Breaking in a New Board Chair Without Breaking Anything

It is that time of year when schools celebrate Commencement, which we all know is not an ending so much as a beginning. For many school leaders, this is not only the end of the year but also the commencement of new leadership in the Board Chair role. So as Heads of School begin to clear off piles on their desk, finish late season hiring, and review both accomplishments and plans for the year ahead, it’s easy to assume that a transition in Board leadership will be seamless. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s been a great school year. But a transition in Board leadership is not just a changing of the guard, it’s an opportunity that properly addressed can mean even more success in the years ahead. Don’t be complacent about this transition!

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Finding Concinnity at the NAIS Conference

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of sponsoring and attending the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) Annual Conference. It was inspiring to see educators, heads of schools, directors and deans from around the country come together for the betterment of independent schools. It was also really exciting for us to see that the concept of concinnity was a reoccurring theme at conference. Here, we share some of the sessions that we feel embraced the notion of concinnity best.

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What’s the Head of School’s Dog’s Name and Other Important Leadership Questions

I was interviewing for a Head of School position when the Chair of the Search Committee asked me if I had any pets. I was in rapid-fire answer mode and said, “Yes, I have two rescue dogs.” Next question. Later that evening, during the “social” part of my interview, a trustee went one step further and asked me my dogs’ names. She was another dog lover of course, but my answer, “Sandy” and “Moose” had me talking about my love of the outdoors and why we named one dog for the beach and the other for a town in Wyoming. Within minutes, I was sharing my passions, travels, and stories involving my wife and kids as she was sharing some of her life experiences as well. It was the beginning of a relationship.

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