A Training for New Independent School Board Chairs

Save the Date

April 24 and May 1, 2024
12:00 – 2:45 pm ET

Live, Interactive, Online Program

Presented by:

Program Overview

Who Should Attend?   Incoming Board Chairs who will begin their term as Chair in 2024


April 24, 2024

12:00 – 12:10 pm ET
Welcome from ISCA Executive Director

12:10 – 1:10 pm
Welcome to Your New Role as Board Chair
Cathy Trower, Ph.D.

In this introductory session, we will highlight your new, unique responsibilities as Chair and explore the key leadership skills needed to be effective and successful in your role. We will cover tips for running your very first board meeting and early actions you can take to establish trust and confidence with your board.

1:10 – 1:20 pm

1:20 – 2:35 pm
Building Leadership Skills

Participants will rotate through each of the following 25-minute breakout sessions focusing on the unique roles as Board Chair with facilitators sharing tips and tools to be successful in those roles.

Facilitator:  The Board Chair is the primary facilitator of board meetings, leading important discussions and sometimes acting as consensus builder and conflict manager.  
Facilitated by Oliver (Gil) Prince, ISCA Board of Directors

Board Planner:  Planning the work of the board throughout the year is the primary responsibility of the Chair.  Get some tips on how to organize yourself and your board’s work. 
Facilitated by Samantha Cross, ISCA Board of Directors

Strategic Partner to the Head of School:  What does a good strategic partner look like?  As Board Chair, you will be supporting your HOS in different ways at different times .  You will be a sounding board, thought partner, confidante, and advisor.  
Facilitated by Georgy Ann Peluchiwski, ISCA Board of Directors

2:35 – 2:45
Breakout Session Feedback & Panel Discussion

2:45 pm

May 1, 2024

12:00 – 12:10 pm ET
Welcome from ISCA Executive Director

12:10 – 1:00 pm

Establishing a Healthy Board Culture
Cathy Trower, Ph.D.

As Board Chair, you need to set the tone for the culture of your board.  In this session we will define board culture and why it is important.  You will learn the key dimensions of board culture and how board culture is exhibited.  You will be empowered to create the kind of board dynamics that are essential to high board performance.

1:00 – 1:20 pm
Board Culture Self Assessments

Participants will come to this session having completed a brief self- assessment of their board’s culture.  Dr. Trower will review and discuss the self assessments with a focus on actionable steps Chairs can take to make improvements on board culture.

1:20 – 1:30 pm

1:30  – 2:30 pm

Creating Conditions for Success

In this final session, participants will rotate through the following 20-minute breakout sessions discussing strategies to best address these challenges.

Managing Your Trustees:  Chairs will learn some tips for managing trustees when they act in ways that are contrary to expected good behavior of a trustee.
Facilitated by Lee Dieck, ISCA Board of Directors

Crisis Readiness: We will discuss the role of the Board Chair in a crisis, and ideas about how to prepare your board to respond if and when a crisis arises.
Facilitated by Amy Schneider, ISCA Board of Directors

Cultivating Leadership:  An often overlooked responsibility by Chairs is the mentoring and cultivation of leadership and intentional succession planning.  Learn how to work effectively with your committee chairs and plan for your successor.
Facilitated by Lynn Wendell, ISCA Board of Directors

2:30 – 2:45
Breakout Session Feedback & Panel Discussion

Complimentary for current ISCA members
$150.00 for non-members*  

*Registrants can apply this fee towards ISCA membership for the ’24 – ’25 year when joining ISCA before June 30, 2024. 

About Our Presenters

Cathy Trower, Ph.D.  is one of the nation’s leading experts on non-profit board governance.  She has worked extensively with independent schools, universities and colleges as well as health care institutions and other community service organizations.  Dr. Trower has more than 30 years of experience in non-profit board governance.  She is the former Senior Research Associate and Research Director at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of “The Practitioner’s Guide to Governance as Leadership” and is current Chair of the BoardSource Board of Directors.  Dr. Trower has been a valued ally of ISCA having presented previously at our fall governance conference and contributing monthly to our Online Forum discussions.

Samantha Cross Retired from 15-year career at Gap, Inc. having worked in some of the company’s most dynamic geographies including Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and London, UK where she was integral to the company’s international expansion. Immediate Past Board Chair of Marin Primary & Middle School, Larkspur, CA.  She served 6 years as Chair and 12 years on the Board in total as Chair, trustee and Parents Association President.   Sam serves on ISCA’s Board of Directors as a member of the Program Committee.

Eileen (Lee) Mulry Dieck, M.D., practiced internal medicine until 2001 when she retired to care for her family. In 2004, she joined the faculty of The Masters School where she has held a variety of positions. She recently retired from the Masters School as the Ethical Leadership Coordinator, directing programs for students and faculty alike. Lee has served on a number of non-for-profit boards, including that of Northern Westchester Hospital, the Alumni Board of New York Medical College, where she is a past president and the Character Collaborative.  She is the Chair Emerita of the board of Professional Children’s School where she continues to serve as a trustee. A founding member of Heart of Character, a non-profit providing professional development for educators to promote well-being, academic success, and positive character development in schools, Lee serves as their board chair. Lee also serves on ISCA’s Board of Directors as a Vice President and Co-Chair of the Program Committee.

Georgy Ann Peluchiwski  is a Partner at Greenwich Leadership Partners who brings three decades of experience spanning financial services, non-profit board service, and independent school leadership.  She serves as a consultant and coach, advising boards, executive directors and heads of school. She serves as Faculty for the GLP Women’s Leadership Summit.  Her areas of expertise include governance, finance, strategic planning, organizational design, and enterprise risk management.  She served for 12 years as a Trustee at the Latin School of Chicago including four years as Board Chair.  She  serves on ISCA’s Board of Directors as a member of the Program Committee.

Oliver (Gil) Prince is Principal at the Prince Group providing executive coaching, strategic planning, leader/organization development, and governance consulting services.  Prior corporate experience as an operations/process transformation executive and Chief Human Resources Officer.  Gil is also an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University and current Director at the Old Town School of Music in Chicago, IL.  Gil is the former Board Chair and current Trustee at Asheville School, Asheville, NC.  He served 5 years as Board Chair and 23 years as a Trustee of Asheville School.

Amy Schneider is retired from a career as a classical mezzo-soprano, voice teacher, and faculty member at Stanford University, North Dakota State University, Boston University and The Board University Tanglewood Institute.  Amy is the immediate Past Board Chair of Keys School, Palo Alto, CA.  She served as a Trustee for 6 years, including 4 years as Chair.  Amy serves on ISCA’s Board of Directors as a member of the Program Committee.

Lynn Wendell has been advising many independent school boards and nonprofit boards for the past 14 years. Her work focuses on board governance, board chair coaching, board development, strategic planning, head transition and many other board topics. Lynn served on the boards of trustees of three San Francisco independent schools, including serving a 5-year term as Board Chair of San Francisco University High School and now is Trustee Emerita. Lynn has presented at several conferences for the California Association of Independent Schools and currently serves on the ISCA Board of Directors as a Vice President and  Co-Chair of the Program Committee.