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Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 New Heads Network - A Year Long Program
9/16/2019  9:30 am  -  6/16/2020  12:00 pm

Registration is now open!

Click here for the New Heads Network (NHN) brochure. Brochures will be sent to new heads at ISACS schools. If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190.

The New Heads Network is a year-long program supporting new heads of school. Events will take place:

  • Monday, September 16, 2019  in Chicago, IL at the ISACS Classroom
  • Wednesday evening, January 29, 2020 in Chicago, IL in conjunction with Heads Conference, Swissotel
  • Monday, June 15-Tuesday, 16, 2020 in St. Louis, MO, New City School

Who Should Attend
Heads of school in either of their first two years of headship at an ISACS school. Experienced heads new to an ISACS school have participated and found the program beneficial.

Why Attend
Being a head of school is never easy, and it’s particularly challenging at the start of one’s career. The New Heads Network will provide content, skills, and perspective on the headship as the first or second year unfolds. A mentor will be assigned, and there will be opportunities to learn from colleagues and build relationships with other heads. The NHN seeks to:

  • assist new heads in practicing and learning the craft of heading a school;
  • provide a cohort group so new heads can learn with and from one another; and
  • be fun! We will laugh with and enjoy one another!

New Heads Network Faculty


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. Donna also has taught in public schools, twice receiving Intel Corporation’s prestigious Innovation in Teaching award. She authored Diversity in the Christian School, a chapter in the book Building a Better School. Donna currently serves on the ISACS board of trustees.

Lou Salza, MEd retired in July 2018 after serving schools for 45 years. Most recently he served as head of school at Lawrence School (OH) and Assets School (HI). Prior to serving as a head, Lou served as vice principal, teacher, tutor, supervisor, and division head.  His board service includes the National Association of Independent Schools, the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, Glen Urquhart School (MA), Ohio Association of Independent Schools, and the Learning Disabilities Network. Since 2009, he has served as group facilitator at the Harvard Principals Center’s Summer Leadership Institute for mid-career principals and heads.

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). Claudia previously served as executive director of the Elementary School Heads Association and independent school consultant with Gregory Floyd and Associates. She has contributed articles to The Trustees' Letter and The Heads' Letter and a chapter to the latest edition of the NAIS Head Search Handbook.

Benefits to the School
New heads face common challenges, such as building relationships with administrative teams, the board, faculty, parents, and students. Meeting with each other three times during the year—under the guidance of three experienced heads—can help avoid pitfalls and enhance the chances of a strong first year and beyond.

Mentoring Component
Each new head will be paired with an experienced ISACS head. Mentoring opportunities will be provided during the year through telephone calls, emails, and one in-person meeting at the January Heads Conference in Chicago. 

Program Outline
The program will span the course of one year and have three opportunities for new heads to come together from September through June. 

Monday, September 16, 2019
ISACS Classroom, 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702 • Chicago, IL
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • Establishing Oneself as Head
  • Team Success Stories
  • Unpacking Principles of Good Practice for Governance
  • What is work/life balance? Can it be achieved?

​Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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

Monday, June 15 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020
New City School • St. Louis, MO
Time: 9:30 am start on June 15 & 1:00 pm end on June 16

  • Sharing of first-year experiences among the group
  • Sessions on head/board chair relationship, board committees, change, and school culture
  • The Second Year and Beyond

Hotel Accommodations
Attendees must make their own hotel accommodations.

September hotel accommodations
Hotel Monaco
225 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL
ISACS has secured a discounted rate of $239/night at the Hotel Monaco for the night of 9/15. At check-in you will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. To reserve a room, please call 1-800- KIMPTON (1-800-546-7866) and request the ISACS September 2019 group rate or use the group code “J23” by August 20. To book a room online, click here.

Please note that you should make your reservations early. September is a busy month in Chicago. If you have any difficulties booking a room at Hotel Monaco, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190.

For directions to The Hotel Monaco, click here.

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 2020 Heads of School Conference” by Wednesday, January 8. Plan to stay for at least two nights and attend the Heads Conference. Click here for directions to the Swissôtel.

June hotel accommodations
The Chase Park Plaza - Saint Louis, 212 N. Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO
ISACS will obtain a block of rooms and provide participants with reservation information at a later date. Click here for directions to Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Click here for directions to New City School from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Registration Fee
$1850 for September, January, and June meetings, which includes:

  • programming 9/16, 1/29, and 6/15-6/16;
  • breakfast and lunch: 9/16;
  • reception and dinner: 1/29; and 
  • two breakfasts/two lunches/two dinners: 6/15-6/16.

ISACS & NAIS Partnership
The ISACS NHN is a complement to the NAIS Institute for New Heads (INH). INH provides a week-long intensive seminar in July of the heads’ first year. NHN supports that head throughout the year through discussion of application of skills and concepts with NHN colleagues and faculty and a carefully matched mentor. Dual registration is encouraged and offered at a discounted rate. Contact Karen Zeitlin, ISACS Director of Programs for more information.

Financial Assistance
For ISACS members who are planning to register for the NHN only, financial assistance is available for under-resourced schools. Please contact the ISACS office at ISACS, (312) 750-1190.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for the New Heads Network must be submitted 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.

Please contact NAIS regarding their policy for refunds regarding the NAIS INH.

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


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