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New & Emerging 

Leaders Institute '19-'20




The Tennessee Association of Independent Schools, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University’s Master’s in Independent School Leadership program and expert practitioners within the independent school community, is pleased to announce online registration is open for the 2019-2020 New and Emerging Leaders Institute.


This 9-month program, comprised of five distinct segments, will provide fundamental leadership training specifically designed for new and potential leaders in independent schools.  Similar to the Vanderbilt Independent School Leadership program, it offers a mix of classroom instruction, mentoring, and a shadowing experience.  It is designed to develop the personal and interpersonal leadership skills of new and potential leaders so they can effectively engage the full range of stakeholders in an independent school community.


A 20-member cohort, selected by their Heads of School, will meet together three times during the school year, and work on their own and with a mentor as they complete the two modules related to a shadowing experience.  Upon completing the Institute, they will receive a certificate for 2 CEU credits (20 contact hours) from Vanderbilt University.


     Curricular Overview     

  • Humility, Self-Reflection and Board/Head Relationship
  • Developing Trust, Communicating, Mentoring and Listening
  • Independent School Challenges: Gender Issues, Demographic & Economic Pressures, School Sustainability, Inclusivity & Diversity
  • Self-Knowledge in Terms of Personality
  • Leadership Style and Decision-Making
  • Communicating with All School Stakeholders
  • Conducting Difficult Conversations
  • Shadowing Experience, pre and post Mentoring
  • Pathways to Leadership



  • Professor Patrick Schuermann, Director, Master's in Independent School Leadership, Vanderbilt University 
  • Sarah Wilson, Executive Director, TAIS


    Vanderbilt Faculty     



   Mark Cannon

   Associate Professor of Leadership & Organizations



   Patrick Schuermann

   Assistant Professor of the Practice in

   Leadership, Policy & Organizations   



   Andrew Van Schaack,  

   Principal Senior Lecturer of Human & Org. Development   




    Stacey Floyd-Thomas,

    Associate Professor of Ethics and Society


     Gail Williams,

     Associate Director, Community Engagement



   Other Faculty:   


     Sarah Wilson

     Executive Director, TAIS


     Important Dates     

Click here to view more details and dates.

  • August 2            Opening Reception, Dinner and Presentation - 6:00-9:00 pm (MBA)
  • August 3            Workshops - 7:30am - 4:00pm (MBA)
  • September 28    Workshops - 7:30am - 4:00pm  (Harpeth Hall)
  • Oct.-March         Shadowing Experience/Pre- and Post- Mentoring
  • April 18              Workshops and Closing Reception & Dinner - 2:00-7:00 pm (VU)

    Who should participate?   

Teachers, Department Chairs, early career Division Heads or Administrators from the business side of the school.

    Requirements for attendees   

A minimum of five years of experience as a teacher or administrator in a private school.

    Who can register for the Institute?   

Heads of School can select up to two people from their school to attend.  There are only 20 openings in the Institute, and they will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  The Head of School (or his/her assistant) will complete the online registration form.


TAIS School Heads will serve as mentors.  Each member of the cohort will have a mentor, and mentors will have one or two mentees.

    Size of Cohort   


    These Heads of School are serving as Mentors for NELI 2018-2019    

     David Braemer - Ensworth School
     Ray Broadhead - The Webb School
     Sean Casey - Franklin Road Academy
     Bill Chaney - Davidson Academy
     Sean Corcoran - Brainerd Baptist School
     Mike Deely - Pope John Paul II High School
     Vince Durnan - University School of Nashville
     Brad Gioia - Montgomery Bell Academy
     Greg Glenn - Lipscomb Academy
     Autumn Graves - Girls Preparatory School
     Will Kesler - Battle Ground Academy
     Michael McBrien - Webb School of Knoxville
     Jim McIntyre - Father Ryan High School
     Jeff Mitchell - Currey Ingram Academy
     Adam Moore - Woodland Presbyterian School
     OJ Morgan - The Bright School
     Bill Mott - Providence Christian School
     Ross Peters - St. George's Independent School
     Who has registered so far NELI 2019-2020?    
     Bo Chamberlain - Baylor School
     Jessica Platt - University School of Jackson
     Juan Roncal - Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School
     Elizabeth Derck - Oak Hill School

    Testimonials from 2017-2018 Mentors & Mentees     
  • I just cannot tell you how much I have appreciated this opportunity and journey.  It has been such a growing experience for me.  (Renee Kropff, The Bright School)
  • I am excited about what could potentially be in my future in school leadership, and feel more confident now that I know what direction I would like to take. (Jessica Barksdale, The Oak Hill School)
  • [T]he experience was very valuable for my mentee.  He took advantage of getting to know a number of people and positions at our school, and he took seriously trying to understand this experience and opportunity.  (Brad Gioia—Headmaster, Montgomery Bell Academy)
  • Each time we met I left inspired to make a very specific change in my own leadership style that I hope benefitted my faculty and students.  That’s what good professional development does—effect positive change! (Jenise Gordon, Girls Preparatory School)
  • This has been such a rejuvenating experience for me as an educator.  I look forward to our final gathering at Vanderbilt in April. (Jenny Valle, St. George’s Independent School)
  • [My mentee] was truly able to glean some insights as to what makes a school community unified, and what qualities successful school leaders possess to bring a school community together.  She impressed me with how seriously she took this opportunity to visit another school, and in her ability to dig deep and then reflect upon her own professional journey.  It was a fantastic professional and personal opportunity for her.  (Michael McBrien--President, Webb School of Knoxville)
  • There is no better way to improve your leadership skills than to immerse yourself among other successful leaders.  The New and Emerging Leaders Institute provided access to a deep pool of influential leaders from independent schools across Tennessee to the professors at Vanderbilt.  (Levi Hamilton, Currey Ingram Academy)

     Registration Information     
This program is being offered only to TAIS member schools.
Fee:  $1,600  Schools with fewer than 200 students will receive a 25% discount.  

Panel Discussion with TAIS Heads of School.

© 2017 TAIS   |   6544 Murray Lane   |   Brentwood, TN 37027   |   T (615)321-2800   |   F (615)321-2827   |   martin@taistn.com
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