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Administrative Professionals' Program
Date / Time
Thursday, October 3, 2019
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Participant Fee
Fee - includes lunch and materials
VAIS Member /
Non-Member /

Administrative Professionals' Program
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
9:30 AM, Check-in; 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM, Program

The ability to choose how to react in stressful situations is of great benefit to all members of an organization, specifically a school community.  The identification and understanding of the steps in between the points of effective engagement and displaying unwanted behaviors can improve the impact an individual is able to have. This is where Dr. Kara Penfield, Founder of Penfield Consulting Group, can be most instructive bringing her extensive background in leadership development and institutional effectiveness. She has worked with independent school administrative professionals across the country and is most familiar with the work these individuals are called to do. From interfacing with teachers, students, parents, administrators, donors, campus visitors, and more! Administrative professionals become crucial links in the communication network of a school. 

NOTE: We have historically held this program in the Spring, but in an effort to prepare administrative professionals with strategies to put into play during the school year, we have moved it to early October. 


Kara Penfield has worked in leadership development, institutional effectiveness and assessment-related positions for over 20 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from West Virginia University, and a Master and Doctorate in school psychology from the University of Florida. Kara’s career in leadership began with the Walt Disney World company where she was responsible for operations and professional development for multiple sales and marketing teams. Combining her background in professional development with her doctoral training in psychology, she later assumed a leadership role in K-12 public education as a Chairperson of psychological service delivery for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Following 8 years of work in K-12 public education, Kara transitioned to assessment in higher education in the role of Director of Academic Assessment for the University of Miami where she was responsible for leading an institution-wide initiative to design and implement an assessment system for evaluating institutional effectiveness. Following her tenure as Director at the University of Miami, Kara has continued to serve as a consultant of institutional effectiveness for other universities, most recently for Wake Forest University. Building on her passion for and experience in leadership development and organizational effectiveness, Kara began working as an executive coach in 2012. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership, where she works one-on-one with individuals in leadership positions at varying levels of organizations to integrate results of assessment and client insights to help leaders become more effective in their positions.

Robin Albertson-Wren is a contemplative practice instructor with CSC. She has been teaching elementary age children for over 20 years in Charlottesville, Virginia where she is a classroom teacher, workshop leader, author and public speaker. Her passion is teaching mindfulness techniques to executives, educators, parents, adolescents and children.

Robin has presented "Mindfulness in Schools - Educating and Empowering Our Children” to many local, statewide, and national audiences.  Robin has received mindfulness training through Mindful Schools, and is currently participating in a year-long certification course with 100 other people across the globe. She became interested in the idea of mindfulness in 2010, when she attended her first Mindfulness in Education conference at American University in Washington D.C. 


To enhance the success of administrative support professionals by offering professional development, renewal and networking opportunities, while also acknowledging the important roles they play in VAIS school communities

Administrative support professionals who assist senior level administrators, including heads of school, division directors, business and advancement offices, admissions, and communications, to name a few

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Education Center
1800 Lakeside Drive, Richmond, VA 23228
For further info and the website

Members:       $195
Non-member: $295

Final date to register for this program is Thursday, September 19, 2019. No refunds after this date. Please refer to the VAIS Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

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