SSL Certificate
We are committed to...
  • 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.

Leadership Institute

Date: Monday - June 24, 2019
Location: Sleeping Lady Resort (Leavenworth, WA)
June 24-26, 2019


Leadership Institute

The Power of Difference and The Art of Building Common Ground

Thank you to our event sponsor:


Conference Resource Page

Conference Overview

This year's conference will offer two complementary workshops to support skills around dialogue. These will dig deeper than "difficult conversations". Both workshops will support attendees in guiding conversations that stem from differing values and backgrounds that preserve community and relationships. In a time when the divides seem to be growing deeper, these skills will help leaders and their institutions moving forward.

Featuring Two Complementary Workshops

Building Common Ground and Cross Cultural-Communication with Cardina Esparza and Nell Goepel of the Wilder Center for Learning and Excellence

In this session, trainers will focus on increasing cultural self-awareness, and deepen cross-cultural understanding, and adapting our approach to be responsive. There is a paper inventory that participants complete during this session.

    • Participants will build their understanding of seven characteristics of direct/indirect strategies and seven attributes of emotionally expressive/restrained approaches.
    • Participants will have the chance to discuss in greater depth their intercultural conflict style as assessed by the ICS inventory
    • Participants will be introduced to tips and strategies to help them be adaptive as leaders when the need to resolve disputes
    • Participants will have time during day two to practice the tips and strategies and reflection on how to continue using this model moving forward


Structured Dialogue: as an essential tool for understanding identities and harnessing the power of differences with seasoned dialogue practitioners Scott Silk, J.D., M.Ed.and Bob Stains, M.Ed. of Bob Stains and Associates, Conflict Transformation

Differences of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and politics are a source of great strength and something to be celebrated within a school community. Broad diversity can expose community members to multiple perspectives, open minds, and debunk stereotypes. However, to harness the power of a diverse community, students, teachers, administrators, and parents must have advanced communication skills. They must be able to listen deeply, share openly, inquire with genuine curiosity, reflect consistently, and express heartfelt empathy for others.  Without these skills, a learning conversation and diversity itself can become a source of conflict and animosity. Opportunities for connection, growth, and new understandings can be lost.

Learn More About The Workshops, Conference Agenda and Presenters Here

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.


Who Should Attend

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



Program will begin at 2:30pm, Monday, June 24, 2019 and conclude at 11:15am on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. 


Optional Conference Add-Ons


Lunch on Monday - Open to Anyone

Often attendees are traveling into Leavenworth and arriving around lunch time. Some stop along the way and others would rather start off with lunch in the dining hall. If you would like to include lunch, please sign up for it when you registration or contact us no less than a week before the institute begins. We will only be able to accommodate those who preregister for the meal. There will be no on-site sign up to participate.

Cost: $35 

Lunch on Wednesday for Assistant Heads and Division Heads

In response to attendee requests, we have built on an additional 11:15-3:00pm meeting, specifically for Assistant Heads and Division Heads. This time will be structured and run by members of the planning committee and will provide you an opportunity to connect with colleagues around the unique challenges of these roles. Stay and enjoy this extended learning opportunity with other senior leaders.

Cost: $35  



Please note that registration is a two-step process. Please 1) register for the program with NWAIS and 2) arrange for accommodations directly with Sleeping Lady Resort. See below for more information about making hotel reservations. 

For additional savings take advantage of the NWAIS travel share programs to reimburse expenses (see below).


Early Bird: $595 By May 10, 2019

Regular: $645 By May 31, 2019

Late: $695 After May 31, 2019

Non-Member: $745 Anytime until June 14, 2019 (Registration Deadline)


Arrival Lunch Before Program Begins: $35

Add-On Session for Assistant Heads and Division Heads: $35


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, 2019 are eligible for a refund after a $75 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after June 14, 2019 are ineligible for any refund.



Sleeping Lady Resort is a leading Northwest destination – Sleeping Lady embodies the natural beauty and history of Leavenworth and the Wenatchee Valley. The Kingfisher Restaurant and Wine Bar feature gourmet meals created with the freshest local ingredients, many from Sleeping Lady’s own two-acre organic garden. Meals are chef’s choice and are served buffet-style in Kingfisher’s lodge-style setting.  Learn More About Sleeping Lady Resort.

The rooms at Sleeping Lady are spacious and have room for multiple attendees. If cost of attending is a concern, consider sharing as room with a colleague and splitting the cost of accommodations.

To make your reservations to stay at Sleeping Lady please call 1-800-574-2123 or email Identify yourself as attending the Northwest Association of Independent Schools – NWAIS Conference – Group #10748. A first nights deposit will be taken at the time of booking. 


Please note: Space is Now Full At the Sleeping Lady Resort. You are welcome to contact them to be added to a wait list.

Overflow Arrangements

Overflow space will be available at the Icicle Village Resort. Please Make Reservations by May 24, 2019. The Icicle Village is just 2.5 miles from the resort.  Attendees staying off-site will be able to fully participate in the program and activities and will be included in all meals. To make your reservation at the Icicle Village Resort call 1-800-961-0162 by May 24, 2010 and reference the “Northwest Association of Independent Schools” room block to get the discounted rate. ($149.00 + 11.4% tax).   



NWAIS is Going Paperless

All program materials will be provided electronically. We will not have hard-copy packets for attendees on-site.


NWAIS may help cover travel costs

The NWAIS travel reimbursement policy is designed to reimburse candidate and accredited member schools for some travel costs. This policy applies to a school’s total travel expenses (not the cost of rooms and meals), no matter how many people the school sends to the workshop. If your school spends more than $150 dollars on travel for this event and is traveling a distance greater than 250 miles you will be reimbursed a percentage of your expenses. Click here for more details


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.


Excellent accommodations, excellent food, 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. It is a most spectacular location to retreat professionally and personally.


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!




<< Back

Explore Cohort Programs

Instructional Growth Cohort

is our newest cohort for our newest educators. In this cohort educators in their first five years of independent school teaching will meet regularly over the course of 6 months, to discuss ideas of pedagogy, planning, and professionalism.

Registration to Open Fall 2019

Emerging Leaders Cohort

is a two-year program to develop independent school leaders in taking the next step in their career.

Applications for Next Cohort Due May 2020

Pathways to Leadership Cohort

is a two year program to develop women who are interested in becoming a Head of School in the next 3-5 years.

Applications for Next Cohort Due May 2020

  • Guiding
  • Inspiring
  • Advancing
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 •
powered by finalsite