“Education is the greatest gift of life, it should never stop.”
- Tony Clark, Author, Motivational Speaker

Facilitated by Peter Sturrup and Martha Perry, the exclusive three-day Heads' Retreat provides a supportive environment within which the challenges of this incredibly complex role will be shared and opportunities for skill development will abound.

Work/life balance, leading others, looking back, and looking ahead are among the areas of focus through peer-to-peer dialogue, facilitated discussions and time for reflection and journaling. Punctuated by on site sourced meals and social gatherings, this much-anticipated annual retreat is the collective exhale, and invaluable recharge, for all who attend.

This year the Heads' Retreat will be held at the beautiful Elmhirst Resort Spa, less than 2 hours from Toronto Pearson Airport. The resort is located on 240 acres with waterfront on Rice Lake (part of the renown Trent-Severn waterway). It is also a short half hour drive to Lakefield College School to honour one of our Head of School colleagues and celebrate the graduation of our Leadership Institute participants on the 20th Anniversary of the LI.

Opportunities to refresh and indulge yourself in this highly popular resort setting are described on the resort website.




Heads' Retreat Facilitators


Peter Sturrup

Peter Sturrup has been Headmaster of Pickering College, a coeducational, K to 12 day and boarding school in Newmarket, Ontario since 1995. Previously, Peter was a Geography teacher and Dean of Residence for nine years, also at Pickering College, and taught Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University (in Waterloo, Ontario) for ten years.

Peter received his B.A. and M.A. (Geography) from Wilfrid Laurier University and his B. Ed from the University of Toronto. Peter's volunteer time includes having just completed his term as Chair of the Board of the Ontario Conference of Independent Schools (CIS)...

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Martha Perry

Martha has been Principal of St. Clement’s School (SCS) since August 2010. In this role she led the School through its 2012-2017 strategic planning process, and a CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools) review. Believing that the independent school is also a connected school, Martha has personally worked to forge and strengthen relationships between SCS and organizations as diverse as the Round Square; the aboriginal community at Moose Factory; and the Rotman School of Business. Martha has a wealth of experience in the independent school system, working with staff and with students at all levels and in all aspects of school administration...

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What Others have Said

I have attended the CAIS Head’s Retreat on a couple of occasions and found it invaluable. Martha and Peter are outstanding leaders and have set an agenda that contributes to a Head of School’s professional well being and growth. The opportunity to get together with colleagues from across the country to share stories and ideas for a few days in early July has definitely benefited our school, our leadership team, and myself. You won’t be disappointed in this investment of time.

Derek Logan, Head of School, Kingsway College School

The Head’s Retreat gave me an opportunity to reflect on the year and to gain perspective. It was such a collaborative and warm atmosphere and I appreciated working with trusted colleagues on tough topics. We engaged in open, honest conversations about challenges and had an opportunity to practice the art of questioning and coaching, which I found invaluable. This is one of the very few times as Heads we get to spend quality time with our peers across the country. I left feeling not only rejuvenated but supported. What a great way to close out the year and transition into the summer!

Sharon Klein, Head of School, St. Margaret's School