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2017 Institute for Heads
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All heads are invited to join us for year 10 of this stimulating and unique retreat designed for both the head and spouse.


This energizing and nurturing retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing school heads and spouses. Featuring Rob Evans and Michael ThompsonClick here for a printable flyer.


  • Incoming & Outgoing: Managing Succession
  • Aggressive Parents: The Continuing Challenge
  • Moral – and Practical – Leadership in Toxic Times
  • The Four Dysfunctions of a Board
  • Leadership as Personal Growth


June 27-30, 2017 (Starts with lunch at 12 noon on Tuesday; ends just prior to lunch at 12 noon on Friday.)


Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa | 100 South Ocean Blvd | Manalapan (Palm Beach), FL

Situated on a private beach on seven acres of oceanfront, guests are welcomed with champagne, breathtaking ocean views, and cooling tropical breezes.  Miles away from mainstream, the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa radiates new-fashioned Palm Beach luxury.  Indulge in the warm Florida sunshine, sumptuous accommodations, your own private cabana, and the award-winning Eau Spa.  Every guestroom provides the backdrop for effortless living, with stylish, custom-made interiors and earth-saving technologies.  Retreat in style to your private balcony and engage your senses with refreshing breezes, the rhythmic sounds of the ocean, and stunning vistas.  Submerge into comfort at night and rise  into your next day of adventure and play.


The award-winning Eau Spa is a magical playground that goes beyond the expected -- a 42,000 square foot wonderland where fairy tales come true and wishing wells are for real.  A sublime retreat with a distinct setting and surprising touches throughout, the Eau Spa focuses on sensory experiences with dashes of wet, wit, and wonder.  Make your spa plans in advance here. Advance reservations suggested. SAIS attendees receive a 10% discount on spa services.

View more resort photos here.

Recent Resort Awards:

  • AAA Five-Diamond Award 2015
  • Conde’ Nast Readers' Choice Awards - #1 Resort in Florida
  • Eau Spa - Forbes Five-Star Award 2015
  • Travel + Leisure: World’s Best Award 2013
  • Travel + Leisure: Top 50 Resorts in North America 2013
  • Conde’ Nast Readers’ Choice 2013: Best in the World for Top 40 Resorts in Florida
  • Conde’ Nast Top 25 Spas in the World - 2014

Nearby Dining & Shopping:

  • Worth Avenue in Palm Beach is a shopper’s – and people watcher’s – paradise with windowfuls of vintage clothing, antiques, and high-fashion in store.
  • Downtown Delray Beach – Just a short drive away, downtown Delray Beach offers unique shops and fabulous restaurants.
  • Cityplace West Palm Beach– Visit downtown West Palm Beach where the shopping is plentiful and the restaurant & bar scene is innovative and exciting.




   SAIS Member School
 Non-Member School
 Through May 26
 $2,495  $2,799  $995
 May 27 - June 16
 $2,745  $3,079  $1,085
 After June 16
 $3,015  $3,379  $1,175



These optional sessions offer an opportunity to look at the personal side of leadership: the challenges of being the “first couple,” the particular burdens for spouses, partners, and children of heads, and so on. In past years, these discussions have been particularly rich. Whenever indicated, we will modify the topics to respond to a particular theme that emerges during the main institute discussions.


Group rate $229 per night for run-of-house/resort view (side view of ocean from balcony).  Upgrade to oceanview for $279 or oceanfront for $329 (based on availability).  You may make your hotel reservation online or by calling 1-855-388-0537 and asking for the SAIS rate. The cut-off date for this rate is June 5. Please note that the group rate is available three days before and after the event, based on availability. If you would like to upgrade your view, arrive early, or stay over, your reservation must be made by phone. There is no resort fee. Included with your room rate:

  • Beach bag & flip flops
  • Bottled water
  • Wi-fi
  • Keurig
  • Champagne upon arrival
  • Fitness center


  • Check-in 4 PM
  • Check-out 12 PM


  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) - 12 miles.
  • Ft. Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) - 42 miles.
  • Miami International Airport (MIA) - 63 miles.


Area Map:


Valet parking is available at a discounted group rate of $20/day.


Tweet us @SAISnews! The official Twitter hashtag is #saisIH. Be sure to tag us when tweeting your event experience.


Special group reduced rate of $20/day for valet parking.


  • The facilitators created a safe space for us all to connect, share, and get to know one another.
  • It was great for me to have my wife hear some of the things we deal with on a daily basis and great for her to have other spouses with whom she could share.
  • The IH serves for me as both an excellent heads conference and three days of therapy!
  • Best conference I have gone to in years. Michael and Rob are great, and the size was perfect. We got to know each other and people could contribute without being left out, which often happens in larger settings.
  • Nothing better after the school year is over than a retreat with Rob and Michael, in the nurturing SAIS environment.
  • The IH is a place where my spouse has an equal and valued voice. There is no other event like it.
  • I always leave the IH feeling like I received at least twice the value of what I invested in time and money.
  • Excellent program! Dynamic, engaging presenters and great connections with colleagues.
  • With superb facilitators and impressive colleagues, the institute was a fabulous way to reflect on our roles from the "50,000 foot" perspective, while also recharging for the next year.
  • Absolutely the most helpful meeting of colleagues I have ever been involved in as a head.
  • Michael and Rob are the best facilitators around and they get people to share ideas, thoughts, concerns, etc. in a way that is incredibly supportive and helpful. Their presentations are also excellent but it is actually the facilitating ‐ getting the heads to share and learn from each other, which is extraordinary.
  • I came away refreshed, recharged and excited to return to my school. After 13 years as a head of school, this institute was wonderfully re-energizing.
  • I simply cannot say enough of the impact this made on me and my wife. It gave me understanding, guidance, and most important, strength to cope with a demanding job.
  • For the heads – and the spouses – Rob and Michael created a space for deep reflection, spontaneous laughter, and warm fellowship with new friends. Next year's dates are already in my calendar!
  • My wife really enjoys this conference. She needs this as much as I do. The fact she can connect with others in the same situation is wonderful for her.
  • This was the best conference/retreat I have ever attended, and I recommend it enthusiastically, not only because of the quality time with Rob and Michael, but also because of the interaction with fellow heads of school.
  • Rob and Michael are very receptive to the group dynamic and adjust to it as needed. The fact that they are both psychologists adds an important dimension to the institute.
  • This Institute has allowed my wife and me to return to school refreshed and armed to navigate the natural unavoidable dilemmas that are inherent in independent school communities.
  • This gathering of experienced heads of school is a must for any mid‐career head of school. It truly is a refresher, inspiration, and affirmation of what we do.
  • My wife felt that she was no longer alone in feeling the way she does about my job.
  • I really got a glimpse into my husband's world. Also, everything that I feel as a head's spouse was suddenly validated. It offered a great sense of relief.
  • Good way for my husband to learn that what we experience is typical and goes with the territory.
  • My wife not only felt that she understood my role in the school with more clarification, but felt the institute also greatly added benefit to her profession in the corporate world.


  • This institute is specifically designed to be relevant to spouses as well as heads.
  • It offers a chance for both heads and spouses to learn from and connect with others who share the same role.
  • In addition to a specific session that focuses on the "first couple" and sustaining a healthy marriage, other sessions frequently touch on themes that relate to the spouse's role or that help spouses understand the larger context of issues facing heads.
  • Spouses are welcome to attend every session, or just some, and to participate in the discussion.
  • Typically about half of the attendees bring spouses, and half attend solo.


Business casual (erring on the side of casual) is always safe with us. We want you to be comfortable. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweater in case you find the meeting room chilly. We tend to skew cooler rather than warmer. 


If you require any special accommodations, please contact


Please contact or (404) 561-5841 with any questions about this event.


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received in writing to 21 days prior to the event will be refunded less a 20% processing fee. After that date no refunds are available.

Consent to Use of Photo / Video / Audio:  Registration, attendance at, or participation in SAIS meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to SAIS’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproductions, and audio of such events and activities.

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