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Heads of School Conference

Date: 1/28/2019    Start Time: 3:00 PM    End Time: 12:30 PM    Location: The Boar's Head Resort

2019 Heads of School Conference
Sunday, January 27 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019
The Boar's Head, Charlottesville
Registration opens at 3:00 PM; program begins at 4:00 PM on 1/27 and concludes at 12:00 PM on 1/29

Leading With Optimism

One of the greatest challenges  an independent school head faces today is maintaining the positivity and buoyancy of leading the school communities while leaning into the enormous and often uncertain headwinds.  How do school heads rediscover and inspire optimism in the face of challenging financial and market trends without seeming naive or unaware of the gravitas of them?  How do school heads attract diverse talent while our ability to provide adequate compensation/benefits is challenged? How do they attract families who are increasingly transactional and perhaps even skeptical of our value proposition? How do they hold their communities together as political and social polarization threatens to fracture them?  How do they nurture, challenge, and engage students who are increasingly distracted, worldly, and faced with the social and emotional challenges presented by social media and ubiquitous connection? While it seems like a daunting task to repel despair, anxiety, and negativity, and lead with optimism, it is possible!

This year's Heads of School Conference will tackle the real issues, but approach them from a perspective of opportunity and inspiration. From topics of social media to finance, each topic is built to inspire new thinking and rejuvenate participants to feel energized, encouraged and inspired.


Jeff Shields, President & CEO, National Business Officers Association

Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE, has served as President and CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) since March 2010. NBOA is the premier national association serving the needs of business officers and business operations staff at independent schools. The association has grown from 23 founding member schools in 1998 to over 1,330 US member schools, plus member schools in Mexico, Canada and 23 other countries around the globe during its 19-year history. Jeff, an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, is a member of the 2008 Class of ASAE Fellows (FASAE) and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2002. He currently serves as a trustee for One Schoolhouse, an innovative online school offering supplemental education to independent schools, as well as Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, where his daughter Samantha attends. He holds a BA from Shippensburg University and an MA from The Ohio State University. 

Laura Tierney, Founder and CEO, The Social Institute

Before founding The Social Institute, Laura served as Social Media Director at the award-winning advertising agency McKinney, leading social media strategy for national and international brands. Earlier in her career, Laura helped ESPN use social media to launch ESPN W and inspire millions of women and girls who love sports. She has developed social strategies and campaigns for leading brands including Duke Men’s Basketball, Nike, Under Armour, Disney, Toyota, Travelocity and Oakley. Laura is an unshakable optimist and a competitive athlete at heart. She was a student-athlete at Duke University, majoring in sociology and journalism, and became a 4-time Duke All-American, 2-time team captain, and Duke Athlete of the Decade for field hockey.

Courtney Ferrell, Creative Consultant/Speaker

Courtney Ferrell, a motivational speaker and creative consultant who has worked with companies like Mattel, Nike, and Disney. Ferrell has served as a visiting professor of innovation at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and her TEDx talks have thousands of views.

Preliminary schedule is HERE. Program begins at 4:00 PM on Sunday and concludes at noon on Tuesday.


The Boar's Head Resort
200 Ednam Drive

Charlottesville, VA 22903

VAIS has arranged for a special room rate with The Boar's Head for $155+ tax (10.3%) per night. To guarantee the room rate room availability, please make your reservations by Thursday, December 27, 2018.
Please call The Boar's Head Inn Reservations at (866) 996-7504 (between 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM) and reference the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). If you prefer to make your reservation online, please follow this link.  There is no code needed to book online, just leave that field blank.

  •  $750 Member: Registration fee includes programming and the following meals: Sunday evening reception/dinner, 1 lunch, 2 breakfasts and all breaks
  •  $250 Member's Spouse/Partner/Guest: Registration fee includes programming and all meals listed for member

Final date to register for this Conference is Wednesday, January 9, 2019. No refunds after this date. Please refer to the VAIS Cancellation Policy for further clarification.






Become an event sponsor and showcase your products and services to over 60 heads of school at this conference. Registration includes Monday, January 28 and Tuesday, January 29 (1/2 day), table, two chairs and lunches for two on Monday. Please register by Wednesday, January 9.

PLATINUM . . .   Dinner Sponsor
                             $5000 each

GOLD . . . . . . .  
                           $3500 each

SILVER . . . . . .  
Continental Breakfast, Reception(Sunday Evening) or Break
                             $2500 each

BRONZE . . . . .  
Conference Exhibit Table ONLY
                             $1500 For Profit and $850 Non-Profit

To view all the benefits of becoming an event sponsor, click here!

Sponsor registration is OPEN.


Click here to register for the event

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