View the schedule for each day by clicking on the date.
Please note that sessions may be added or modified.
The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial reckoning have asked of our schools to reflect on who we say we are and who we are in reality in new and profound ways. As we scramble to narrow the gap between our aspirational identities and our lived realities, we search for new tools and approaches to meaningful and authentic change. This presentation introduces such a tool embedded in the word and acronym DIGNITY. Seven strategies to create authentic community. From integrity audits to reflecting on our capacity for growth in areas we would rather avoid, to measuring change in real time data, these seven strategies will forever change the way you look at conflict and transformation in our schools. The seven strategies: Diversity; Integrity; Growth; Nurture; Integrity; Transparency and Yield.
Beth-Sarah Wright, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, GA
For too long, we’ve been thinking about enrollment all wrong. In this session, we’ll share both how and why traditional enrollment practices are no longer enough in our rapidly changing times. We’ll cover ways enrollment leaders can shift their approach to filling the admissions funnel while collaborating with their marketing teams, the business office, and beyond. This session will help you widen the aperture to rethink admissions and enrollment, creating a captivating experience across the entire student lifecycle.
Elyn Roberts, SchoolAdmin (Now part of Finalsite), TX
Francis Donald, The Bishop's School, CA
Global pandemic, political unrest, racial injustices… this school year was full of trials, tears, and took a tremendous toll on people, including members of our team. To combat this, we developed a home-grown, yearlong, customized, integrated DEI curriculum that allowed our team to connect with one another, heal and uplift each other, and strengthen our team culture and dynamic. Our intention for our presentation is to remove barriers to the work and empower others to take action. As admission and enrollment management professionals, we believe that diversity, equity and inclusion work is inherently ours and, frankly, everyones. We are passionate about encouraging all community members, no matter what their title or role is within their institution, to see that DEI is part of their practices. We’d love to share our process and hope that others are inspired to take action on their own and do something similar.
Joy Sevillano, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, CA
Eric Barber, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, CA
Paul Drucker is credited as saying, “What gets measured gets managed.” Leaders and trustees want their school to be rooted in mission-driven, data-informed decision making. Yet schools struggle to turn strategic plans, visionary initiatives, and accreditation recommendations into action. Effectively using dashboards can be a catalyst moving initiatives forward and rooting change in the organization. The impact can be felt both within the admission office as well as across the entire organization. The interface is important, but the art and science is using dashboards to know if you are on track turning opportunities into reality. This session will include getting started using dashboards and how the creation, utilization, and refinement cycle facilitates high-quality enrollment management, leadership, and governance.
Kelsey Vrooman, Mission & Data, PA
Ari M Betof, Mission & Data, PA
Financially healthy schools have resources to sustain current and projected future obligations for the long term, relative to their individual mission. They have successfully developed and implemented financial plans for both strategic, capital investments as well as annual operations, which are funded in large part by tuition and fees, so a strong partnership between the business and enrollment offices is critical. As we venture further into the 21st century, the narrative about the future of PK-12 independent schools isn’t always uplifting. Shifting demographics, increasing options for school choice, and higher costs of living, juxtaposed with only modestly increasing household incomes all limit the number of families able – and/or willing – to pay our schools’ rising tuition costs. Some believe these factors will send a good portion of our under-enrolled and under-resourced schools into a forced closure or merger, and school leaders are justifiably anxious. However, in the same vein, this landscape is accelerating the opportunity for schools to pull revenue and expense levers to better reflect their priorities and missions in both their annual budgets and long-term projections. In addition, in many regions there has been a renewed interest in the value proposition behind independent education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we seek to retain our current students and attract new ones, the door is open for schools to rethink their tuition and revenue models, and the time is now for innovation. The National Business Officers Association (NBOA) is the only national, nonprofit membership association focused exclusively on supporting independent school business officers and business operations staff while fostering financial and operational excellence among independent PK-12 schools. James and Jennifer will share research, insights, and tools developed by NBOA to help school administrators and the board understand and improve their school’s financial health and performance.
Jennifer Hillen, NBOA
James Palmieri, NBOA
How might we emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position to support and empower our LGBTQ community members? With the pre-pandemic “normal” firmly cemented in the rearview mirror, we know that we are on the brink of reimagining and reaffirming the work we do in our schools and the educational landscape in the United States. As admission offices, what essential questions should drive our work?
Allison Letourneau, Kimball Union Academy, NH
Stephanie Boulay, Nobles, and Greenough School, MA
What are the ingredients of cultivating an impactful relationship that both empower access organizations and meet the enrollment goals of independent schools? Educational access organizations play a critical role in helping independent schools attract and enroll mission-appropriate students from underrepresented communities. Admissions officers at independent schools play critical roles as gatekeepers in this relationship and can leverage that to open the gates wider to students who have not always had access to independent schools. This past year, Christina Seix Academy (NJ) had the exciting challenge of creating a placement program for their first cohort of graduating 8th-grade students. Instrumental to their inaugural placement process was forming a relationship with veteran admissions professional Tran Kim-Senior, currently Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Episcopal High School (VA). Join this discussion to learn about one successful partnership between an access organization and an admissions professional and leave with advice and guidance for strengthening your high school placement program and admissions outreach efforts that better serve access organizations and the students they support.
Tran Kim-Senior, Episcopal High School, VA
Nicole Morillo, Christina Seix Academy, NJ
Rob Connor, Christina Seix Academy, NJ
This presentation will help enrollment management professionals at all levels (beginners to senior/upper-level management) to find an individualized way to remain holistically healthy. Presenter Alida Abdullah will share her wellness journey of how she was able to lose weight, lower her blood pressure, develop an appetite for healthier food, and establish a workout routine all within her first 6 months of becoming an admissions counselor for one of the largest independent schools in the nation. She will cover the following: Developing a “Conscious Awareness” for your own personal health, dietary, and wellness needs Establishing a consistent workout routine that you will stick with Cultivating an appetite for healthier foods Understanding how functional nutrition could serve as the key to managing chronic illnesses and healing by determining root causes for maladies And more!!! This is a session for anyone serious about being on the path to wellness while serving in excellence as an enrollment management professional!
Alida F Abdullah, Woodward Academy, GA
Is your website giving you the results you need? Is your brand out of date? Don't know where to put your marketing dollars? In this session, led by Elizabeth (Liz) Allen, Director of Communications and Marketing at Seoul Foreign School, and Debbie Eisenach, International Marketing Manager at Finalsite, they will share their expertise in developing a cohesive and comprehensive communications strategy with a global perspective, encompassing internal and external audiences with a focus on driving enrollment and retention. With more than 15 years experience in the education mar/comms sector, Liz has worked at institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, and now South Korea. Her previous work experience includes directing communications strategy for the alumni association at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Think Global School, and the American School in London. Debbie Eisenach has worked abroad, both in Asia and Europe since 2010, helping schools around the world with their digital presence. As a parent of three children who attended and graduated from IB World Schools, she has keen insights into the marketing and communication operations and needs of international schools.
Debbie Eisenach, Finalsite, CT
Elizabeth (Liz) Allen, Seoul
COVID-19 has created exceptional challenges for independent schools--especially when it comes to student enrollment. As it fluctuates, all eyes and ears are on admissions to stabilize recruitment and retention. This can be stressful, especially for those managing the student enrollment crisis while advancing in their careers. But it doesn't have to be. From normalizing routines to setting healthy boundaries in the office, this session is designed to uncover the secrets of self-care for the ambitious professional.
Brittany Haney, Canadian International School Of Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh
With nearly a decade of experience in Enrollment Management and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Cristy McNay has learned the secret to being a successful Director of Admission. And pssst...she’s willing to share all the juicy details! During this session, Dr. McNay will share what she learned through her doctoral research, which centered on communication best practices between enrollment management professionals and school leaders in private schools. You won’t want to miss the lessons shared in this research-backed session.
Cristy McNay, SchoolAdmin (Now part of Finalsite), TX
If your school, like hundreds across the country, has made the very serious and authentic commitment to upping your DEI game, it’s time to make sure your brand and your admissions messages reflect your vision for the future and your understanding of the work ahead. In this truly groundbreaking and inspirational workshop, you’ll learn how and why it’s simply not enough to express your commitment to creating a diverse community or to tout how your school boasts xx% students of color and xx% students receiving financial aid—to shift your current paradigm. Mission Minded Director of Education Strategy, Romayne Levee, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisor, Tierney Yates, will start by telling the story of how we switched our own frame in thinking about creating a more inclusive culture. Spoiler alert: We were doing it wrong so we have a lot to share. Next, we’ll take you through the practical steps we took to question every business practice using an “inclusivity lens.” Finally, we’ll share some concrete examples—including practical steps you can take—of how schools have shifted brand commitments and key messages to signal to their communities (both existing and prospective) that authentic change is afoot.
Romayne Levee, Mission Minded, CA
Tierney Yates, Mission Minded, CA
Why are you an admission or enrollment management counselor? What is your motivation to keep you in this profession? In this interactive and fun workshop, you will hear of triumphs, setbacks, and lessons learned while navigating the industry through the lens of DEI and my background in social work. You will walk away feeling rejuvenated with new tools in your toolbox!
Lauren Lewis, The Advent School, MA
Retention is critical for any school's success but now it is personal. How can we take relationships built during recruitment and create engaged and excited parents that stay? No one knows a family like you do when they start the school year. This session will explore how admission directors can partner with principals, parent groups, and current families to increase retention and parent satisfaction.
Michelle Ulland, Minnehaha Academy, MN
This presentation will center around the need for more protection of black and brown students and their mental health when they leave home to attend boarding school. I will speak on my own journey with mental health, having attended St. Andrew's-Sewanee School all four years as a boarding student from Atlanta, GA. I faced backlash from family and friends when I made the decision to attend SAS. I want to shed light on what people don't see when a black or brown student decides to leave home to pursue a better education.
Jasmine Render, St. Andrew's-Sewanee School, TN
Many schools know what makes them special, but struggle to describe it in a powerful and succinct way. This can be especially true of schools with a values-driven pedagogy or culture. But even traditional and progressive schools often suffer from sounding like all the other schools, and lack a consistent messaging framework that sets them apart. This means that many great schools simply aren’t being clear about what makes them special in a way that helps attract prospective families and generous, loyal donors. This fun and interactive session will teach school admission and marketing professionals how to create a new messaging framework to inspire and empower everyone to become effective ambassadors. Mission Minded Director of Education Strategy, Romayne Levee will share the secret to creating messages that are clear and powerfully authentic as a way of inspiring families to see your school in new ways. Mission Minded developed the Minute Message Model, which has helped countless schools improve their communications. It’s a fresh way to think about unexpected messaging that inspires. Attendees will practice using this tool, and feel ready to put the new framework into action at their school right away.
Romayne Levee, Mission Minded, CA
The past 24 months have taught all of us that many of the factors influencing student mobility is out of our control. This session will discuss the current environment and how to focus on what is within our control (or influence) to strategically plan for and secure immediate and future enrollments for our schools. Part of the presentation will provide helpful tips and information, but it will also be interactive. Be ready to share your knowledge with the group so everyone can benefit from our collective expertise.
Joshua Clark, TASIS The American School in England