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Heads of School Conference
Date / Time
January 12 - 14, 2020
3:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Boar's Head Resort
Participant Fee
Head of School Fee
VAIS Member /

Spouse/Partner Fee
VAIS Member /
The event is for the VAIS member schools only.
Leading Optimistically, Living Well

Sunday, January 12 - Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Location: Boar's Head Resort
For: Heads of School ONLY and spouses/partners
Registration opens at 3:00 PM; program begins at 4:00 PM on 1/12 and concludes at 12:00 PM on 1/14


Dr. Michael Stepniak, Dean and Professor of Music, Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah Universityserves as Dean and Professor of Music at Shenandoah Conservatory. In this capacity, he oversees over 200 faculty and staff and more than 600 students enrolled in 27 degree programs across music, dance, and theatre, as well as a 1,200-student arts academy. In his role as Dean, he oversees 58 budgets, multiple donor societies and a comprehensive fundraising portfolio, and a performance season that hosts over 40,000 patrons each year. Besides completing multiple fundraising initiatives and campaigns, he has helped lead his faculty and students in multiple innovative projects that have attracted national attention, from the first-in-the-USA Student Performance Week initiative, to an unusually transparent and comprehensive overhaul of undergraduate degree programs.

As an educator, Stepniak is engaged in national conversations about arts and training. He has served on the board of directors of International Council of Fine Arts Deans; has advised and consulted with leaders from a range of institutions including the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Rice University; and is a member of ICFAD’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. His recent book on the future of classical music performance training in higher education (
Beyond the Conservatory Model, Routledge Press, September 2019) is quickly garnering critical acclaim, and his 2017 essay on the future of classical and jazz music performance training rapidly became the most read article in the history of College Music Symposium. Most recently, Stepniak has been traveling to performing arts high schools around the country speaking with young and aspiring musicians, dancers, and actors regarding the audition process and the profoundly heartfelt and courageous work at the center of performances that move.

Katherine M. Whitney, Co-Founder, Owner & Director of Warren Whitney
Katherine Whitney is a co-founder and director of Warren Whitney. She has more than 25 years of experience in helping organizations reach their potential. Katherine has a passion for helping to strengthen non-profit organizations by building good business practices to support their missions.

Her areas of expertise: board development, board member cultivation, board assessment and governance guidelines, nonprofit mergers, succession planning and executive director/CEO searches.

Dave Mochel has taught courses in well-being, leadership, neuroscience, and physics in independent schools for the past 20 years. He founded Applied Attention Coaching and Consulting to help individuals, teams, and organizations focus their attention and energy where it will make the greatest positive difference. Using principles drawn from modern research and enduring wisdom, Mochel offers practices that foster peaceful and powerful lives, relationships, and cultures. He has degrees from Williams College and a master’s from SUNY New Paltz. He also held a clinical internship in mindfulness-based stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Applied Attention is a mindfulness consulting company that partners with businesses, schools, and individuals to bridge the gap between what matters most and how time and energy are used. The goal is to teach people how to consistently refocus on what is present, what is important, and what is effective. This simple and powerful practice builds the fundamental skills necessary to embrace challenge, learn from others, and thrive in any circumstance. The result for individuals is greater engagement, flexibility, and resilience. Within teams and organizations, this practice creates powerfully positive and purposeful cultures.

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 per night.

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).

ONLY VAIS Heads of School and their spouses/partners are welcome to attend this conference.
Members ONLY: $795.00
Spouses/Partners:  $250.00 

The program registration date is Friday, December 20. No refunds will be issued after this date. For more information, see the Cancellation Policy.


Become an event sponsor and showcase your products and services to over 60 heads of school at this conference
. Registration includes Monday, January 13 and Tuesday, January 14 (1/2 day), table, two chairs and lunches for two on Monday. Please register by Wednesday, December 18.

PLATINUM . . .    
Dinner Sponsor $5000 each (2 available)  NO LONGER AVAILABLE
                            Lunch ~ $3500 NO LONGER AVAILABLE 

GOLD . . . . . . .   
Cocktail Hour (Sunday, Jan. 12) ~ $3000  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

SILVER . . . . . .   
Continental Breakfast or Break (4 available) ~ $2500 each

BRONZE . . . . .  
Conference Exhibit Table ONLY (8 available) ~ $1500 For Profit and $1000 Non-Profit

To join us as a sponsor or exhibitor at the LLC 2019, please scroll UP and click on the Exhibitor Registration button.

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