June 20-22, 2023 ♦ The Tides Inn, Irvington
Navigating the Tides of Leading & Learning

Join your colleagues to celebrate VAIS’ 50th! Enjoy a refreshing respite in the Northern Neck with time to collaborate, grow, and strategize. Anticipate engaging Professional Learning where we will shape our thinking with national experts and plenty of time to relax and refresh with your VAIS colleagues. 

 Navigating the Tides Creatively: Developing a Curious and Creative Mindset In a Post-covid World, Antonio Viva, Executive Director, Artisans Asylum
The challenges of working together and finding joy in our work have become increasingly more challenging. Artists and designers are uniquely equipped with the skills and mindsets needed to adapt and flex when opportunity knocks. Building curious, forward-thinking, design-focused, and creative team structures will become increasingly more important as we explore the future of education. After the keynote presentation, groups will engage in a futurist mindset exercise. Building on the work of Jane McGoniga we can begin to see how we need to approach our work in new ways. Groups will imagine school in ten years using a futurist thinking mindset.
Antonio Viva is an educator, researcher, artist, leader, and executive coach. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Artisans Asylum, one of the oldest, largest, and most vibrant maker spaces in the country. Artisans members – artists, hackers, hobbyists, engineers, designers, performers – create awe-inspiring works that produce wonder and joy. For the past twelve years, he has served as the Head of School at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, one of the top independent arts high schools in the country. During his tenure, he transformed programs and expanded artistic facilities, including the creation of a Writing, Film, and Media Arts department, the design, funding, and construction of the Delbridge Family Center for the Arts, and most recently, The Boston Ballet School Professional Division at Walnut Hill, the nation’s premier all-inclusive professional ballet academy. Prior to leading Walnut Hill, Antonio was the Associate Head of School and Chief Information Officer at Worcester Academy in Worcester, MA.

Opening Remarks: 

Tim Hightower, Episcopal High School Graduate, Director of Alumni Relations for the Washington Commanders, Former Pro Football Player, Author 

Strategic Keynote:

 A New Kind of Diversity: Making the Different  Generations on Your Team a Competitive Advantage, Tim Elmore, Best-selling Author & International Speaker
Dr. Tim Elmore is founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta‐based non‐profit organization created to develop emerging leaders. His work grew out of 20 years serving alongside Dr. John C. Maxwell. Elmore has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, Psychology Today and he’s been featured on CNN’s Headline News and Fox and Friends to talk about leading multiple generations in the marketplace. He has written over 35 books, including Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes, and his latest, A New Kind of Diversity: Making the Different Generations on Your Team a Competitive Advantage.

Painting - Photography - Golf - Bourbon Tasting - Yoga - Kayaking - Mocktail Mixology - Apiary Experience - Nature Trails - Coastal Ecology - Bikes + More!



Tuesday, June 20, 2023  
3:00 PM Conference Desk Opens
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Welcome/Overview/Stoke
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Opening Remarks
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Reception/Dinner on the Beach (weather permitting) 
Wednesday, June 21, 2023  
8:30 AM Sponsor Tables Open
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM Welcome/Overview of Day
Special Presentation
Betsy A. Johnson, VAIS Executive Director 
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break and Visit with Sponsors
10:30 AM -11:45 AM Navigating Creatively: Part I
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM Lunch
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM Navigating Creatively: Part II
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM Sponsor Speed Sessions
4:00 PM - 4:10 PM Break and Visit with Sponsors
4:10 PM - 6:00 PM Explore Activities
6:00 PM - 6:45 PM Casual Happy Hour
6:45 PM Dinner on Your Own
Thursday, June 22, 2023  
7:30 AM Sponsors Tables Open / Breakfast Available 
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Affinity Group Gatherings
Grab your breakfast, bring your celebrations and questions to share 
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM Break and Visit with Sponsors
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM Welcome/Overview of Day
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Strategic Keynote Address
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM  Break and Visit with Sponsors
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Communities of Practice
12:00 PM Conclusion of Conference


Tuesday, June 20 (starts 4:00 PM) - Thursday, June 22, 2023 (ends 12:00 PM)

The Tides Inn                      
480 King Carter Drive
Irvington, VA 22480

Overnight Rooms:  The Tides Inn room block is now full. Please contact Joan Fargis  for other suggestions in the area.

Registration is for VAIS Member School Heads and their spouse/significant other only.

Head of School Conference Fee 
Spouse/Significant Other Conference Fee (includes all sessions & meals)               $375.00        
Spouse/Significant Other Tuesday Reception & Dinner ONLY $195.00

A Special Note to Spouses/Significant Others of School Heads:
Spouses/Significant Others are welcome to attend all sessions and meals as listed in the program as part of their conference registration package for $375. 

Registration deadline is Monday, May 22, 2023. No refunds will be issued after that date. (See Cancellation Policy)


Nancy Foy, Head of School, The New Community School, Chair 2023
Garth Ainslie, Head of School, Virginia Episcopal School
Jonathan Brand, Head of School, Grymes Memorial School
Tara Garner, Head of School, Aylett Country Day School
Ashley Harper, Head of School, Wakefield School, Previous Chair 2022
Whitney Thompson, Head of School, Tandem Friends School
Aviva Walls, Head of School, Gesher Jewish Day School

VAIS appreciates the support of the following Sponsors for the Heads of School Conference:

Strategic Partners
CCS Presentation Systems
ConnectOne Bank
Creative with manufacturing partners: Steelcase & Smith Systems
Educators Benefit Services
Family Insights
Frost Law
George Mason University
One Digital
RSG Building Solutions
Southern Teachers
University of Richmond
Virginia Business Systems

Brown Edwards
The Budd Group
CCS Fundraising

Event Sponsors
12M Recruiting
The Education Group
Warren Whitney