News: 2023 NAIS Annual Conference - Mar 17, 2023
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Friday, March 17, 2023General News

2023 NAIS Annual Conference

Children from a local schoolLas Vegas is not only a tourist attraction but also a place to cultivate relationships and community! Director of Consulting Services Dr. George Entwistle joined many excited educators February 22-24 while representing Search Associates at the annual National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Conference, held at Caesar's Forum. The conference theme “Cultivating Community” was a perfect way to unite attendees, learn, and build/strengthen relationships—a worthwhile experience for all. George says,

The NAIS Conference was definitely worthwhile and will be on my list for 2024, for sure!

George (L) with Joseph Mazzoni, VP of Nutrition Mgmt. Svcs. Co., PASignificant offerings in both one- and three-hour workshops were organized within the conference’s six tracks: Communication and Advancement, Governance, Leadership Development, Management, The Classroom Experience, and the Student Experience. Most notable to George were two workshops. Hosted by The Chestnut Hill School (MA), “Walking the Talk: Foundationl Practice for Integrating and Applying SEL and DEI in Schools” presented a nice case for considering the similarities and connections between schools’ approaches to applying both Social and Emotional Learning and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lens to their work. A workshop presented by Abington Friends School (PA)  “Hiring with Dignity: An Equity-Centered Approach to Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent” introduced a case study to participants followed by table discussions about honoring dignity, seeing vulnerabilities in the hiring process, spotting dignity “violations,” and reframing the process employed in the case study to ensure that the dignity of all participants are honored in the hiring process.

Van JonesGeorge was impressed with all the new elements included in this year’s conference: a NEW Leadership Lab session, NEW Coaches’ Corner, NEW Wednesday General Session, and NEW Affinity and Affiliation Group Lunches.

A nice array of Open General Sessions featured outstanding presenters. Head of School and advocate for the arts Jason Patera talked about the power of community. CNN Host and Commentator Van Jones explored ways to address our polarized world. George says he is now an even bigger fan, having listened to “the genuine, authentic, modest—and sometimes humorous—interpretation of polarization in the world and Van’s strategies for tackling it.” Professor of Psychology Peter Coleman offered his insights on polarization and navigating conflict constructively. Thinker and Education Innovator Susan Fonseca helped the audience to imagine what school and work communities will look like in the future. Psychologist and Author Tracy Dennis-Tiwary—another of George’s favorite presenters—helped participants see how anxiety, for students and for ourselves, can be positively reframed.

Caesar’s ForumAs part of our mission, Search Associates strives to exceed expectations in every respect— which includes attending many local and international educational conferences as possible, to keep abreast of things, for professional development, to network, and to support colleagues. While our SEARCH rep, George, accomplished all that, he also came away quite rejuvenated:

Whether at lunch, in a three-hour workshop session, following a key note speaker, in a table discussion/activity, or chatting in the Expo, the best part about being at NAIS was the tremendous sense of positivity and excitement that permeated the conference.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Robert Barlas is the author of the Teaching Overseas Handbook.