making the event accessible to a broad range of attendees. Many attendees make this an annual part of their professional development. If you have thought about attending in the past, this would be a great year to try out the program and then join us in person, in future years, at the lovely Sleeping Lady Resort.



Who Should Attend

Assistant Heads, Division Heads, Deans, and those in and aspiring to Educational and Administrative Leadership Roles.

Why Attend The Leadership Institute 

This program is created by your peers in NWAIS leadership roles to support the work of experienced and aspiring leaders. The program includes time to reflect on the year's successes and challenges, build a new skill set and consider how it will be relevant in the coming year. Attendees have found it valuable to attend on their own or in cohorts from their school.  

What Is Included In the Online Program?

  • Three, Half-Day Synchronous, Interactive Sessions 

  • Small Group Activities and Connection Points

  • Informal Time to Connect with Colleagues



This event will mirror the in-person experience and will be primarily synchronous and take place the same days as the in-person event. The mornings will be filled with engaging and interactive programming. Afternoons will be free for connecting with colleagues, reflection and planning and self-care.


Featured Workshop:

More information coming about additional workshops shortly!

Negotiating During Times of Change

Educators and administrators negotiate everyday—with staff, parents, students, and each other. The ability to effectively manage conflicting interests is crucial to reaching good outcomes that benefit all stakeholders. Unsustainable agreements, damaged relationships, suboptimal outcomes undercut our ability to get the job done.

Based on work done at the Harvard Negotiation Project over the last 30 years, including Getting to Yes (Fisher, Ury, Patton), Getting it Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge (Fisher, Sharp, Richardson), and Negotiation Analysis: The Science and Art of Collaborative Decision Making (Raiffa, Richardson, Metcalfe), we provide a cognitive framework for understanding negotiation and negotiation success and tools for negotiating mutually beneficial outcomes and bringing power and persuasiveness to bear in ways that preserve relationships.


Key Skills:

·       Getting unstuck

·       Creating value

·       Knowing when and how to walk away

·       Crafting sustainable agreements

·       Building the relationship

·       Managing difficult tactics

·       Preparing for negotiations



Whitney Benns, Triad Consulting, Home of Thanks For the Feedback

Whitney is a consultant with Triad Consulting Group, where she works with corporate, nonprofit, and government clients to build communication and leadership capacity in negotiation, feedback, and conflict management.

Whitney teaches negotiation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she is a lecturer. She was also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. She has addressed and coached students and alumni at Harvard University, Tuck School of Business, Tufts Gordon Institute on Leadership, MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School. She has also facilitated executive education programs for the Harvard Negotiation Institute.

Whitney has written articles for the Atlantic Magazine and The Guardian, and was a contributor to OnLabor.org, a Harvard-affiliated blog that explores issues involving workers, unions, and politics. Her work is included in Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, 4e (edited by Maurianne Adams, et all. 2018). She is also a fellow with the Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School, where she works to create spaces for community building and collective action for legal practitioners, educators, and students working for systemic justice.

Whitney is from Salt Lake City, Utah, and stayed in the Rockies for college. She has a B.S. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Utah, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Between college and law school, Whitney worked as an intern at Comedy Central’s satirical news show, The Colbert Report.

Optional Affinity Session For Division and Assistant Heads


Add-On Affinity Session Assistant Heads and Division Heads (June 23, 1:00-3:00pm)

Cost: No charge 



Registration Deadline: All registrations must be completed by June 14, 2021

Register Here


NWAIS Member Rate:

Early Bird: $325 By June 1, 2020

Late: $375 After June 1, 2020


Non-Member School Participants:

$425 Anytime until June 14, 2021 (Registration Deadline)


To receive the early bird or regular discount, your registration must be complete and payment must be postmarked or received by the stated deadline.

* For registrations completed by mail or online registrations with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by the stated deadline

* Online registrations completed by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the stated deadline.

Substitutions and Cancellations

Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by June 14, 2021 are eligible for a refund after a $75 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after June 14, 2021 are ineligible for any refund.




Attendees of past Leadership Institutes were asked what they would tell those who have not attended before.  Here are a few of their responses.


The networking opportunity can't be beat. It's a very different feel and pace than most other conferences.


Thoroughly planned, overall - outstanding


I think it is great to attend with a group from your school - very valuable on many levels and worth the investment.


You will gain so much & you will also have the chance to fully integrate it into what you do. This conference is informative but invested in personal reflection and application. It is an outstanding opportunity to interact with peers.


This is an amazing opportunity to connect with colleagues from your own school and people who are your peers at other neighboring schools. This is a chance to not only offer your own ideas but to walk away with a better sense of where independent schools are heading.


It is an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues, refresh after the school year, and dream big about the future of your school. I came away with both practical ideas I can implement right away, and more ambitious ideas for the leadership team at my school. I highly recommend it and hope to be back next year!




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