The SAIS Fundamentals Conference is for those interested in learning more about the building blocks of independent schools. The curriculum is designed for school leaders who want to bolster their leadership skills and unpack the basics of how schools operate. Whether you’re aspiring, newly appointed, or looking for a refresher, this opportunity will provide time to reflect on personal goals and gain new skills.

Sessions and Speakers:

  • Risk Management & Key Legal Issues
    Debra Wilson, President, SAIS
  • HR Fundamentals: A Legal Perspective
    Heather Broadwater, Attorney/Partner, Potomac Law Group
  • Fundamentals of Finance and Operations
    Jennifer Osland Hillen, Chief Learning Officer, NBOA
  • The Tie That Binds: Align Your Advancement Efforts
    Penny Abrahams, Consultant, ISM
  • Building an Inclusive Community: The Building Blocks of DEI
    Mark Reed, Managing Director, John M. Belk Endowment
    Brian Wise, Director of Diversity Planning, Charlotte Country Day School
  • Navigating the Crisis Communications Minefield
    Chris Lukach, CEO, AKCG – Public Relations Counselors
  • Panel: Leadership Challenges & Successes
    Sean Corcoran, Head of School, Brainerd Baptist School
    Megan Cover, Head of School, Girls Preparatory School
    Jim McIntyre, Head of School, Father Ryan High School
    Kristin Watts, Head of School, The Bright School
    Scott Wilson, Consultant, ISM / Retired Head of School, Baylor School


SAIS Member School PersonnelNon-Member School Personnel
Through March 18$525 per person$649 per person
After March 18$625 per person$749 per person


The SAIS block is closed. Rooms may still be available online at the regular hotel rate.

NOTE: SAIS does not utilize the services of a housing vendor for any events. Neither SAIS nor the hotel will call you to make reservations over the phone. Please use the above hotel link to secure your reservation directly with the Westin Chattanooga.


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COVID Safety Guidelines

Providing a safe environment for learning is a top priority at SAIS, as it is in your schools. We need your help to achieve this goal. We want to help keep you safe and healthy as we deliver this stellar lineup of speakers and sessions.

  • All participants will be fully vaccinated according to CDC guidelines or will submit a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours of arrival at the event in the event that they need a vaccination accommodation.
  • As safety guidelines continue to shift based on the latest research, case counts, and medical treatments, we will determine our on-site masking and distancing protocols accordingly.
  • Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the SAIS registration desk.

Acknowledgement of Risk and Safety Procedures

Participation in SAIS events signifies an attendee’s acknowledgement of infectious and other diseases and voluntary assumption of the risk of exposure or infection by attending the event. Attendees agree to comply with all guidelines and procedures, including distancing and/or masking, that may be implemented by SAIS, in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and other public health authorities.

Acknowledgement of Intellectual Property

Participants expressly acknowledge the intellectual property of the presenters of this conference and these other terms that are conditions of attendance. This acknowledgement includes the understanding that creating any form of recording, including but not limited to video or audio is a violation of the intellectual property of the speakers as well as a violation of the terms of participation in this event. Participants expressly agree not to independently record, or knowingly let anyone else record, any of the conference sessions in which they participate. Participants will also not share their unique link to the conference platform or the content therein with anyone else. The unique link to the conference platform will be used solely by the participant.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received before March 20 via this form will receive an 80% refund. After that date, replacement registrants are welcomed but no refunds are available. Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis following the conclusion of the event.

Consent to Use of Photographic and Video Images

Registration, attendance at, or participation in SAIS meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to SAIS’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproductions, and audio of such events and activities.


  • For questions about event registration or special accommodations, contact
  • For questions about speakers and sessions, contact
  • For questions about exhibits and sponsorships, contact

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