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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.


Emerging Leaders Institute

Applications are now open for Fall of 2020.

Participants are invited to attend based on successful applications. The application window is now closed. Applications will re-open in spring 2021 for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Program Description

Emerging Leaders is a year-long cohort-based program to develop independent school leaders. The program will support participants to take the next step in their career through reflective practice and building skills. Next steps may be toward taking on new responsibilities in their current role or taking on something completely new. Participants will meet monthly in person and via videoconference and attend a retreat and NWAIS professional development programming.

Participant Profile

Participants may be currently serving in a variety of positions within their school including teacher, administrator, or staff. Ideal candidates are actively seeking out leadership opportunities. Teacher candidates should be well established in their classroom and looking to take on new responsibilities and/or roles although they may or may not be interested in leaving the classroom for administrative positions. Administrators and staff who have recently stepped into their roles will also be strong candidates.


Over the course of the one-year program, participants will participate in:

  • Day-long Opening Retreat (August 15) to kick off each year’s learning and develop the cohort as a team and learning community.
  • Monthly cohort meetings. These will have a mix of content delivery and discussion.
    • Five zoom meetings will take place from 3:15-5:00pm on Tuesday afternoons.
    • Three afternoon workshops. Attendees are encouraged to attend in person but are able to zoom in as well.

  • One-on-One Sessions with a Coach who is currently serving in a leadership capacity in an NWAIS school. Sessions will focus on problems of practice and supporting participants personal leadership journey. Participants can expect at least three coaching sessions over the course of the year.
  • Participation in several NWAIS programs including:
    • Fall Educators Conference (October 9, 2020)
    • Leadership Institute (June 21-23, 2021)
    • One additional NWAIS single-day workshops of your choice (2020-21 Academic Year)


Over the course of the one-year program participants will:

  • Build meaningful and transformational relationships with facilitators, cohort members, presenters and coaches.
  • Develop skills and knowledge in core areas of school and organizational leadership.
  • Engage in reflection and personal growth to help propel participants to the next career phase.
  • Grow more confident in both skills and abilities and readiness for leadership.
  • Practice leadership stances and lenses through case studies and discussion.

Program Calendar


Meeting Times


August 15, 2020

Full Day Retreat

Location TBA

September 15, 2020


Zoom Videoconference

October 9, 2020

Half Day Virtual Conference followed 2:30-3:30 virtual gathering

Fall Educators Conference Meet-up

November 17, 2020


Zoom Videoconference

December 15, 2020


In-person at NWAIS offices

January 19, 2021


Zoom Videoconference

February 9, 2021


In-person at NWAIS offices

March 9, 2021


Zoom Videoconference

April 20, 2021


In-person at NWAIS offices

May 18, 2021


Zoom Videoconference

June 21-23, 2021

Mon 1pm-Wed 3pm

Leadership Institute at Sleeping Lady Resort + Wrap up session with Emerging Leaders


Tuition is inclusive of all components and event registration fees.

  • Registration for the Fall Educators Conference (Lodging provided for out of town participants)
  • Registration for an additional NWAIS workshop
  • Registration, Food and Lodging for the Leadership Institute at Sleeping Lady Resort
  • Coaching Sessions
  • Programming and Materials

Additionally, NWAIS attendees can utilize the NWAIS travel share program to defray the cost of flights

NWAIS Member Rate: $2600

Non-NWAIS Rate: $4000

Cancellation Policy

View the cancellation policy


The Emerging Leaders Institute will serve approximately 20 participants. The second cohort will begin with a required retreat in August 15, 2020. The application will help you and the selection committee assess if this is the right time in your career to take on this program.

This program is open to those working in NWAIS schools. If you are not employed by a NWAIS member school and would like to participate, please contact Emily McGrath to see if you may qualify for a waiver.

Application Components

Application: The application will need to be filled out in a single session. Please be prepared to answer the following questions in no more than 200 words each.

    • Why are you choosing to apply for this program?
    • Describe how you have sought leadership opportunities in your school or what is holding you back.
    • Describe the impact do you hope to have through your work in the next 5-10 years of your career.
    • How do you see yourself contributing to the richness of your cohort?
    • In which areas do you see the most potential for growth during the program?
    • Describe your personal and professional journey around diversity and equity. What do you remain curious about? What questions are you hoping the program will engage in this area?
    • Please attach a current CV or resume

Application Form

Endorsement from current Head of School: An endorsement stipulates that the Head of School is aware that you are applying and is supportive of your participation.

Endorsement Form

Recommendation: Your recommendation should be filled out by someone who can speak to your fit for this program. We encourage this to be your current director or manager but can also be someone else from your current institution who has insight into your leadership capacity.

Note: If the recommendation is being filled out by your head of school, please note that they must also fill out the endorsement form.

Recommendation Form

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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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