Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Academy for Division Heads
Pat Bassett and Holly Elissa Bruno

February 9 - 10, 2012

Hotel Palomar
505 N. State Street
Chicago, IL

The Academy will begin at 9:30 am on Thursday February 9 and will end by 3:00 pm on Friday, February 10th. Click here to view an updated agenda.

The role of division head is both rewarding and challenging and ISACS is committed to supporting division heads as you serve in this essential role.  Please make plans to gather with other division heads for two days of conversation with exceptional leadership experts who will expand your thinking while developing your leadership  skills. Academy participants will work with leadership expert Holly Elissa Bruno, author, radio host and "recovering" attorney, as she helps you live true to your promise as a leader. Leaders are supposed to be "all things to all people", knowing how to face daunting issues and challenging people. The truth is, most of us wish we could  honestly and confidentially share and find answers to what stumps us, bothers us, engages us and inspires us. Holly Elissa Bruno will be there to offer answers, strategies and guidance in the development of leadership skills at all levels.

Day two of the Academy for Division Heads will be spent with NAIS president, Pat Bassett.  Pat will be sharing the most current information about the top ten trends for leaders to ponder. Pat will articulate, ruminate, and engage in conversation about the critical challenges and opportunities facing American education in general and independent school education in particular.  In part two of his presentation, he will address the issues of institutional vision, including the five sustainabilities: demographic, financial, environmental, global, and programmatic. He will offer a framework for schools of the future, composed of four essential questions that schools of the future must address.


For those who are interested, we will also host a discussion on Wednesday evening where both new and experienced division heads can discuss topics of interest,  share resources and benefit from the perspective of other divisional leaders.  You may also take advantage of an additional presentation offered by Pat Bassett on Friday morning where he will discuss issues related to the qualities and skills of the successful Head of an independent school.  This is a conversation designed for Division Heads whose schools are currently looking for a new Head of School, whose schools have recently hired a new Head of School, or who are themselves interested in future leadership opportunities.  Both of these opportunities are included in your registration fee.

On Thursday evening, join your colleagues at an evening activity.  As part of your registration fee,join your colleagues for a docent-led tour of the Art Institute and/or dinner at Quartino's.  Transportation provided.


This event is designed specifically for division heads and we look forward  to welcoming you back or meeting you for the first time.  

Featured speakers
•    Holly Elissa Bruno
•    Patrick F. Bassett

Click here to view featured speaker bios.


Wednesday February 8 - Optional Forum Discussion
On Wednesday evening February 8th from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, ISACS will host an optional forum discussion at the Hotel Palomar:

 “Division Head Forum” -  A spirited conversation for new and veteran division heads who are looking to share experience, perspective, and expertise.  Members of the Administrative Service Committee -- Peg Bailey (Breck School, MN), Lars Kuelling (Canterbury School, IN), and Heidi Newman (Sayre School, KY) -- will facilitate the discussion.  

There is no additional fee for this optional discussion. If you plan to attend the panel discussion, please select it during the online registration process. Pre-registration is required.

Thursday Evening Activity – February 9, 2012
All registrants are invited to attend an docent-led tour of the Art Institute of Chicago followed by dinner at Quartino’s. It will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting.
•    Docent-led Art Tour at the Art Institute of Chicago: 5:15 pm (and will last one hour)*
•    Dinner: 6:45 pm at Quartino
•    Transportation will be provided from Hotel Palomar to Art Institute and the Art Institute to Quartino. Quartino is two blocks from the Hotel Palomar and we request that you walk back to the hotel after dinner. Transportation departs from the Hotel Palomar promptly at 5:00 pm.

* As of January 23, tickets have been purchased for the Art Institute docent led tour. There is still space available for the dinner portion of the evening activity. Registration is required; please register for the dinner only option during online registration.

The cost is included in your registration fee for the Academy for Division Heads. If you plan to register a spouse/guest, please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244 as there will be an additional charge.

The Academy for Division Heads will take place at the Hotel Palomar, 505 North State Street in Chicago. Located in the River North area of Chicago, the Hotel Palomar is located near the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue. Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Palomar include: a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening wine reception in the living room. Guests must join the Kimpton InTouch program (which is free of charge) to receive wireless internet access in guest rooms and common areas.

For more details on the Hotel Palomar, visit

Click here for directions to the Hotel Palomar.

Hotel Reservations
Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Palomar: $149/night plus tax (single or double occupancy) for the nights of February 8 – February 9. To make a reservation call 1-800-KIMPTON and use Group Code: "ISACS Academy for Division Heads." For online hotel reservations click here to reserve your room and select appropriate dates on the Palomar's website. The discounted rate is available until Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Valet parking at the Hotel Palomar is $18 for daily event parking (not overnight) and $48 for overnight parking for hotel guests with full in-and-out privileges. (Hybrid vehicles receive a 25% discount.) There are other parking garages in the area that may offer less expensive rates.

Registration Fee
•    $550 Member
•    $625 Non Member
•    First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $50 discount
•    Registration fee includes 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches and  the evening activity on February 9th
•    Please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244 if you would like to attend only one day of the Academy

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the Academy for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-255-1244.



Member Cost: $550     Non-member Cost: $625


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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