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2020 Board/Head Retreat | October 18 | Nashville, TN
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Adaptive Boards: Governance and Learning for a New Era

Never has there been a more critical time for boards to reposition themselves for higher-value governance work. The landscape for independent schools is increasingly complex and uncertain, and many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead resist simple or ready-made solutions. Adaptive boards don’t have all the answers, but they know how to ask the right questions - and they are transforming governance and the traditional school-board partnership. While there is no one right way to organize, adaptive boards align themselves to the right strategic work for their school: they are disciplined and flexible, focused and inquiry-driven, and intentional about productive dialogue as a pathway to successful decision-making. How are school boards changing and how can trustees and school leaders support this critical evolution? Stephanie Rogen will lead us through a new framework for governance, with examples, tools, and practices that ensure your board reaches its greatest potential, doing the work that matters most, and doing it well.

Designed to strengthen the communication and partnership between the head of school and members of the board, this program offers the opportunity to collaborate on current challenges and identify common goals for the success of the school.

Participants will examine tensions inherent in the board/head relationship and explore current issues and pressures that complicate the independent school environment. To navigate these difficult waters successfully, the head and board must communicate effectively with one another as well as the wider community.


Stephanie Rogen, principal and founder of Greenwich Leadership Partners LLC, is a consultant, coach, and facilitator to educational and not-for-profit leadership. Her work integrates more than 25 years of experience in the corporate, educational and not-for-profit sectors. She works with a diverse range of nationally recognized schools and not-for-profits ranging from Columbia University to The White House Project and Northwell Health. Rogen's approach to innovation in organizational systems is enhanced by her collaborations with educational thought leaders and her work with young professionals in corporate and not-for-profit environments. She regularly writes and speaks on topics related to education and leadership development of young adults and women and has been featured in major industry publications. Rogen serves as an instructor at the UPenn Graduate School of Education. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics with a minor in organizational behavior from Brown University, a masters of education in administration and policy from Harvard University, and her certification in executive and organizational coaching from Columbia University. She has served on the boards of Blair Academy, St. Luke’s School, the Greenwich United Way, and Year Up.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

  • Registration opens at 9AM
  • First session begins at 10AM
  • Final session concludes at 3:30PM


Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd, Franklin, TN 37067 


Registration is not yet open. If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please go to


  • AIRPORT: Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • GROUND TRANSPORTATION: The Franklin Marriott Cool Springs is located 20 miles from the Nashville International Airport. Please see the hotel's maps & transportation page



  • The BHR is the best of all possible meetings with your board chair/head. I came away feeling and thinking more confidently about my headship and how to map us toward our future.
  • As always, useful. Worth the time, effort, and money to attend.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the entire conference. It is always delightful to interact with colleagues and SAIS is always professional with their delivery.
  • The retreat was a great reminder of what is involved in a successful Board-Head relationship.
  • The BHR was very helpful for my relationship with the chair.
  • Very valuable and my board chair was very appreciative of the information shared/learned.
  • The retreat was very helpful in affirming as well as challenging our current practices as a board. I appreciate the fact that SAIS offers this learning experience for heads and chairs to attend together.
  • The most important thing about the BHR was validation that these relationships between boards and heads are unique, intimate, and that it's absolutely necessary to cultivate them. 
  • Glad to have the opportunity to bring the board chair to SAIS to see what it's like, how much support and collegiality there is, and that he is doing a great job!


If you require special accommodations or have any questions, please contact


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received before September 27 via will be refunded less a 20% processing fee. After that date refunds are no longer 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.

Target Audience: SAIS professional development events are designed for those currently employed by K-12 independent schools. Topics are presented from an independent school perspective and discussed based on that unique culture. As such, registration is limited to faculty/staff from SAIS member schools or from non-member schools meeting the SAIS candidacy criteria. Please contact if you have questions about eligibility.

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