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Health & Well-being Summit

Thu, 6 Feb 2020 10:00:00 GMT - Thu, 6 Feb 2020 20:00:00 GMT

The Health & Well-being Summit is full and registration is now closed. If you would like to be placed on the waitlist, please email Joan Fargis.

Building Resilience in School Communities

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Jepson Alumni Center, University of Richmond
8:00 AM, Check-in Opens; 8:30 AM, Program Begins;
3:45 PM Program Concludes

The theme of this year's VAIS Health & Well-being Summit is Building Resilience.  Research has shown that resilience can be learned, practiced, developed and strengthened. Each school administrator, teacher, coach, counselor, and health professional from the earliest years on up through high schooI has the power to support well-being and resiliency in his/her own school community. 

Do not miss a program that has now become one of the Association's most popular!  Make your plans today to hear exciting speakers and practitioners, and take away some great resources for your own environment!

We are grateful for this terrific 2020 Health & Well-being Planning Committee!
Kathy Wrenn, Health & Wellness Consulting, Collegiate School
Jan Weintraub, School Guidance, Norfolk Collegiate
Meghan McNeill, Director of Learning Skills Program, Christchurch School
Gay Brock, Health Educator, Potomac School
Tyler Montgomery, Chaplain and Assistant to the Headmaster, Woodberry Forest School
                Rebecca Ginnetti, School Counselor, Congressional School


MEET DEBORAH OFFNER Dr. Deborah Offner brings more than two decades of experience in mental health, K-12 and higher education to her current work with individuals, families and institutions. Currently, Dr. Offner is Consulting Psychologist at Beacon Academy in Boston, a 14-month program between eighth and ninth grade that prepares students from low-income families for entry into independent day and boarding high schools. She also consults to several college preparatory schools, including Worcester Academy, a day and boarding school (grades 6-12) in Central Massachusetts and The Winsor School, a girls’ day school (grades 5-12) in Boston.From 2003-2017, Dr. Offner was Consulting Psychologist and subsequently, Dean of Students, at The Commonwealth School, a co-educational college preparatory school (grades 9-12) in Boston. She also recently served as a staff psychologist at University Counseling Services at Boston College.

MEET NINA M. SCHRODER As a college mental health professional and mom of two young boys, Nina had many questions about the potential impact of digital screen use on cognition, behavior, relationships, and overall well-being.  In her quest to find answers and empower wise decision-making, Nina began intense study on the cognitive, social and emotional effects of high screen use, addiction, and key factors necessary for emotional resilience and well-being. 

Nina has used her research and clinical  knowledge to work with college students and others to examine screen use and its impact on  relationships, values, personal success and overall well-being.  With the goal of inspiring motivation for  positive change and personal growth, Nina has helped others to clarify their values, embrace mindful screen use and actively pursue well-being.  As a result of this work, Nina has witnessed many individuals and families experience tangible success. Nina received her B.A. in English from Villanova University, where she also was a member of the  Division I Women’s Field Hockey Team. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.   
Administrators, division directors, deans, guidance counselors, nurses, and educators to name a few!
SCHEDULE Preliminary Schedule Chart Session Descriptions
LOCATION Jepson Alumni Center University of Richmond 442 Westhampton Way Richmond, VA 23173 Ph: 804-289-8000 For more information about location and directions
FEES Includes program materials, breaks and lunch Member Fee: $195 NonMember: $295

Final date to register for this program is Thursday, January 23, 2020. No refunds after this date. Please refer to the VAIS Cancellation Policy for further clarification.





We welcome sponsors who share in the theme of "Building Resilience in School Communities." This program now in its sixth year usually has an audience of 75-100 participants who are keenly interested in area of health and well-being. Your company logo will be displayed on this page and in print on-site to participants. One six-foot cloth skirted table and two chairs are provided to each sponsor. You will also get to mingle with the participants at lunch. Listed are a variety of sponsorship levels. 

Lunch $1500
Break $750
Table ONLY $400

To join us as a sponsor, please scroll UP and click on the Exhibitor Registration rust-colored button.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference 2020

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:00:00 GMT - Wed, 19 Feb 2020 21:00:00 GMT

Program is full. If you would like to be placed on a waitlist, please email Joan Fargis.

Everyday Activism: Small Actions that Make a Big Difference in Independence Schools

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD

Join us for this first-ever Mid-Atlantic Conference focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion for independent school educators! Three independent school associations, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS), the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW) are collaborating to bring you this one-day Conference with an eye on
 widening the focus in our schools from challenging conversations, which we all continue to have, to everyday actions that we can take to make positive change in our communities. The keynote speakers for the day will include nationally recognized educators, Dr. Liza Talusan and Mr. Rodney Glasgow. Look for breakout sessions with speakers from a wide variety of independent schools on topics related to the theme of everyday activism, as well as affinity group conversations. 



Liza has over 23 years of experience in training, development, leadership and identity-based workshops in diverse environments. She works closely with educators, corporate executives, leadership in global non-profits, boards, trustees, and individuals committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As you’ll come to learn in her workshop, Liza is an experiential educator and facilitator, meaning, she focuses on the ways in which we serve as each other’s best teachers and partners. Liza believes that the best learning comes from getting closer to issues, people, and communities so that we can enact meaningful change. Liza has a well-rounded approach to training as she has served in administrative areas such as equity and inclusion; student affairs; multicultural programming and advising; admission and enrollment; leadership development; strategic planning; curriculum development; and organizational training and development. Through her personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Liza has led organizational and strategic initiatives related to increased visibility and support for LGBT communities, people of color, first-generation communities, people with disabilities, international students, religious and faith based communities, and communities interested in talking more authentically about issues of race and racism. Liza earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Child Development from Connecticut College; her Master of Arts in Higher Education from New York University; a Human Resources Certificate from Stonehill College; her PhD in Higher Education from the University of Massachusetts Boston; her Professional Coach certification through the Institute for Professional Coaching; and an Associate Coaching Credential through the International Coaching Federation. Liza is a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index and has facilitated multiple workshops on how to engage in challenge-focused leadership. In addition to her work in leadership, Liza volunteers extensively on both local and national organizational committees. Liza has worked with over 115 schools, organizations and conferences all over the country through workshops identity, leadership, and organizational change.

Rodney Glasgow is a noted speaker, facilitator, trainer and activist in the areas of diversity, equity, and social justice.  He has given a number of keynote presentations, delivered workshops, and offered consultation to schools and organizations nationwide.  He was a member of Call-to-Action, the advisory board to the Vice President of Equity and Justice for the National Association of Independent Schools.  Additionally, he is an advisory board member for the Family Diversity Projects, Inc.  He was on the Board of Directors for The Friendly House, a Worcester-based community empowerment organization, and a Community Solutions Council Specialist for Supporting Positive Youth Development with the United Way of Central Massachusetts.  In 2009, he was given the People of Courage Award by the City of Worcester for his work with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s LGBT Initiative.  He is one of the founding members and now Chair of the National Association of Independent School’s annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a 20 year-old training ground drawing over 1500 high school students nationwide.  Last year, Rodney launched the National Diversity Practitioners Institute, a summer intensive for diversity practitioners.  He is also the founder of Diversity in the DMV, a one-day conference for students and educators.  Rodney is a featured writer in the book Diversity in Independent Schools, and he wrote the prologue for the recently released One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBT Educators Speak Out About What’s Gotten Better…And What Hasn’t.

A graduate of Harvard University with a joint degree in Afro-American Studies and Psychology, and holding a Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership from Columbia University, he is also an independent school alum, having graduated from Gilman School in his hometown of Baltimore, MD.  An experienced educator, trainer, and administrator for students and faculty in grades kindergarten through post-graduate, Mr. Glasgow has been the Diversity Coordinator at Graland Country Day School, Assistant Head of Upper School and Director of Diversity for Worcester Academy, and is currently the Head of Middle School and Chief Diversity Officer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD.  He is also President of The Glasgow Group, a consortium of dynamic, innovative consultants. 

Open to all independent school educators

Affinity groups for this Conference will use the definitions from the NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) groups. We will also invite people to propose their own as well:

  • Black, African Heritage 
  • Asian, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage
  • First Nations Heritage 
  • Greater Middle Eastern Heritage
  • International 
  • Latinx Heritage 
  • Multiracial Heritage 
  • Transracially Adopted 
  • White
  • European Heritage 
  • Other


For any student groups, these are offered:

  • Interfaith 
  • Queer 
  • Socioeconomic status

Holton-Arms School
7303 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
For Directions to Campus

VAIS, AIMS, AISGW Members:     $95.00
NonMembers:                              $195.00

Included in the fee is a light breakfast and a healthy lunch.

The conference registration deadline is Wednesday, February 5. No refunds after this date. For more information, see the Cancellation Policy.


Thanks to our sponsors for supporting this event.



Become an event sponsor and showcase your products and services.
 Registration includes a table, two chairs and lunch. Please register by Friday, February 7.

Exhibit Table - $300

To register as a Sponsor, please complete the registration form by scrolling up and clicking on the burnt orange "Exhibitor Registration". If you have any questions, please contact Joan Fargis.

Click here to register for the event