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Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Annual Heads of School Conference

November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009
The Quinnipiack Club
New Haven, CT
You have, no doubt, heard the saying “reputation may not be everything, but whatever occupies second place ranks far behind”. This is certainly true for independent schools. Our reputation is the component of our identity as defined by others. It is the result of what we say, what we do, what is said about us.

The theme of this year’s conference will provide Heads with an opportunity to hear about new (Jan 2009) research on our “brand reputation” and on survey results citing the primary reasons why parents choose an independent school (you may be surprised). We will also hear reflections from CAIS heads who have recently faced a threat to their school’s reputation.

Our guest speaker will be Patrick Dorton, a graduate of two CAIS schools - Washington Montessori and The Gunnery. Patrick served as the crisis counselor to The Gunnery in the days immediately following the arrest of their Dean of Students. According to Susie Graham, Patrick’s advice was at times counter-intuitive, but ultimately wise and profoundly helpful to his alma mater.

The panel will include:

Kate Windsor, Head of Miss Porters School – reflections on a lawsuit and subsequent press coverage in Vanity Fair magazine.

Mark Fader, Head of The Williams School – reflections on the aftermath of a school bus accident.

Susie Graham, Head of The Gunnery – reflections on the arrest of a widely respected member of The Gunnery professional staff.

Coleman Casey, prominent independent school legal counsel will offer concluding thoughts and answer your legal questions – relating to this issue or any other issue that may have broad interest.

The program will also include lunchtime tributes to our retiring CAIS Heads: Graham Cole (Westminster) Jane Shipp (Renbrook) as well as introductions of our new CAIS Heads.

10:30 - 12:00 CAIS Annual Meeting
12:00 - 1:30 Wine and Cheese reception, visits with corporate guests and lunch
1:30 - 2:15 Panel of CAIS Heads "Reflections"
2:15 - 3:00 Presentation by Patrick Dorton
3:00 Remarks by Coleman Casey

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