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2020 Annual Conference - NOW VIRTUAL!
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An innovative virtual opportunity for independent school leaders that will take place over three half-days October 21-23. Content will be geared toward heads of school, assistant/associate heads, division heads, academic deans, other administrative and aspiring leaders as well as directors of technology, development, DEI, admissions, and communications. More information will be shared as plans are finalized.


Wednesday, Oct 21 | 2:00-5:30 PM Eastern
Thursday, Oct 22 | 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Eastern  
Friday, Oct 23 | 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Eastern

SPEAKERS confirmed as of 7/1/2020 ... more coming soon!

Heather Hoerle & John Katzman

Heather Hoerle became executive director of The Enrollment Management Association in 2011, following 20+ years of progressive leadership roles at The Association of Boarding Schools and NAIS. Since joining EMA, she's worked to innovate and build new enrollment services for the wider independent school industry. As an advocate for enrollment management professionals, Hoerle seeks to empower school leaders to build enrollment strategy through research and data-driven planning. Hoerle serves on three independent school boards (New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, National Business Officer's Association, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart) and enjoys the challenge of future-focused governance work

John Katzman is the founder and chief executive officer of Noodle Partners. Before founding Noodle Partners, Katzman founded and was CEO of 2U, which helps the University of Southern California, Georgetown, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington University, Northwestern University, and other institutions build and run high-quality online degree programs. Prior to 2U, he founded and ran The Princeton Review, which helped half of the students applying to U.S. colleges and universities each year find, get into, and pay for school. Katzman serves on several boards including Renaissance Learning, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Nina Kumar & Suniya Luthar

Nina Kumar is co-founder and chief executive officer of Authentic Connections, an organization aimed at maximizing well-being in school communities through data and insights. Prior to Authentic Connections, Kumar was a product manager at IBM Watson Health. Kumar graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in computer science and psychology and a concentration with honors in cognitive science.

Suniya Luthar is professor emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College and co-founder and chief research officer of Authentic Connections, a science-based organization committed to maximizing well-being in school communities. Her research involves vulnerability and resilience among various populations including youth in poverty, teens in upper-middle class families, and parents (especially mothers) in high-achieving, stressful communities. 



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



    Click here for information about previous conferences, including keynote speakers, dates, and locations.


    • The SAIS Annual Conference is state of the art. The topics are fantastic, the participants are friendly and engaging, and the SAIS staff is the gold standard. They work hard to make the experience as pleasant and easy as they can.
    • The event is, without question, one of the highlights of the season -- a forum that we find so valuable!
    • I have finally figured out why this is the best conference we attend. National conference can be too unwieldy. State conferences only have attendees only from a specific state. At SAIS, school leaders who have known one another for a long time but now work in different places can reunite. As a result, the web of connections between participants is deeper, richer, and longer. This creates a congenial tone unmatched at other events and therefore makes the SAIS conference more productive than any other.


    • This has been a really wonderful conference! I hadn't attended an SAIS event previously, and although I wasn't sure if virtual would be ideal, I have learned so much. Networking and sharing ideas with my cohort was extremely beneficial. I look forward to attending in-person one day!
    • I was shocked at how smoothly this virtual event went! Every detail was covered, and I learned so much while making connections with others. The hours were great and breaks were long enough but not so long that time was wasted. While I hope to attend a conference in person sometime soon, the virtual option allowed for more flexibility. I would have been unable to attend without the online option.
    • Your tech worked perfectly. The goody box that was mailed to us in advance with the printed program plus the linked conference schedule and the daily emails with links ALL contributed to an easy-peasy experience.
    • I am enjoying this conference and the Zoom format. The chat allows backchannel discussion and additional information exchange. I also enjoyed the cohort discussions.
    • The only negative was not being able to see colleagues in person. That said, there were many more positives to this format.
    • Thank you for all that y'all are doing to make this conference possible, even on a virtual platform! I am really learning a lot, and I appreciate it.


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


    Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received before October 7 via will be refunded less a 10% 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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