Institute for Heads | History

Speakers: Rob Evans & Michael Thompson


Westin – Sarasota, FL
Attendees: 27 heads of school / 9 spouses

  • Ending The Great Student Behavior Waiver I: Discipline vs. “Therapizing”
  • Ending The Great Student Behavior Waiver II: Enlisting Parents’ Support
  • Stipends for Everything? Fragile, Fickle, Finicky Faculty
  • Navigating Political Minefields
  • Fostering Effective Board Self-Reflection
  • Head as Mentor: Helping New Administrators Manage Difficult Conversations
  • A Shared Journey: The Spouse’s Perspective
  • How Has Leadership Changed You?


Serenbe – Chatt Hills, GA
Attendees: 21 heads of school / 8 spouses

  • Armoring the Head: Leading Schools in a Polarized Climate
  • The Kids Are Alright: Helping Parents and Teachers See Resilience Instead of Trauma
  • Post-Pandemic Community (Re)building 
  • Motivating—and Marshalling—the Board
  • The Brave New Personnel World: Finding, Keeping, and Supervising Teachers
  • Forks in the Road: What’s Ahead for Me?
  • Married to the Head—and the School: How Spouses and Children Cope 
  • Personal Lessons Learned: Takeaways From Three Unbelievable Years


The Foundry Hotel – Asheville, NC
Attendees: 33 heads of school / 15 spouses

  • The Year of Living Dangerously I (COVID, BLM, Toxic Politics): The Personal Impact
  • The Year of Living Dangerously II: The Impact on the Schoo
  • Testing the Trauma Narrative: The Pandemic and Student Mental Health
  • Helping Parents Back Off: Post-Pandemic Helplessness and Micro-Managing
  • Preventive Troubleshooting: Training Teachers to Be More Effective With Parents
  • Hearing From the Better Half: The Spouse’s Perspective
  • Trustee Tune-Up: Preparing Your Board for What’s Next


Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort – Clearwater, FL
Attendees: 12 heads of school / 6 spouses

  • The Pride and The Burden: Key Dilemmas in Leadership
  • Managing Parent Anxiety, Part 1
  • Managing Parent Anxiety, Part 2
  • Vaping and Juuls: A Sudden New Plague
  • Millennial Faculty and Parents
  • How Enrollment and Finance Impact Dealing With Difficult Students and Parents
  • Hearing From the Better Half: The Spouse’s Perspective
  • Looking Back and Looking Ahead: What’s Been, What’s Next


Renaissance Asheville Hotel – Asheville, NC
Attendees: 14 heads of school / 5 spouses

  • Anxious Parents, Anxious Children
  • Dynamics of Succession and the Secret Search
  • Preventing and Coping with Abuse and Misconduct
  • The Professionalization of School Sports
  • Talking Turkey About Performance with Faculty and Trustees
  • Being Married to the Head and the School: How Spouses Cope
  • Hearing from the Better Half: The Spouse’s Perspective
  • Building and Maintaining a Strong Leadership Team
  • Health, Wellness, and Mindfulness: How Much Should Schools Be Doing?


Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa – Manalapan, FL
Attendees: 14 heads of school / 11 spouses

  • Incoming & Outgoing: Managing Succession
  • Aggressive Parents: The Continuing Challenge
  • Moral – and Practical – Leadership in Toxic Times
  • The Four Dysfunctions of a Board
  • The Professionalization of High School Sports
  • When Death Comes to School: Managing Loss
  • Hearing from the Better Half: Spouse Perspectives
  • Leading in the Trump Era
  • Leadership as Personal Growth


Omni Amelia Island Plantation – Amelia Island, FL
Attendees: 18 heads of school / 14 spouses

  • Enough is Enough: Communication Between School & Parent
  • Herding Cats: Managing the Faculty
  • The Transgender Student: School Response
  • When the Board Forgets Why They Hired You
  • Sexting & Age of Consent: Implications of the St. Paul’s Sexual Assault Case
  • Club Sports, Ambitious Parents, Uncoachable Kids
  • When the Head Goofs: Managing Your Own Mistakes in Public
  • Hearing from the Better Half: Spouse Perspectives
  • The Head as Improviser: Coping with the Unplannable in School Leadership
  • Peak Moment in Leadership
  • The Rewards of Leading


Airlie – Warrenton, VA
Attendees: 16 heads of school / 9 spouses

  • Parents: The Epidemic of Anxiety
  • Mission, Money, and the New Market Realities
  • Keeping Confidences: Holding People’s Lives in Your Hands
  • Dancing with the Chair and Managing the Board
  • Texting, Sexting, Snapchat: Playing Catch-Up with Kids & Technology
  • Parents Who Bully the School
  • Courageous Headship
  • The Rewards of Leading


Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC
Attendees: 17 heads of school

  • Still Lonely at the Top
  • The Head as Generation-Meister: Managing Millennials & Veterans
  • When Adults Behave Badly: The Head as Toxicologist
  • Does Growing Mean Going? Deciding When It’s Time to Leave
  • Leading in The New Age of Uncertainty
  • The Head’s Head: The Psychic Health of the Leader
  • The Professional and Personal Rewards of Headship


Sonesta Hilton Head – Hilton Head, SC
June 25-28, 2012
Attendees: 17 heads of school

  • Power Parents and the Terrible Meek
  • Beyond Metrics and Benchmarks: Talking Straight With Trustees About School Performance
  • Leading Through the Crisis—and the Post­-Crisis
  • Helping Parents Reset Their Utopian Expectations
  • How Long Can I Last?
  • The Professional—and Personal—Rewards of Leadership


One Ocean – Atlantic Beach, FL
June 25-28, 2012
Attendees: 20 heads of school

  • Bully Parents
  • The Culture of Avoidance I: Building True Collegiality
  • The Culture of Avoidance II: Tacking the Tough Personnel Decisions
  • The Head as Retirement Counselor
  • Rewards of Headship
  • Courageous Headship


Crowne Plaza Hilton Head – Hilton Head, SC
June 27-30, 2011
Attendees: 25 heads of school

  • Leadership in the Age of Anxiety
  • Managing Crises I: When Illness, Death, Suicide, etc., Strikes Your School Community
  • When the Board Forgets Why They Hired You
  • Managing Crises II: When Adults Behave Badly
  • Leadership as a Way of Learning About Yourself
  • Rewards of Leading: Personal and Professional Fulfillment


Grand Bohemian Asheville – Asheville, NC
June 27-30, 2010
Attendees: 43 heads of school

  • Managing Morale
  • Making Cuts: The Art—and the Guilt
  • Keeping the Chair You Love (and Managing the One You Don’t)
  • Building Your Team and Training Future Leaders
  • Looking Out for Number One


Endicott House – Dedham, MA
June 29-July 2, 2009
Attendees: 19 heads of school

  • Preventing and Coping With Abuse and Misconduct
  • The Professionalization of School Sports
  • Building and Maintaining A Strong Leadership Team
  • Talking Turkey About Performance With Faculty—and Trustees


Graylyn – Winston-Salem, NC
July 20-23, 2008
Attendees: 23 heads of school

  • The Changing Context of School Leadership
  • The Frustration List: Sharing the Burdens
  • The Changing Customer: Working With Today’s Parents
  • Changing Stewards: Working With the Board
  • Herding Cats: Managing the Independent School Faculty
  • The Head’s Head: The Psychic Health of the Leader
  • Taking Perspective: Dilemmas vs. Problems
  • The Fulfillment List: Sharing the Rewards