Seminars for Ongoing Learning in School Governance

These workshops have been developed for the use of NJAIS members only and are not to be downloaded, copied, used, or distributed without permission.



Seminars for Ongoing Learning in School Governance 

For: Board of Trustee Members of Independent Schools and School Leadership Teams


Hosted via:


School governance is complex, demanding, and incredibly rewarding work.  This series of workshops serves to continue your growth as a Trustee, Head of School, or School Leader in order to support your school in an ongoing and informed manner.  


Individual Session Fees include a $25 per person discount for schools that participate in Trustee Enrichment Day on Sunday, November 14, 2021

$50 per registrant, Member Schools that Attended Trustee Enrichment Day

$75 per registrant, all other Member Schools

$150 per registrant, Non-Member Schools


Each individual session is listed below:


Wednesday, February 23, 2022; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Cybercrime and the Latest Threats

Target Audience: Board Members, Heads of School, Finance Officers, and Technology Coordinators

This session will outline pragmatic steps your school can take to make your network less vulnerable. The first half of the session will provide a broad overview for Heads, Trustees, CFOS, Tech Leaders, and all other Schools Leaders, while the second half will provide a deeper dive most applicable to IT and Tech Directors.  Topics covered include but are not limited to Report from the field: The Latest Attack Trends,  Cyber Attack Costs for Schools, Cyber Insurance Guidelines, Assessing Your Network, 10 Must Haves, and Advanced Security measures.

Presented by:
Michael Charalambous
is the CIO/CISO of Promenet Inc., a leading IT consulting and cybersecurity firm located in NYC’s Financial District. Mr. Charalambous oversees Promenet’s IT operations, and is highly regarded across the NY-metropolitan area as a leader in the cybersecurity field. He brings more than 25 years of experience and a wide range of specializations, including network architecture, voice and unified communications, security, and wireless environments. Mr. Charalambous holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering, as well as numerous network and security certifications. He also has extensive experience with both small- and large-scale solutions tailored specifically for elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions.


Please register in advance for this experience:


Thursday, February 24, 2021; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Head of School and Board Annual Evaluations 

Target Audience: Independent School Boards of Trustees and Heads of School

Annual Head and annual board evaluation are two crucial functions of governing boards. Head evaluation should be spearheaded by the Head Support Committee and board evaluation by the Committee on Trustees. To undertake these functions carefully and thoughtfully requires thinking through the protocols. Who should be involved? What are the real goals? Which procedures are healthy and which ones are potentially unhealthy or possibly dangerous This session will explore the patterns schools are using now for both head and board evaluation and offer suggestions of best practice leading to outcomes that are helpful, fair, honest and safe.

Presented by:
John Littleford
founded Littleford & Associates in 1994, and has consulted regularly with over 7,000 schools worldwide.  He was Head of School for 18 years, a teacher for 25 years, and a Board member and Chair of schools and nonprofit agencies.  He has written and spoken extensively worldwide on each area of the firm's consulting expertise. John Littleford is the co-author, with Valerie Lee, of the book, "Faculty Salary Systems in Independent Schools.”  This landmark publication on this topic was published by NAIS from 1983-94. His articles on the career ladder concept of faculty compensation are found in Larry Frase's book, entitled "Teacher Motivation and Compensation,”  published in 1992 by the Technomic Press. Littleford & Associates  may have the largest and most accurate database in the world on Head compensation and has been retained since 1983 by thousands of schools worldwide by Boards to benchmark Head of School compensation.  Mr. Littleford earned his B.A. degree from Dickinson College, Critical Language degree from Princeton University, M.A. from Harvard University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Harvard University.


Please register in advance for this experience:



Completed Programs

Wednesday, February 16, 2022; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

What are the Boundaries of the Schoolhouse Gate in Today’s Virtual World? 

Target Audience: Independent School Board Members, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams

Given the prevalent use of social media sites by faculty and students, the authority of independent schools over such activities has become blurred and complicated. Today, school officials not only have to concern themselves with pupil and faculty conduct on school grounds, but they must also worry about the impact that off-school campus conduct has on the reputation of the school and the potentially negative impact that it has on its own population. The session will explore the rights and responsibilities of independent schools to address such off-campus conduct and to help more clearly define the boundaries of the schoolhouse gate.

Presented by:
Marc Zitomer
chairs the School Law Practice Group at Schenck Price LLP. He is a member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and has served on the Firm’s Management Committee since 2014. In his diversified practice, Marc counsels public, independent schools and institutions of higher education throughout New Jersey and the United States in all facets of school law. School trustees and administrators routinely seek his advice in complex and ever-evolving areas of law. As an experienced education law attorney, he represents schools of varying sizes and complexity.  In addition, Marc has a comprehensive employment law background and he counsels large and small companies and their executives on a variety of matters. In this capacity, he also assists management in conducting investigations into employee misconduct. Further, Marc helps draft legal documents and policies that govern the employer-employee relationship. Marc is frequently called upon to lecture at both the State and national levels on important legal matters affecting management because of his vast depth of knowledge and experience. He conducts training sessions on numerous employment law topics, including sexual harassment in the workplace, The Americans with Disabilities Act, The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, The Family & Medical Leave Act and New Jersey’s Whistleblower Law, and conducting effective internal investigations.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

The Economics of a Small Liberal Arts Institution

Target Audience: Board Members, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams

President Jacobsen will discuss the financial challenges and opportunities involved in running a small educational institution. Between demographic change, affordability concerns, calls for increased access to higher education, governmental regulations, and student expectations for a certain level of services and facilities, running an educational institution is a fiscal balancing act. That said, small colleges and many independent schools have been remarkably resilient in weathering hard times, remaining nimble and continuing to be a significant part of the education landscape and local economies.

Presented by:
In July 2019, Joyce P. Jacobsen began serving as the 29th President of Hobart College and the 18th of William Smith College. She is the first woman to serve as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Previously the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wesleyan University, Jacobsen is a renowned scholar of economics, an award-winning teacher and an experienced administrator with more than three decades of experience taking on increasingly complex roles in higher education. As president of Hobart and William Smith, Jacobsen has overseen the two largest fundraising years in the Colleges’ history, developed a strategic vision and a plan of work to make that vision a reality, and successfully navigated the pandemic, allowing the Colleges to remain open for in-person instruction. With a deep understanding of the complexities of higher education infrastructure and finances, she has balanced the budget and created a sustainable model for operations moving forward. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York and a member of the NCAA Division III Chancellor/Presidents Advisory Group. Jacobsen earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with her A.B. in economics as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She began her academic career in 1988 as an assistant professor at Rhodes College before going to Wesleyan University in 1993. She earned full professor at Wesleyan in 2000, and was awarded an endowed chair as Andrews Professor of Economics in 2003. She was the recipient of the University’s prestigious Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2007. She began her work as an administrator in 2013 when she was appointed Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives at Wesleyan, and then Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2015. An expert on labor economics, particularly the economics of gender, Jacobsen is the author of scores of journal articles and book chapters exploring sex segregation, migration and the effects of labor force intermittency on women’s earnings, among other topics, as well as the economics of wine and other collectibles. Her books include Advanced Introduction to Feminist Economics, The Economics of Gender, Queer Economics: A Reader (co-edited with Adam Zeller) and Labor Markets and Employment Relationships (with Gilbert L. Skillman). Jacobsen has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Colorado College and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where she held the Jantina Tammes Chair in Gender Studies. She has consulted for the World Bank, the ACLU and other nonprofit organizations. She served as editor of Eastern Economic Journal and on the editorial boards of a number of professional journals. Jacobsen was President of the International Association for Feminist Economics, served as a member of the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, and is currently an elected board member of the Eastern Economic Association.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Recruiting for Board Diversity Workshop

Target Audience: Independent School Board Members and Heads of School

Ensuring the strength and health of an independent school board is one of the most important areas of focus for school leaders; without engaged board members who can think strategically and work collaboratively, boards can struggle to be effective. Furthermore, we know that diverse groups make better decisions than groups composed of members with similar perspectives. Yet many boards find it difficult to identify and recruit board members who bring a diversity of perspective. Often, this is because they are not following a process that clearly identifies who they have, who they need, and who they want. An objective recruitment strategy minimizes bias and helps board members think beyond parents for potential board candidates. In this workshop, consultant Brooke Carroll of Acies Strategies presents a recruitment process that has supported many schools in expanding and diversifying their boards. It includes steps for identifying the characteristics, skills, and perspectives needed as well as suggestions for where to find and how to recruit prospective board members. Participants will leave this workshop with a framework that they can implement immediately for enhancing their board recruitment process.


Presented by:
Brooke Carroll
, Ph.D. is Principal Consultant and Coach at Acies Strategies, supporting small and mid-sized schools and nonprofits in leadership development, Board development, and strategic thinking and planning. Dr. Carroll holds a doctorate in educational psychology and has over 20 years of experience leading schools and nonprofits. She has served on several Boards in various roles. Prior to consulting and coaching, Dr. Carroll was Head of School for 9 years at Seneca Academy, an International Baccalaureate World School. Dr. Carroll combines her experience and expertise in education, leadership, and therapy to listen carefully to individuals and groups in order to support personal as well as systemic health and growth. She specializes in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities of small and new organizations.


Wednesday, January 19, 2022; 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

A Case Study in Rebranding, Engagement, and Media Coverage Process

The Newark School That Could: $100 Million Campaign Success

Target Audience: Independent School Board Members, Heads of School, Advancement Professionals, and MarCom Professionals

Many thought St. Benedict's Prep, a Catholic school run by the Benedictine monks in Central Newark, closed its doors forever in 1972. Despite enormous odds, St. Benedict's reopened with 90 students in 1973 with the radical idea of putting kids in charge of the School. It worked. Today, St. Benedict's serves 900+ students and is widely known as a beacon for urban education with features on "60 Minutes" and The New York Times. St. Benedict's will soon announce the successful conclusion of a $100 million campaign, Forever Benedict's, involving 10,000 donors and two key initiatives: funding to bolster the School's endowment and Annual Fund. Advancement personnel planning ambitious fundraising campaigns won't want to miss this panel discussion for inspiration, as well as practical insights applicable to your own institution. Session will cover: structuring the campaign for success, donor engagement, comprehensive communication strategies, lessons learned, and more. 

Presented by: Kristen Volkland, President/Owner Erbach Communications Group, Kathy Noyes, Vice President Erbach Communications Group, Cindy Tavlin, Vice President of Creative Operations Erbach Communications Group, Michael Fazio, Chief Advancement Officer St. Benedict's Prep


Tuesday, January 11, 2022; 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Good to Great: Access, Equity, and Institutional Transformation 

Target Audience: Independent School Board Members, Heads of School, and School Leadership Teams

Educational institutions have legacies both to maintain and to create.  In this session, former college President and Interim Chancellor Barry Mills will discuss the policies, practices, and partnerships that allowed him to transform one school’s reputation from notable to exceptional and to dedicate himself to another by stabilizing the finances and securing a lasting campus for higher learning. 

Presented by:
Barry Mills
served as the fourteenth president of Bowdoin College (2001-2015). He was inaugurated in October 2001, as the college was beginning its 200th academic year. During his tenure, President Mills underscored the primacy of Bowdoin’s academic program and worked with the faculty to redefine a liberal arts education for the 21stt century. Under his leadership, the college also successfully recommitted itself to the goal of expanding ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic diversity among students and employees.  Improved opportunity and access to Bowdoin was a constant priority of the Mills administration. Mills repeatedly declared financial aid fundraising to be the single most important initiative at the college. In 2008, the college announced the replacement of student loans with grants for all students receiving financial aid, beginning with the 2008-09 academic year. Mills also initiated a comprehensive campus master planning study to guide future development on the campus. He worked to bolster the humanities and to strengthen and increase support for the arts at the college, completing a major expansion and renovation of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; a conversion of the Curtis Pool building into the Studzinski Recital Hall and 280-seat Kanbar Auditorium; and a complete renovation of the former Longfellow Elementary School into the new Edwards Center for Art and Dance. Student residential life was also improved during the Mills presidency through the construction of new residence halls and the renovation of existing residential facilities. The Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness and the Sidney J. Watson Ice Arena both opened during the Mills presidency, and the college also established the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good. Bowdoin’s endowment — of which nearly half is restricted to support for financial aid — continued to grow during Mills’s tenure, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time in June 2013, and reaching $1.4 billion by the time Mills stepped down in June 2015. President Mills successfully led “The Bowdoin Campaign,” a five-year fundraising effort that concluded in June 2009. The campaign, which exceeded its goal of $250 million, enhanced Bowdoin's academic program by adding faculty and by focusing resources on the faculty/student experience, faculty scholarship, and the intellectual life of the college. The Bowdoin College also acquired significant additional space for the future during the Mills presidency, adding 175 acres of developable land following the closure of the nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station. Mills, who earned a PhD in biology at Syracuse University and a law degree from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Tone Scholar, previously served as the deputy presiding partner of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, one of the nation's preeminent international law firms. He joined the firm in 1979, and became a partner in 1986. Born in Providence, RI, Mills graduated in 1968 from Pilgrim High School in Warwick, RI. A dean's list student at Bowdoin, Mills graduated cum laude with a double major in biochemistry and government. He earned his doctorate in biology at Syracuse University. Mills’s wife, Karen Gordon Mills, served as the administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Obama Administration. Their three sons—William, Henry, and George—all graduated from Brunswick High School. Mills was a member of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees from 1994 until 2000. In March 2017, he was named deputy chancellor and chief operating officer at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Four months later, he was named interim chancellor at the school, a post he held until stepping down in the summer of 2018.


Tuesday, December 7, 2021; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Building a Stronger Board and School: 
Unpacking the Work of the Governance Committee

Target Audience: Board Members and Heads of School 

Whether you are new to your Governance Committee, an experienced hand, or just keen on school governance, it’s important to periodically review the core responsibilities of this essential Board Committee. We’ll discuss the Governance Committee’s charter and duties and unpack each one with practical examples and tips informed by best practices, research and one school’s experience. This virtual session will be interactive so that we can learn from one another. 

Presented by:
Jefferson Burnett
is a vice president at the National Association of Independent Schools where he leads the Global Initiatives Team. He also tracks global and national trends that are relevant to the independent school community and works with his independent school association colleagues on accreditation issues. Jefferson is a graduate of St. George’s School (RI), Sherborne School (UK), Columbia College (NY), and the University of Cambridge (UK). He serves as the vice chair of the board and co-chair of the Governance Committee at the Washington International School (DC).

Melissa Mileff Burnett is a design professional specializing in residential interiors and historic decorative arts. In addition to providing design services to private clients, she has also curated for the Textile Museum, in Washington, DC, and the Monterey History and Arts Association, in Monterey, CA.  Melissa has served on several nonprofit boards, including the Monterey Museum of Art, the American Institute of Architects, and the National Architectural Accrediting Board, and has advised other arts, educational, and political organizations. Currently, she serves as a Trustee of the Washington International School, in Washington, DC, and on the Board of Transformer, a nonprofit that supports emerging artists. Melissa holds a MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from Parsons School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma.