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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.

Professional Development

See The Calendar Below for Information on Conferences and Workshops. Information on other professional development programs an be found here.

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Institutional Leadership Conference

Date: Sunday - November 04, 2018
Time: All Day
Location: Hotel Murano (Tacoma, WA)
November 4-5, 2018

Institutional Leadership Conference   

November 4-5, 2018


Program Begins: Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 1:00pm

Program Concludes: Monday, November 5, 2018 at 2:30pm


Online Registration Is Now Closed.
If Your Would Like To Register On-Site, Please Plan To Arrive A Few Minutes Early.

Conference Overview

The NWAIS Institutional Leadership Conference provides key information to Trustees and Heads, increasing effectiveness and inspiring you to think about governance in a new light. Heads of School find this meeting especially valuable when they attend with their board chair or new board members, but Trustees of all levels of experience will benefit from the broad mix of sessions and topics.


Featuring Keynote Speaker

Cathy A. Trower, PhD

president, Trower & Trower, Inc.


Great Governance in a Complex Era


General Session Speaker


Amada Torres

Vice President of Studies, Insights, and ResearchNational Association of Independent Schools


NAIS’s Research on Why Parents Enroll Their Children in Independent Schools


Plenary Session Speaker


Charles Vogl



Award winning author, speaker, and executive coach



"The Art of Community: Creating a Connected Board"

based on his work outlined in his award-winning book:

The Art of Community: 7 Principles for Belonging






Sunday – November 4, 2018

12:00pm - 1:00pm    Registration (Ballroom Foyer)

1:00pm   - 1:15pm    Welcome (Venice 2,3,4)

1:15pm – 2:15pm     Keynote Presentation  (Venice 2,3,4)

2:30pm   - 3:45pm    Session A Breakouts

A1)     The Ten Archetypes of School Volunteers: Leveraging Time and Skills for Maximum Impact with Barbara Maduell is Principal and Co-Founder of Breakthrough Fundraising Group (Venice 1)

A2)     Understanding Your Market Dynamics with Amada Torres, Vice President of Studies, Insights, and Research, National Association of Independent Schools (Venice 2)

A3)     Virtual Reality As A Tool For Social Emotional Learning with Michael Wong, Peeka (Venice 3)

A4)     Independent School Trends with Siri Akal Khalsa, Executive Director, NWAIS (Venice 4)


4:00pm   - 5:15pm    General Session (Venice 2,3,4)

5:30pm   - 7:30pm    Reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres (Living Room, 3rd Floor)


Monday, November 5, 2018

8:00am   - 9:00am      Breakfast & Legal Update with Karen A. Kalzer, Attorney, Helsell Fetterman LLP and NWAIS Retained Legal Counsel (Venice 2,3,4)

9:15am   - 10:30am    Plenary Session  (Venice 2,3,4)

10:45am - 12:00pm    Session B Breakouts

B1)     Governance War Stories for Heads and Trustees. Don't try this at home.....PLEASE! with Skip Kotkins, Governance Expert and Search Consultant (Venice 1)

B2)     Strategic Planning for Resilient Organizations with Scott Schaffer, Principal of Public Interest Management Group (Venice 2)

B3)     Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) institutionally with Alison Park, Blink Consulting (Venice 3)

B4)     The Art of Community: A Discussion of Real-World School Issues with keynote speaker, Charles Vogl (Venice 4)


12:00pm - 1:00pm      Lunch (Breakout Rooms Available)

1:15pm   - 2:30pm      Session C Breakouts

C1)     Succession Planning, Hiring and Searches. Examples of getting it right with Skip Kotkins, Governance Expert and Search Consultant (Venice 1)

C2)     Strategic Financial Management – an Overview with Scott Schaffer, Principal of Public Interest Management Group (Venice 2)

C3)     Assessing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: What’s good (enough)? with Alison Park, Blink Consulting (Venice 3)

C4)     Admissions Success Starts Here: A New Way to Message What Makes Your School Great with Jennie Winton, one of the nation’s leading experts on school branding and founding partner of Mission Minded (Venice 4)


2:30pm                       Conference Conclusion


Learn More About Breakout Sessions and their Presenters Here



Your registration includes: reception with refreshments and heavy hors dourves on Sunday, continental breakfast and lunch on Monday, all program materials, free parking and free wireless internet.








Registration Rates


Full Conference Rate



Early Bird


By September 25, 2018



Between September 25 and October 23, 2018



After October 23, 2018





One Day Rate

Either Sunday or Monday



Early Bird


By September 25, 2018



Between September 25 and October 23, 2018



After October 23, 2018




TO RECEIVE THE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Your registration must be complete and payment must be postmarked by the appropriate deadline.

• For registrations completed online with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by deadline date.

• Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.


Hotel Murano (Tacoma, WA)

A Forbes four-star rated hotel in downtown Tacoma located adjacent to the Tacoma convention center and steps from the city’s best museums and restaurants. With a world-class art collection, delicious cuisine, full service spa, and beautiful meeting rooms and event space, NWAIS encourages you to relax, spend the night, and enjoy this lovely location.

NWAIS has secured a special rate of $129.00 per night for single and double occupancy.

Please make your reservation by October 15, 2019

Reserve Your Room Online

Or Call Reservations at 253-591-4145 or 877-986-8083. Ask for “NWAIS 2018” to ensure you receive the special group rate.    


Cancellation Policy

Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by October 26, 2018 are eligible for a refund after a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after October 26, 2018 are ineligible for any refund.


Attendees will be Eligible for Clock Hours and / or STARS Credits

Clock Hours and STARS credits are provided at no cost to those affiliated with member schools. For those not affiliated, there is a $10 processing fee for both Clock Hours and for STARS credits. The original clock hours form or your STARS certificate will be mailed back to you for your records. If you need to petition another agency for credits or you would like a certificate for your files, NWAIS is happy to provide one upon request at no charge.

NWAIS is Going Paperless

All program materials will be provided electronically.

If there are pre-event materials, they will be sent to you via email about a week prior to the event. Please "BYOD" (bring your own device) to access them at the workshop or if you prefer, print out the digital materials and bring them with you. 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
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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
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