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2018 Institute for Administrative Assistants | June 27-29
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This program provides resources and tips for the varied tasks included in the administrative support role. Learn practical strategies for handling the types of issues related to supporting a school administrator. Network with other assistants to share time-saving tricks and proven solutions.

We will have a session on school finance, a sort of what you need to know to support and communicate with your boss kind of approach, and a tech expert to discuss cyber security, email privacy, and risks. We will have a session on how to handle confrontational or threatening situations from parents or staff. We are also accepting proposals for peer led sessions to hear what is working in other schools. There will also be time to share tips and tricks, network with other assistants, and participate in roundtable discussions. Over the three days, attendees will participate in 10 different sessions.

Session preview (the curriculum has been revamped this year!):

  • School Finance 101, Palmer Ball: What you need to know about school finance to provide appropriate support and effectively communicate with your boss
  • Tips & Tricks, Sheri Burkeen: The fast 50. A quick trip through the best websites, software, and other resources as shared by awesome administrative assistants.
  • Surviving a Bear Attack, Ken Rogers: Strategies and survival tips for difficult confrontations. 
  • Is it Secret, Personal, Private, or Confidential? Candice Pinares-Baez: As administrative assistants, you see and hear everything that goes on in the school, for better or worse. This session will provide some guidance on the legal differences between information that might be secret vs. personal vs. private vs. confidential. In light of HIPPA and FERPA laws, how does this apply to independent schools? Is there a distinction between issues that involve parents, employees, and students. Is there a further distinction if the student is over/under the age of 18 or 21? What part of an employee record or student record falls into one of these categories? Come away with definitions and common language to use with the administrators you support.
  • Design Like a Pro, Sheri BurkeenAmazing invitations, announcements, presentations, and programs are easy with this fun, free, drag and drop tool. Impressive documents will have you looking like a graphic designer in no time! 
  • Setting Boundaries & Saying No, Charissa Giannopoulos: The importance of setting reasonable boundaries for ourselves and for others. Empower yourself and learn how and when to tell people no. Why are boundaries important? Your personal well-being should not be compromised by the demands of your job. Value your time - the work you are doing is necessary to the function of the school. Feel comfortable defining your role, be able to take ownership of your work, and confidently express to others the importance of your role. As administrative assistants, our jobs are often overlooked or seen as a universal support position. We are looked to for projects others don't want to do, and the subject of many last-minute requests or demands. The line between what is a reasonable request and what is outside of our scope can be easily blurred by a desire to help.
  • Small group discussions based on school type/size and roundtables on a variety of topics including one-on-one time with your boss, working with the faculty, dealing with difficult parents, end of year celebrations, surviving a change in leadership, crisis procedures, schedules and calendars, working with the board, meeting planning, faculty absences and substitutes, organizational strategies, and travel planning.

Need to justify your attendance? Craft the perfect proposal using these key points.


Wednesday-Friday, June 27-29, 2018

  • Wednesday will start with registration from 1:00-2:00 PM and end with a reception from 6:00-7:00 PM.
  • Thursday will start with breakfast at 8:00 AM and end with a reception from 6:00-7:00 PM.
  • Friday will start with breakfast at 8:00 AM and we will conclude by 2:00 PM.


Renaissance Asheville Hotel | 31 Woodfin Street | Asheville, NC
Meeting Room: Windsor


 SAIS Member School 
 Non-Member School 
Through May 1
 $525  $599
May 2 - June 12
 $545  $659
After June 12
 $595  $719



Share your knowledge and experience with your colleagues by submitting a session proposal here.


Craft the perfect proposal using these key points.


The host hotel (Renaissance Asheville Hotel) is currently sold out.



  • AIRPORT: Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
  • GROUND TRANSPORTATION: The Renaissance Asheville Hotel is located 15 minutes from the Asheville airport (AVL).
  • MAPS & DIRECTIONS: If you are driving, please see the hotel's maps & directions page.
  • PARKING: Complimentary on-site parking is available.


Your registration fee includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday as well as receptions with hors d’oeuvres on Wednesday and Thursday. Dinners are on your own. Take a look at some of the OpenTable recommended local restaurants.


  • TWITTER: Tweet us @SAISnews! The official Twitter hashtag for the conference is #saisIAA. Please tag us when tweeting about the conference.
  • FACEBOOK: Be sure to like the SAIS Facebook page!
  • INSTAGRAM: Follow us on Instagram @SAISnews.


  • This institute is such a great forum for assistants to be able to confidentially share their experiences, learn from each other and build camaraderie. I hope to be able to return next year!
  • I cannot say enough positive about the event. I always leave with new ideas and tools and a refreshed perspective.
  • My role is isolating in that it is not possible for me to confide in my coworkers. It is SUCH a relief to meet with peers, to have a safe place to talk it out, and to hear that some of the challenges I face are common.
  • I am so grateful that SAIS provides this opportunity. I have attended many professional institutes throughout my career but there has never been the focus I find through the SAIS institutes. Even though duties are widely varied among my SAIS peers, there are common experiences and themes that provide a focus and benefit to the institute I have not found elsewhere.
  • This was the best professional opportunity I will attend all year. Can't wait until next year!
  • I rarely have an opportunity to share with and learn from others who are wearing the same shoes.
  • After being a head's assistant for only one year, it is so nice to hear from others in the same role. We rarely have an opportunity to share with (or hear from) others who are wearing the same shoes.
  • Interacting and meeting new people is the most important part of the IHA. Since executive assistants do not have peers at their own schools, it's important to find someone you can associate with, create a friendship, and have as a go-to person (outside of your own organization) for ideas.
  • It was enlightening - and even therapeutic - to mingle with peers who face similar demands and experiences.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The IHA allowed me to connect with two peers in my area and we are planning to meet on a regular basis.
  • What a treat this was. The ability to share experiences and bond with peers is invaluable.


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.


Payment: Payment is required by credit card at the time of registration.

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.

Target Audience: SAIS professional development events are designed for those in the K-12 independent school community. Topics such as working with parents and the board are presented and discussed through the lens of the independent school culture. As such, registration is limited to those from independent schools that are either already members of SAIS or from non-member schools that meet the membership candidacy criteria.

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