Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


New Heads Network - January 30, 2019
Thomas R. Hoerr, Donna Harris & Claudia Daggett

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Chicago, IL

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019 as part of the New Heads Network (NHN), please join your colleagues for a reception, dinner, and program with mentors on the eve of the start of the 2019 Heads Conference. Preregistration for this event is required as part of the 2018-19 New Heads Network.

Click here for a digital copy of the NHN brochure.

Please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 if you have questions regarding the New Heads Network.

This is a year-long priogram supporting new heads of school. Events will take place:

  • Monday, September 17, 2018 in Chicago, IL
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Chicago, IL
  • NEW DATES - Monday, June 17 - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in St. Louis, MO

For more information on the New Heads Network including who should attend and goals and objectives, please click here.

New Heads Network Faculty

Thomas R. Hoerr, PhD is the emeritus head of the New City School (MO) and retired after 34 years leading the school. Previously he worked as a teacher and principal and created and led the Washington University program in non-profit management. He is a Scholar In Residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, working in the Educational Leadership program, teaching prospective principals. Tom is the author of five books, his newest being The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Students Need. He has written over 140 articles, including the “Principal Connection” column in Educational Leadership since 2004. Tom has led the ISACS New Heads Network for eight years, since its founding, and served on the ISACS board of trustees. He is a board member of the North Side Community Charter School and facilitates the ASCD Multiple Intelligences Professional Interest Community. Tom is an enthusiastic, but poor, basketball player.

Donna Harris, EdD has served as president of Minnehaha Academy (MN), a PK-12 Christian school, since 2009. Previously Donna served as the assistant superintendent and chief academic officer at Valley Christian Schools, a K-12 school. Prior to her work in independent schools, Donna taught in public schools, twice receiving Intel Corporation’s prestigious Innovation in Teaching award. Donna has presented on topics such as project-based learning, integration of technology, governance, strategic planning, and school improvement. She authored Diversity in the Christian School, a chapter in the book Building a Better School. Donna has served on the board of trustees at North Park University and the Minnesota Independent School Forum. She currently serves on the  board of trustees for ISACS and the Ordway Center of Performing Arts.

Claudia Daggett, MSEd joined ISACS as president in 2014. She began her independent school career as a teacher at The Prairie School (WI) and has served in a variety of leadership roles including 11 years as head of school at Friends Academy (MA). Following her departure from headship in 2006, Claudia served as executive director of the Elementary School Heads Association and independent school consultant with Gregory Floyd and Associates. She currently serves on the boards of the National Network of Schools in Partnership and the Independent School Association Network (ISANet) and is a member of the NAIS Commission on Accreditation. She is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences on the topics of independent school leadership, governance, and school civic engagement. She has contributed articles to the The Trustees' Letter and The Heads' Letter and a chapter to the latest edition of the NAIS Head Search Handbook.

Program for ​Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Swissôtel Chicago • Chicago, IL
Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • Reception, dinner, and discussion with mentors on the eve of the start of the heads conference

January Hotel Accommodations
Swissôtel Chicago  
323 East Wacker Drive • Chicago, IL

ISACS has secured a discounted rate of $157/night. To reserve a room, call (312) 565-0565 and request the group code: “ISACS 2019 Heads of School Conference” by Tuesday, January 2. Plan to stay for at least two nights and attend the Heads Conference. Click here for directions to the Swissôtel.

Hotel Directions and Parking
Click here for directions and parking information for the Swissotel.

Ground Transportation
A special rate has been negotiated on your behalf for GO Airport Express. Reservations MUST be made online to receive the discounted rate.  Walk-ups will not be eligible for convention rate, standard rates will apply. Please click here to access their website and begin your reservation to reserve a seat. It will provide a 15% discount. Credit cards are required and charged at the time of reservation. 

Registration Fee
A new head must be registered for the entire New Heads Network to attend the Wednesday evening, January 30 program.

We also encourage the new head to attend the 2019 Heads Conference, January 30- February 1, 2019. New heads participants will pay a $300 registration fee instead of the $600 registration fee for the Heads Conference. New Heads Network registrants must register for the Heads Conference separately. ISACS staff will email New Head Network registrants with a coupon code for the $300 registration fee when the 2019 Heads Conference registration opens in fall 2018. 

Click here for more information and to register for the 2019 Heads Conference, which will open in fall 2018.

Questions? Call the ISACS office (312) 750-1190.




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