From the President

Each year, I travel the country to meet with leaders across our independent school community. The 2017-2018 school year was no different, but there was one commonality I noticed this year: No matter where I was or who I was meeting with, I heard that school leaders were stretched thin by the challenges that faced our world.

At NAIS, we support leaders at all stages of their careers—through good times and tough challenges. And while it may sound cliché, I truly believe there’s a leader in everyone. Whether you're an aspiring leader, a new or longtime head, or trustee at an independent school, NAIS is here for you.

NAIS is here to help you get up to speed on best practices, emerging trends, data and analysis, and more. We encourage you to attend  a professional development event that fits your schedule: a webinar, conference, institute, or workshop. Get in-depth and relevant publications in our bookstore so you can learn to lead others and cultivate new leadership. And know that NAIS offers you support if you’re ever in a crisis.

In the pages of this annual report, you’ll find details about all of NAIS’s many resources and the organization’s overall health. We are grateful to the many organizations and individuals who have supported our efforts and initiatives this year.

What I love about the independent school community is its belief in the future. Everything we do is intended to build a better world for students, and to instill in them a sense that they can build the future they want to see. I’m glad we are building that world together.

Annual meeting minutes

Thursday, February 28, 2019; 7:30-9:00 a.m.
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
Bernie Noe, NAIS board chair, welcomed everyone and kicked off the breakfast with his Chair’s Report. He then asked Randall C. Dunn, NAIS vice board chair, to give the Membership Report. Dunn reported that NAIS welcomed 50 new members and 43 new subscribers in 2017-2018, for a total of 93 new schools in our community. As of February 6, 2019, NAIS welcomed 39 new members and 32 new subscribers for the 2018-2019 year. This growth in new schools brought NAIS’s total community to 1,862 schools as of February 6, 2019.

Governance Chair Mark C. Davis continued with the Governance Report and introduced the slate of trustees who were up for election to the membership.

Vote on the Election to a Three-Year Term as Board Officer:

  • Monique L. DeVane, head of school, The College Preparatory School, Oakland (CA), treasurer
Vote on the Election to a Third Three-Year Term as a Trustee:
  • Fran Bisselle, head of school, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights (OH)
Vote on the Election to a Second Three-Year Term as a Trustee:
  • Robin Appleby, head of school, The American School, London (UK)
  • Marguerite Roza, director, Edunomics Lab, Georgetown University, Seattle (WA)
  • Eric Temple, head of school, Lick-Wilmerding, San Francisco (CA)
Vote on the Election to a First Three-Year Term as a Trustee:
  • Penny Evins, head of school, St. Paul’s School for Girls, Timonium (MD)
  • J. Ross Peters, head of school, St. George’s Independent School, Memphis (TN)
Noe announced that the board had approved the nominations, and the membership voted. The motion was approved and the slate was elected.

Noe then asked retiring board members to stand, and he expressed the board’s appreciation for their service:
  • David Allyn, visiting scholar, The New School (NY)
  • John DeGioia, president, Georgetown University (DC)
  • Siri Akal Singh Khalsa, executive director, Northwest Association of Independent Schools (WA)
  • Michael Saxenian, head of school, McLean School of Maryland (MD)
Fran Bisselle, NAIS board treasurer, continued with the Finance Report, and Donna Orem, NAIS president, concluded with the President’s Report. A motion to adjourn the meeting was supported and passed, and the meeting was adjourned.

Treasurer's Report

A Report from Fran Bisselle, 2018-2019 Board Treasurer

NAIS completed a successful year and the 2017-2018 financial report reflects the Board’s commitment to a strong and healthy organization. The Finance Committee, the full board, and the NAIS staff have worked together to ensure that NAIS continues to meet the needs of its members over the long-term.

Solid planning, careful management, and the successful execution of initiatives resulted in an operating surplus at the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, even with no increase in dues fees for members.

2017 People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference

November 30-December 2
Anaheim, CA

Voices for Equity and Justice Now and in Every Generation: Lead, Learn, Rededicate, and Deliver

The 2017 NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) was a celebration of 30 years of PoCC, and the energy at the conference was truly jubilant. PoCC brings together educators from the independent school community who are dedicated to equity and justice in their schools. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.

The concurrent NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference is focused on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community for student leaders from across the country.

In 2017, PoCC featured speakers Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dalia Mogahed, Anita Sanchez, Maria Teresa Kumar, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. SDLC featured a keynote from DeRay Mckesson. These speakers, together with affinity groups, workshops, and other special events, made PoCC@30 a celebration and a rededication to the independent school community’s commitment to equity and justice.


2018 Annual Conference

March 7-9 | Atlanta, GA

The Leadership Journey: Guides, Pathways, and Possibilities

For the 2018 NAIS Annual Conference, we asked attendees to reflect on their personal and professional leadership journeys: where they’ve been, who’s helped them along the way, and where they want to go. We hoped that each attendee could see their leadership potential whether they were already a head of school or a first-year teacher or administrator.

Speakers Adam Grant, Navi Radjou, Sisonke Msimang, and Luma Mufleh took the main stage to inspire new ideas and create lasting memories for everyone in attendance. There was also a wide array of workshops, special events, and networking breaks so that attendees could make the most of their experiences.


Davis & Benedict
Manhattan Placements
United Educators

Professional Development

NAIS hosts transformational in-person and online professional development events for independent school leaders at every stage in their career.

Between June and October 2017, NAIS offered six institutes and workshops where educators came together for several days of learning and development. More than 430 people attended the Diversity Leadership Institute, Institute for New Heads, School Leadership Institute, School Leadership Team Experience, Equity Design Lab, and Leadership Through Partnership.

In addition to these immersive in-person events, NAIS hosted more than 35 webinars, covering topics from international enrollment, to the #MeToo era in schools, to board recruiting. The wide range of topics covered in NAIS webinars make them an invaluable resource for our members, and they are all free to attend.

NAIS is proud to be a partner with other organizations serving our schools. Each year, NAIS and CASE co-host the CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference, which is geared toward advancement professionals in independent schools. In January 2018, the conference was held in Anaheim, California.

Research & Publications

2017 NAIS Survey on International Faculty and Staff. The survey was conducted to assess the number of independent school faculty/staff members hailing from countries affected by the recent executive order prohibiting entry into the United States. Participants were also asked if they had faculty/staff members in a handful of other countries not directly affected by the executive order. This document was used to inform the NAIS’s legal advisory on this topic.
NAIS published nine research reports in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. These reports covered topics relevant to independent school leaders, students, and parents. With our in-depth research and reporting, we have given schools access to information that will help them compete in a changing marketplace, engage their students, hire and retain excellent staff, and more. You can see all the reports at  

NAIS conducted surveys to help inform the NAIS-NBOA Comments on 2017 Request for Information. In July 2017, the Department of Labor issued a Request for Information in preparation for revisiting the overtime rules and the minimum salary level test. NAIS and NBOA submitted comments on behalf of the independent school community.
NAIS produced 15 market overview reports (summaries of economic, demographic, and competition trends in the top 15 metro areas where most of our members are located) and 5 mini-metro reports (extended version of the market overviews) to be used to supplement the information provided by DASL. We want to equip our schools with enough market data to start their strategic conversations and inform their decisions.
With the Spring 2018 issue, NAIS unveiled a complete redesign of the quarterly Independent School magazine. The redesign not only included visual changes to make the magazine more modern, but also included substantive changes with more opportunities for independent school educators to learn and grow.
Independent School magazine was entered in the Minnesota Media & Publishing Awards (in the association category), and the Summer 2018 Teaching & Learning issue took home the Gold for cover design.
copies of the 2018-2019 NAIS Trendbook sold
NAIS published The NAIS Head Search Handbook: A Strategic Guide for the Search Committee, Second Edition. It was a joint effort of Editor Vince Watchorn of Providence Day School (RI) and 27 authors from throughout the school community. NAIS also updated the NAIS Planned Giving Primer to cover what the 2017 tax changes mean for bequests and other planned gifts.
Data and Analysis for School Leadership. Pronounced “dazzle,” NAIS’s platform provides data analysis and reporting to independent schools throughout the U.S. In 2017-2018, we made using DASL easier than ever by rebuilding statistical tables, enabling PowerPoint exports, supporting Google Sheets templates, and more. Our continuous improvements to DASL make it easier for users to access the landscape of independent schools across the country and gain deep insights into their school’s unique data.
NAIS’s innovation team launched the beta version of Market View, a brand-new tool to help schools find prospective families, in June 2018. That same month, the first cohort of Strategy Lab met—the NAIS Strategy Lab supports schools in solving pressing challenges and seizing opportunities in order to live their missions and secure sustainable futures.

Who We Are

Just like the independent schools we serve, NAIS relies on a diverse and generous community. We are grateful to the following people for their help in supporting and guiding NAIS.

Board of Trustees

Katherine Dinh

Bernie Noe
Vice Chair

Fran Bisselle

Bryan Garman
David Allyn

Robin Susan Appleby

Carolyn Chandler

Mark C. Davis

John DeGioia

Monique L. DeVane
Randall C. Dunn

Joan Buchanan Hill

Michael Horn

Siri Akal Singh Khalsa

Jim McManus

Nishant N. Mehta
Marguerite Roza

Michael Saxenian

James K. Scott

Eric Temple

Albert L. Throckmorton

Andrew T. Watson

NAIS Leadership

Donna Orem

Caroline G. Blackwell
Vice President, Equity and Justice

Jefferson Burnett
Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Education Innovation

Tim Fish
Chief Innovation Officer
Beth Laking
Interim Executive, Membership and Community Engagement

Mark Mitchell
Vice President

Hilary LaMonte
Senior Vice President, DASL
Myra McGovern
Vice President of Media

Corey McIntyre
Chief Financial Officer

Jay Rapp
Vice President, Professional Development
Zoé Sherlick
Chief Operating Officer

Amada Torres
Vice President, Studies, Insights, and Research

Debra Wilson,
General Counsel


Audit Committee of the Board

Fran Bisselle
Hathaway Brown School (OH), Chair

Michael Saxenian
McLean School of Maryland (MD)

Robert L. Green
Robert L. Green & Associates

Corey McIntyre
NAIS board liaison

2018 Annual Conference Think Tank

Bo Adams
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (GA)

Jennifer Betts
The Howard School (GA)

Marifred Cilella
The Howard School (GA)

Ayanna Hill-Gill
Atlanta Girls’ School (GA)

Jeff Jackson
Georgia Independent School Association (GISA)

Brett Jacobsen
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (GA)

Marsha Little
The Lovett School (GA)

Nishant N. Mehta
The Children’s School (GA)

Kyle Pietrantonio
Holy Spirit Preparatory School (GA)

Lori Spear
Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS)

Marcia Prewitt Spiller
Woodward Academy (GA)

Jay Underwood
High Meadows School (GA)

Connie White
Woodward Academy (GA)

Global Ambassadors

Metta Dael
Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

Dean Fusto
Brandon Hall School (GA)

Andrew Garlinski
Shattuck-St. Mary's School (MN)

Tara Inman
Darlington School (GA)

Amanda Miles
Dana Hall School (MA)

Ann Vogel
Charles Wright Academy (WA)

2017 PoCC Co-Chairs and Local Committee

Olivia Brown
Wesley School (CA)

Rasheda Carroll
Wildwood School (CA)

Drew Ishii
Sage Hill School (CA)

Luthern Williams
New Roads School (CA)

Stephanie Carrillo
Campbell Hall (CA)

Connie Chiu
Mirman School (CA)

Sandi Crozier
Wildwood School (CA)

Dina Eletreby
New Horizon School (CA)

Karen Eshoo
Vistamar School (CA)

Robert Evans
Independent School Alliance

Darlene Fontaine
Westside Neighborhood School (CA)
Dana Gonzalez
Viewpoint School (CA)

Jose Juan Ibrarra
Midland School (CA)

Radhika Khandelwal
Geffen Academy (CA)

Jung Lee
Curtis School (CA)

Melanie León
Harvard-Westlake School (CA)

Ernie Levroney
Windward School (CA)

Reynaldo Macías
St. Matthew’s Parish School (CA)

Monique Marshall
Wildwood School (CA)

Trina Moore-Southhall
Brentwood School (CA)

Min Pai
Westland School (CA)

Karen Poffenberger
St. Margaret’s School (CA)

Jennine Rodriguez
PS1 (CA)

Sarah Rodriguez
Santa Monica High School (CA)

Tim Rosenwong
Pacific Ridge School (CA)

Linda Rose-Winters
Oakwood School (CA)

Silvia Salizar
Crossroads School (CA)

David Stewart
Crossroads School (CA)

Baudelia Chavez Taylor
Crestview Prepatory School (CA)

Chris Thinnes
The Wesley School (CA)

Ralinda Watts
The Buckley School (CA)

Azizi Williams
Sequoyah School (CA)

2017-2018 SSS Task Force

Jonathan Hochberg
The Northwest School (WA), Chair

Carinne Barker
St. Matthew’s Parish School (CA)

Lynne Breen
Waynflete School (ME)

John Hutchins
Philips Exeter Academy (NH)

Lisa Moreira
Horace Mann School (NY)

Bill Murdock
Baylor School (TN)

Brenda Robbins
Minnehaha Academy (MN)

Lawrence Sampleton
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (TX)

Jennifer Wing
Applewild School (MA)

Gifts At Work

A.W.G. Dewar, Inc.

Blackbaud Inc.

CalWest Educators Placement

Carney, Sandoe & Associates


Davis & Benedict


Education Brands

Educator’s Ally

The Enrollment Management Association

The Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.


Manhattan Placements



United Educators