Conference Presentations

Mary DeKuyper Keynote Presentation
A Victorious Board: The New World of Independent School Governance - Accountability and Transparency and More!

Patrick F. Bassett's Presentations
Compensating Excellence

Right-Brained Future: Creating the School of the Future

Strategic Indicators

Critical Issues in Independent School Risk Management and Insurance
Ronald C. Wanglin, Chairman of the Board, Bolton & Company
Cheryl McDowell, Vice President, Education Practice Group, Bolton & Company

This session was designed to create awareness that there are certain areas in a school’s risk management program that are often overlooked or not appropriately addressed by independent schools, such as earthquake insurance or liability arising out of the employer relationship.

This session explored specific areas of commercial insurance coverage that every school should review, and it highlighted some of the common problem areas, which included exposures that are often underinsured or uninsured (either knowingly or unknowingly) because the school was not provided with enough information in order to make an informed decision. In addition, the presentation focussed upon recommended best practices for choosing an insurance broker, and it identified the questions that should be asked of your broker.

Municipal Bond Financing for Schools
Mayer Riff, Assistant Head for Finance & Operations, Marin Country Day School
Cregg Baumbaugh, Board Chair, Marin Country Day School
Dirk A. ten Grotenhuis, Managing Director, Stone & Youngberg LLC
Adam Sachs, Attorney, Folger Levin & Kahn LLP
Scott Ferguson, Attorney, Jones Hall, A Professional Law Corporation

This presentation included an overview of the municipal bond financing process. Presenters shared lessons learned from the MCDS experience and answered questions from attendees.

What Every Trustee Should Know about Head Transition
Gretchen Milligan, Principal, Board Focus, and Trustee, Marlborough School

It will eventually be the duty of your Board to find a new Head, whether you face an anticipated retirement of a long-term leader or a surprise resignation. Attendees found out the basics so that they can maximize their chances of success whenever their need arises. Topics included understanding the school search calendar, deciding whether to use a search consultant, how to choose a consultant, what to expect from the consultant, what the search committee will do, how to involve the school community, and the need to plan a transition process that extends far beyond the hire date.

Trusteeship 101: Workshop for New Trustees
Gretchen Milligan, Principal, Board Focus, and Trustee, Marlborough School

What have you gotten yourself into? This session helped participants understand how to be a productive trustee and a positive advocate for your school. It explored the roles and responsibilities of individual trustees, the roles and responsibilities of the Board as a whole, and the leadership partnership between the Board and the Head of School. Attendees learned about the challenges and dilemmas facing leaders of independent schools today and how to use good judgment and grace to navigate the pitfalls. Using case studies, this session explored the power of your position, proper channels of communication, inherent conflicts of interest for parent trustees, group decision-making, supporting your fellow trustees, and supporting the Head of School. This session also was helpful for those who are charged with trustee orientation and training.

Annual Legal Update: Navigating the Risks and Responsibilities Within Independent Schools
Donna Williamson, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
Michael Blacher, Associate, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
Melanie Poturica, Managing Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

New laws and new cases mean that there are more risks and responsibilities to consider when dealing with employees, students, and parents. This workshop reviewed the major legal developments of the past year and explained how they were relevant to independent schools. It also also emphasized practical steps a school can take when dealing with new and existing legal issues.

Beyond Tuition: A New Look at Other Income Sources
David Babbott, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, The Thacher School
Peter Bachmann, Headmaster, Flintridge Preparatory School
Bob Moog, President, University Games
Ilana Kaufman, Head of School, Windrush School

As independent school tuitions continue to climb at a rate that outpaces the Consumer Price Index and as annual giving programs approach maximum return, schools are constantly seeking new sources of income to fund program and compensation needs. This session explored three initiatives that have provided alternative revenue streams for funding current operations—beyond tuition and annual giving. It included presentations about the budget impact of one school’s 9-figure endowment, another school’s entrepreneurial venture in selling Farmer’s Market produce, and a third school’s receipt of royalties for “intellectual property” created in partnership with a game company.

Speaker Contact Sheet
Complete contact list for 2008 Trustee/School Head Conference presenters.