The Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) presents an annual award in honor of Sally K. Boese, the Executive Director of the Association for 24 years.  During her tenure, Sally’s determination, collaborative-style management, ethical and professional excellence, and visionary direction enabled the Association to develop into one of the premier independent school organizations in the country.  During this time, VAIS created and constantly improved a meaningful accreditation process, a vast array of professional development opportunities for all members of a school’s community, and an organizational structure that promotes forward-thinking leadership for member schools.  Sally’s success resulted in strong affiliations among VAIS member schools, National Association of Independent Schools, and many other national independent school organizations.

VAIS seeks nominations of educators and administrators who reflect the achievement of Sally Boese.  Consider vibrant, successful individuals within a school community whom you feel deserve recognition.  Successful candidates might demonstrate several of the following criteria:
  • An ability to create an outstanding program which extends beyond their own school;
  •  A talent for inspiring others and encouraging meaningful collaboration that produces lasting results;
  • An advocacy of independent school education, whose effort benefits all independent schools; and
  • A concerted effort on behalf of VAIS by contributing time, effort, and ideas in planning, leading, and promoting VAIS programs.
The inaugural award was presented to Dr. Boese at the VAIS Annual Conference on Monday, November 4, 2013, marking not only her retirement as Executive Director in June 2014 but also the 40th anniversary of VAIS. Selected annually by a subcommittee of the VAIS Board of Directors, the award is presented to an individual who embodies the qualities and service exemplified by Dr. Boese.



2013 Inaugural Recipient

2014 Recipient
2016 Recipient
 Livia McCoy
2017 Recipient

2018 Recipient
Henry "Hank" Berg


To make a nomination, please complete this form. Provide the following information:

  1. Your name/contact information and relationship to the nominee
  2. The nominee’s name and contact information
  3. The nominee's work history (resume/vita if possible)
  4. Statement of support highlighting the nominee's commitment to and leadership in independent education
  5. List of two or more references who can also speak on behalf of the nominee (provide name, email, and phone contact)

Any questions? Contact Kim Failon at

2019 application process will open after January 1. Deadline to nominate is July 31, 2019. Award to be presented at the 2019 Leading Learning Conference on Monday, November 4.
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