“Consensus is the enemy of change”

I have a lot to think about after today’s first day of ISANNELeads. As I came into today, I was thinking that it I would be getting some ideas about how to accomplish some of my goals at my school in my current role. After one day, I realize it is not really about that, but about me. I think this week will help me reflect on who I am as a leader. It will also help me to think about my future in education beyond my current role. It is only then that I can help my school accomplish greatness.

Ron Schneider

Ron is co-chair of Bernstein Shur’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and a member of the Litigation Group with a focus on employment and health care law. He is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for employment law and commercial litigation. He brings a practical and adaptable approach to the representation of his clients to ensure that he works to achieve their goals. He has experience counseling clients to avoid litigation, resolving disputes prior to litigation and fully and aggressively litigating cases to successful conclusions.

Kai McGintee

Kai McGintee is a member of Bernstein Shur’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and Education Law Group. Kai provides practical advice and preventive training to her clients on a broad range of workplace issues, including performance management, leaves of absence, employee relations, wage and hour compliance, anti-harassment, retaliation and discrimination laws, and the reasonable accommodation process. She drafts handbooks, policies and procedures for legal compliance and to ensure that best practices are followed.

Pat Peard

Patricia Peard is the chair of the firm’s Education Law Group and a member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and Litigation Group. She is also a member of Bernstein Shur’s board of directors.

Dr. John Creeden

Dr. John Creeden, Prior to his appointment at School Year Abroad, Jack was headmaster of Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina, an independent day school of more than 1,500 students in grades K-12. For a dozen years before PDS, Jack was headmaster of Fountain Valley School of Colorado, an independent boarding and day school of 235 students in grades 9-12. a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Jack went on to the University of Wisconsin, where he earned an M.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in educational administration.

“Leadership Comes From Knowing Yourself”

“I think you should go. It’s the perfect next step.” My headmaster told me this hours after returning from an ISANNE conference in Portland, ME. He was talking about what I lovingly came to refer to as the ISANNE “leadership bootcamp”, ISANNEleads. I of course said yes.

Hire Happy People

As I leave this week, I am struck by the refrain to “Hire Happy People”.  I would go further and say that it is critical to not only hire them happy, but to encourage them and help to maintain that happiness in as many ways as possible for the entirety of the team’s existence.

I have never been so determined not to forget something...

When I woke up this morning and collected myself in preparation for my one-on-one meeting with Jim, I realized that I would probably cry. Because, like Cynthia, I have the weeper gene. And conversations like the one I was anticipating are exactly the kind of thing that triggers the tears. There's something about talking honestly with someone I really respect, who knows me even just a little, and hearing that person give me advice, that cuts me right to the core.

Authenticity with Strategy

As others have discussed before me, the ISANNELEADS group has had the opportunity to learn about, reflect on, and discuss with others the innate qualities that make us who we are. MBTI and FIRO-B vocabulary and acronyms have been flying through the air. And this is a wonderful thing. We should acknowledge who we are and be our authentic selves. Our students, in particular, can smell a fraud a mile away.


Betsy Myers discussed a new way to think about leadership and one of the early questions she posed was “what are the assumptions and beliefs you have made about yourself and others that are wrong?” In my mind it instantly took me to #LikeAGirl. I watched the clip again today and wrestled with the gender gap question. Betsy did indeed point to some of the challenging experiences relating to women and leadership, yet her insights embraced a need for a shift in the narrative around power. For both men and women.


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