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2017 Institute for New Heads
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We hope you'll plan to join us for the ninth year of this institute designed for those new to headship.


The INH is an opportunity for those in the beginning years of headship to explore the fundamental responsibilities of the head and meet other new heads.

The sessions will be facilitated by a cadre of experienced independent school leaders, including:

  • Jack Hall, head of The Walker School
  • Kirk Walker, president of SAIS
  • Scott Wilson, president of Baylor School
  • Brett Jacobsen, head of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

We will work through topics and case studies relative to:

  • leadership style
  • board recruitment & development
  • personnel issues
  • educating parents
  • managing the media
  • strategic planning
  • finance & budgeting
  • fundraising


Wednesday-Friday, June 21-23, 2017

  • Registration is from 12:30-1:00 PM on Wednesday, June 21.
  • The first session will begin at 1:00 PM; please arrive no later than 12:45 PM.
  • We will conclude by 1:00 PM on Friday, June 23.


Emory Conference Center & Hotel | 1615 Clifton Rd | Atlanta, GA

MEETING ROOM: Trillium. The meeting room is located in the South Wing of the hotel. Please look for SAIS signs and staff to guide the way.


SAIS Member School
Non-Member School
Through May 19
$795 $899
May 20 - June 9
$855 $959
After June 9
$915 $1,019


Emory Conference Center hotel reservations may be made prior to May 31 by calling 1-800-933-6679. The room rate is $169/night plus applicable taxes and fees. The hotel cancellation policy is 72 hours prior to check-in.


Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (airport code = ATL)


The Emory Conference Center & Hotel is located 30 minutes from the Atlanta airport (ATL).  We recommend using a taxi, Uber/Lyft, or shuttle service:


If you are driving, please see the hotel's maps & directions page.


There will be wireless internet available throughout the conference center.


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


  • I've been to a lot of conferences in my career, and this is the best I’ve ever attended. There are other courses for new heads available, but the SAIS Institute for New Heads is by far the best value for the money.
  • As a young head of school, I found the INH to be exactly what I needed to deepen my understanding of the position.
  • I gained an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom! I put it right to work in dealing with a delicate issue at my summer camp.
  • A good chance to reflect on a vision for your first year(s) -- perhaps one of your last times to reflect with leisure and to plan for the big picture.
  • I appreciated the chance to build friendships and professional relationships with fellow new heads that will be a valuable resource in the days, weeks and years ahead. I visit by email or in person with several of my classmates regularly.
  • The SAIS Institute for New Heads was a rich experience to learn from some of the most experienced independent school leaders in the country, to collaborate with other new heads in the same position, and to go away with a notebook of synthesized materials covering every school topic a new head confronts. More than a traditional conference, the collegiality and mentorship from the INH will last a lifetime. If there is any conference a new head should attend his or her first year, this is the one.
  • It validated much of what I hope to accomplish as a new head as well as sparked new ideas.
  • I benefited so very much from the kindness, support, and brilliance of the facilitators. It was an opportunity that I am glad I did not miss in my first year as a head of school.
  • The opportunity to develop relationships at the INH was most encouraging. Networking with experienced heads and having the opportunity to learn from them was also a high point for me personally.
  • The institute was extremely worthwhile. It gave me the time to figure out what goals I have as a head of school and what drives me. It also reminded me that I am to be the leader for which I was chosen ... not to try and copy my predecessor.
  • The most valuable thing I will take away from the conference was being able to observe the attitude and perspective of great leaders.
  • I feel like SAIS and a cohort of heads will help me become more successful as a new head.
  • Networking with other heads was the most important part of the institute for me. Hearing the small pieces from the heads helped me realize that being a head is not all about budgets, technology, and curriculum. Being a head is about relationships with parents, community, and students. I was afraid that becoming a head would remove me from the students, but Scott Wilson proved to me that you can still be involved by opening car doors during carpool and engaging in school spirit as well.


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, but replacement registrants are welcomed.

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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