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Leadership Institute

Prepare for senior leadership roles in independent schools with our Leadership Institute. Learn More & Register

Online PD Webinars

Each year, we host webinars on national topics that are most relevant to our leaders. Access previously recorded webinars in CAIS Connect. Register for upcoming webinars here.

New PD model

Anne-Marie speaks to moving forward with a new national PD model with the creation of one national conference. Watch the Video

2015 CAIS Accreditation Guidelines

Review the new CAIS Accreditation Guidelines that are being piloted this school year. We welcome your feedback!

Developing Leaders for Canada's Best Independent Schools

Since we know that great schools have great teachers and leaders, retention should be top of mind for all CAIS schools.

Our Summer LI should be part of your retention strategy! If you have an outstanding teacher who is hungry to learn about the unique complexities of independent schools or if you have a young administrator who is keen to strengthen his/her skills or get to the next step, then we have a program for you.

For the past 16 years, colleagues have gathered at CAIS Boarding Schools across the country to experience the Summer LI. Participants value the opportunity to learn from leaders and recognized experts; they enjoy time for meaningful engagement with colleagues who are also motivated and passionate about independent school education.

The Summer LI begins on the evening of July 2 and ends the afternoon of July 6. Participants will be surrounded by like-minded peers, who are keen to improve themselves and their schools. During the Summer LI participants may take a maximum of 3 modules. It is possible, however, to register for only 1 or 2 modules depending on the participant’s needs and schedule.

CAIS 2016-17 LI Brochure

Date: July 2-6, 2017

Hosted by: King's-Edgehill School, Windsor, NS.

Fees: CAIS members - $495 per module and non members $795 per module. Reminder, a maximum of three modules may be taken at a summer LI. Fee includes material, meals and accommodation in residence.

Please note that only a few spots remain for the Summer LI.
Contact Sheri Little to register.

View the program here.

Participants can register for the shuttle service here.

Additional Details


CAIS and King's-Edgehill School will offer the following shuttles:

- July 2 Halifax Airport departure for School at 4:00pm

- July 6 School departure for Halifax Airport at 1:00pm

Each shuttle has a capacity of 44 adults. Registration will open at the beginning of June and space will be reserved on a first come first registered basis. Shuttle costs are $25 for a return trip and $15 for one way transfers.

If you miss the sign up or these options do not meet your needs, you may wish to consider these alternatives:

Halifax Airport car rentals:


Halifax Taxi/Limo services:


Local Accommodation for Families:

If you are planning to travel down east with your family and would like a recommendation for accommodation, please contact Sheri Little at slittle@cais.ca.

2017 Summer LI

July 2 - 6 at King's Edgehill School in Windsor, NS.
View the campus map here.

View School Profile

Leadership Modules offered during the 2017 summer li

The foundation of our Summer LI is that all participants will complete 10 modules in order to earn the Leadership Institute Diploma. Each module offered covers one of the key facets of leadership in independent schools and prepares the participant for senior leadership roles. In addition, the LI provides a vehicle for building professional relationships with colleagues across the country.


Led by John Lynch

Advancement Overview

All aspects of a fully functioning Advancement Office will be reviewed during this module. There will be a combination of lecture, individual & group case assignments, Q&A, and in-depth discussions of topics that are of particular interest to the participants.

Learning Intentions:

  • A review of best practices, and real examples – a working knowledge of Advancement
  • Gain an appreciation of the many positive impacts that Advancement activities can have upon a school


  • The Solicitation Cycle
  • Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Planned Giving
  • Making the Major Gift Ask
  • Campaigns
  • Consultants
  • Donor Agreements & Pledge Schedules
  • Naming Opportunities

Alumni relations

  • Programmes – in person & online
  • Branches/Chapters
  • International
  • Events
  • Surveys

Advancement Services

  • Research, Records & Database Management
  • Reports & Moves Management
  • Receipts, Reminders and Acknowledgements


  • Leadership/Executive Team
  • Board of Governors/Trustees
  • Foundation Board/Directors - Endowment
  • Advancement/Alumni/Development Volunteer Committees


  • School & Advancement Strategic Plans
  • Campaign Case for Support
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Admissions
  • Advancement Budget/Investment
  • Staff Recruitment & Retention

John Lynch

John has been an Advancement professional for more than 30 years. Following his graduation from Queen’s University (B.A. (Hon.), B.Ed., M.Ed.), he spent 13 years in increasingly responsible Advancement positions at his alma mater. John participated in three major fund raising campaigns at Queen’s and established the University’s first Major Gifts Office. He left Queen’s in 1994 as Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations.

John spent two years as Executive Director of The Wellesley Hospital Foundation in Toronto, completing the $30 million Renewal Campaign, prior to moving to the University of Toronto’s $1 billion Great Minds Campaign in 1996. At UofT John was Associate Campaign Director and Executive Director of Development for the University’s largest faculty, Arts & Science, securing more than $40 million in new commitments during his tenure.

John was recruited to the independent school sector in 1999 as Vice-Principal Advancement & Chief Development Officer at Upper Canada College. Following the transformational fundraising successes at UCC, the term Advancement became established at many leading Canadian independent schools that followed UCC’s example by investing in more professional and robust Advancement Offices.

In 2006 John moved to Crescent School as Chief Advancement Officer. He recruited and mentored a new and enhanced Advancement team, and the School launched a comprehensive $30 million Great Boys Campaign in 2010, completing it in 2015 with more than $34 million pledged in new commitments.

In 2014 John was named Executive Director of External Relations, an office combining Advancement, Enrolment, and Marketing & Communications.

Brain Research

Led by Karen Gazith

Brain Research Overview

With the advent of 21st century technologies and the use of neuroimaging, it is becoming increasingly clear to researchers and educators that there are certain teaching practices that are highly effective for all students. In particular, the role of meaning and understanding to the learner has enlightened teaching practices. In addition, the role of emotions and in particular the function of the emotional brain in either increasing motivation or causing the brain to go into shut-down mode has had a great impact on restructuring classroom environments. Specific knowledge about skill development such as decoding and comprehension has also emanated from brain research and has had an impact on teaching practices.

Learning intentions:

  • Nine of the most relevant research-based brain friendly classroom practices
  • How to create the brain friendly school-environment for students and teachers
  • Prime-time learning and teaching practices
  • Brain research as it pertains to the learning of specific skills
  • Classroom practices that ensure success for all learners in the inclusive classroom

Karen Gazith

Karen Gazith Ph.D. is Dean of Academics at Talmud Torah | Herzliah, as well as faculty lecturer in the department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and adjunct professor in the department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, where she has taught for over twenty years.

Karen has channeled her education and expertise into the Jewish community, serving as the Coordinator of Special Education, Director of Education and Interim Executive Director at the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre . She has taught at a number of special needs institutions and schools, including the Instrumental Enrichment Institute with renowned cognitive psychologist Dr. Reuven Feuerstein. Karen has also taught at Hebrew College in Boston and the University of New Brunswick. Over the years she has presented on topics related to meeting diverse needs in the classroom-- including assessment and instruction, developing key competencies and leadership— in numerous cities across Canada, the United States, England, Israel and Australia.

Change Management

Led by Barry Wright

Change Management Overview

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” - Machiavelli

This module will provide you with a solid understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of leading change. The paths to take and the pitfalls to avoid will be examined by focusing on a host of ideas like: urgency, vision, cynicism, chaos, celebrations, storytelling, and Grendel’s Mother.

Learning Intentions:

  • Explore the theories of change, as well as the nature of change and the role of change agents
  • Develop an awareness of the strengths of bottom-up and top down approaches to change; examine the need for incremental, transformational and radical change; appreciate the possible targets of change.
  • Focus on the question: How to lead planned change.
  • Reflect on personal influence strategies, recognize resistance and learn the ways to overcome it.

Barry Wright

Barry Wright is an Associate Professor and the past Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program in the Faculty of Business at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Prior to joining Brock University, he worked as an Assistant Professor at St. Francis Xavier University, taught at the International Study Centre in Herstmonceux, UK and at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has also worked as an administrator with the City of Red Deer. During his career as an educator, Barry has been nominated several times for teaching awards and has been recognized as a Macleans Magazine “Popular Professor”.

At home in the classroom, Barry is also comfortable in the boardroom. He has provided a variety of training and research consultations to Canadian organizations. These include: the Bank of Montreal, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Queen's Executive Program, Ontario Basketball Association, Royal Oak Mines, the MacLeod Group, Centre for Innovative Management at Athabasca University, Football Canada, Human Resource Department at Brock University, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Constellation Software and Sobeys Canada Inc. Barry also provides one-on-one “coaching” sessions for senior executives who have expressed a desire for outside counsel.

He received his MA (Sport Psychology) and Ph.D. (Management) degrees from Queen’s University. His academic research focuses on understanding and solving leadership challenges; change and its influence on organizational members; and creating effective work environments.

To contact Barry Wright please call: (905) 688-5550 X5034 office or e-mail:barry.wright@brocku.ca

Faculty Culture

Led by Hall Hannaford

Faculty Culture Overview

The Faculty Culture module is designed to provide participants with information concerning the complexities of creating, managing, and leading a vibrant, effective faculty culture within an educational setting. Participants will review basic management theory, discuss the difference between leadership and management, begin the process of developing their own management philosophy and will be given an exposure to the controversies and issues facing a current educational manager/leader. All of this will apply directly to the overall concept of Faculty Culture.

Learning Intentions:

  • To understand the meaning and complexities of faculty culture.
  • To start thinking about one’s own management/leadership style.
  • To expose participants to a wide variety of management theories and styles.
  • To clearly define faculty culture and understand its relevance in an independent school environment.

Hal Hannaford

Hal Hannaford

Headmaster, Selwyn House School

B.Comm. (Concordia)

B.Ed. (U of T)


Hal Hannaford began his educational career as a student at Lower Canada College in Montréal, and has spent his entire professional life in education. Hal is entering his twenty-ninth year as a Headmaster in CAIS schools. He studied at Queen’s University (Economics), Concordia University (B. Comm.), University of Toronto (B. Ed.), and The European Institute of Business Administration (M.B.A.).

Hal was Director of Kilcoo Camp from 1982 – 1984, and as a teacher; he has had experience at both an elementary and high school level in Canada (Crescent School); and at university where he was a member of the Faculty of International Business at the American University in Paris. He was the founding Headmaster of Kingsway College School in Toronto in 1989. He joined Royal St. George’s College in 1996 as Headmaster, and remained until December, 2008. In January, 2009 he become Headmaster of Selwyn House School in Montréal.

He has a keen interest in athletics, public speaking, auctioneering (has raised over $30,000,000 for charitable causes), landscaping, drumming, and has a musical passion for The Blues. Hal and his wife Susan live in Montréal and have two children; Alisse, a medical student at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York, and Reid, who studies film at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

  • Content
  • Accordion


Led by Beth Mckay


The Finance module is designed to provide participants with information and experience in receiving and interpreting financial data within the school environment. We will explore the ethics and law around financial decision making, benchmarking of independent schools, financial sustainability and governance, internal financial reporting and reviewing financial statements. A budget exercise that participants undertake in small groups is a tool used to understand the major drivers of a school's finances. The module is participatory and aimed at the non-financial manager.

Learning Intentions:

  • Gain an awareness of the financial documents used by independent schools
  • Develop an understanding of the major drivers of a school budget
  • Examine issues of financial sustainability and risks associated with enrolment fluctuations
  • Develop an understanding of the "business" of running a school - insurance, planning, revenues and expenses.

Beth McKay

Beth McKay is the Chief Financial Officer for St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, ON. She has held this position for more than 14 years and was a municipal CAO prior to her involvement with independent schools. She has taught the Finance Module at seven previous CAIS Leadership Institutes and was also part of the Faculty at the 2010 National Business Officers Institute in Williston-Northampton. She holds a degree from Queen’s University, a diploma from St. Lawrence College and a CMA accounting designation.

In her Finance role, she works closely with the Finance Committee, Headmaster, Leadership Team and Board of Governors at St. Andrew’s College. She has written about Financial Sustainability issues In Our Kids Dialogue magazine. She lives on campus and has a son who, after graduating from St. Andrew's College in 2005, recently graduated from McMaster medical school and is doing his family medicine residency in Abbotsford, B.C.. She enjoys hiking, golf, and snowshoeing.


Led by Susan Wright


Governance is ‘the unknown country’ of independent schools. When it is misunderstood and badly practiced it creates a landscape littered with bodies and broken dreams often resulting in schools sliding towards a state of chaos. In schools where it is properly understood, governance practices are almost invisible and those schools thrive. This module presents best practices and case scenarios that will allow participants to recognize and understand both good and bad governance practices.

Learning Intentions:

  • The duties, responsibilities, policies and scope of authority of governing Boards will be identified.
  • Examine the governing Board’s purpose, membership and structure and its relationship, with the school’s mission, vision, values and strategy.
  • Explore the permeable line between management and governance.
  • The centrality of the relationship between the Board Chair and the Head of School will be discussed.
  • Examine what keeps Boards and Heads awake at night.

Susan Wright

Susan Wright leads Wright Management Consulting - a small firm dedicated to providing strategy, governance and organizational development services for not-for-profit and public sector clients. Susan completed a B.A. (Honours) degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a M. Phil. degree on a Commonwealth Scholarship at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Susan has been in consulting for over 25 years – having worked previously for two Canadian consulting firms and an international firm. At the core of Susan’s work is a commitment to helping leaders and organizations prepare for the future.

Susan has undertaken strategic planning and governance projects for many educational institutions including universities, colleges and about 20 independent schools in Canada. Susan also played a variety of volunteer roles at Havergal College over many years including serving as Chair of the Board of Governors. She is currently the past Chair of the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario (CIS Ontario) and served as a regional advisor on the Board of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) for two years.

Human Resources

Led by Val Cambre

Human Resources Overview

The Role of Human Resources as a Strategic Partner: A review of the Human resources functions within an organization, and its role as a strategic partner. A look at the tactical framework model of the various areas of discipline in HR, including recruitment, retention, performance management, employee relations, compensation and policy management and how to ensure they are aligned and are contributing positively towards the goals, mission and vision of the organization. Taking a look at current practices within an organization and ensuring they reflect best practice in human resources management and reviewing how to implement or make change if they are not.

Learning Intentions:

  • Examine some of the current trends we see today in human resources management
  • Understanding the challenges in ensuring there are effective HR practices in smaller organizations
  • How to implement best practices in human resources management

Val Cambre

Val Cambre is a Human Resources and Talent Management leader. She has extensive experience, with a strategic focus on supporting the achievements of enterprise-wide initiatives. With over 20 years of experience as a strategy expert, Val has worked with organizations ranging from 100 to over 10,000 employees across Canada. She is especially passionate about aligning talent management processes to ensure the success of the organization, which includes achieving its goals and objectives.

Val enjoys coaching leadership teams to instill accountability, and helping drive team collaboration. Her experience in Change Leadership, Organizational Design and Talent Management focuses on ensuring that all business needs are effectively supported by a strategic Human Resources process.

Immediately prior to launching Teal & Co. Val spent more than 14 years at Appleby College, where she developed and led the HR and Talent Strategy Office and lead the operations side of the school as Chief Operations Officer. She began her career in the financial services and retail banking sector, where she managed operational issues and supported business units. She has also managed her own practice as a consultant, working with clients in a wide-range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing and small independent businesses.

Val has enjoyed sharing her passion by teaching in the Human Resources Management Certificate program at Sheridan College, and has led a variety of workshops within the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. Her CHRL designation was completed at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. A member of the HRPA, Val is certified in Employee Opinion Surveys, Thomas Assessments, the Birkman method, LEA 360, and SDI Behaviour Assessment tools.

Leadership 101

Led by Anna Lisa Bond and Keith Driscoll

Leadership 101 Overview

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. —Warren Bennis"

Leaders of independent schools have to have many, often competing, skill sets. They need to be able to manage multi-million dollar budgets, work with a Board, and ask for million dollar donations, but they also need to be able to champion students, manage instructional growth, and hang out in a kindergarten classroom. Are you up for that challenge?

National trends and research in independent school education will set the context as you consider the challenges and clarify your vision of an effective school and your role in leading it.

Course Overview:

This module will offer the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of your leadership style, we will also work closely with colleagues on how to manage difficult conversations, run effective meetings, handle crisis situations, and make persuasive presentations.

Anna Lisa Bond

Practice Leader, Education , Roy Group

We begin with who we are as people.

Anna Lisa Bond serves as Roy Group’s Practice Leader for Education, and has done so since joining the firm in 2010. Originally from Alberta, Anna Lisa's background in high-performance athletics, the classroom and administration has offered her the opportunity to discern the specific learning needs of individuals and teams. This has positioned her to lead entire school communities through reorganization and restructuring projects, and to co-create new cultures and environments for teams, staff, students, and parents. Her personal passion for physical learning, understanding, function and form enables Anna Lisa to work with coaching clients in a manner that allows for deep behavioural transformation.

While working at the district level, Anna Lisa created and built partnerships between secondary and post-secondary institutions with community and industry partners, designing and promoting pathways and opportunities for more personalized learning for students. Anna Lisa specialized in working with First Nation communities and youth at risk. She has travelled extensively, applying her passion, energy, and skills to projects that focused on improving resources and access to education for young children in Third World countries.
Anna Lisa is based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Keith Driscoll

Keith Driscoll is Director of Residence and Student Life at St Michaels University School. An independent school educator for over 20 years serving as a teacher, houseparent, athletic coach and administrator. Through applying the principles of coaching and facilitation in a variety of education contexts, Keith has learned that the success of teams can be greatly impacted by the leader’s ability to position people to do their best work. The GROW model has been a valuable tool in helping team members bring clarity and focus to their work. In the words of Roy Group, “Leaders then culture then strategy”.

Leadership for Learning

Led by Ian Kennedy

Leadership for Learning Overview

Student learning has to be at the heart of what we do; student learning has to provide the horizon from which we make decisions; and ultimately, student learning has to form the foundation of our schools. This module is designed to support and inspire school leaders towards improving student achievement and learning within their schools.

Effective educational leaders understand the “truths” of leadership and the “norms” of great schools. Moving a school from “good to great” requires skill, trust, vision, credibility, commitment, focus and heart. This module will examine the typologies of great schools and the norms of effective leadership. We will discuss and investigate how Supervision for Learning is a critical component of school improvement and learning. We will investigate, share and reflect on current educational research, best practice and new thinking about the connection between leadership learning and student achievement.

Learning Intentions:

  • Explore the mindsets of learning focused leadership.
  • Develop an understanding of Supervision For Learning and the role of school leadership in supporting student learning and achievement.
  • Develop an understanding of the conditions which encourage conversations about enhancing learning and achievement.
  • Model effective learning strategies.

Ian Kennedy

Ian Kennedy is the Head of Collingwood School's Wentworth campus. Previously, he was the Director of Instruction at Collingwood and an administrator in the West Vancouver public school system. He received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria and his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (focusing on leadership), from Simon Fraser University. Ian also completed a certificate in School Leadership from the BC Educational Leadership Council.

Ian has been teaching since 1993. He has taught a variety of science, physical education and student leadership courses and has always been passionately involved in coaching and co-curricular activities. Ian has taught at Collingwood and Shawnigan Lake School and served as a Vice Principal at both West Vancouver Secondary and Rockridge Secondary. In this capacity, he was Chair of the West Vancouver Administrators Professional Development Committee and has facilitated and led a number of workshops for Principals and Teachers. Ian has been a CAIS Leadership Institute Faculty member and CAIS National Forum facilitator. He has presented at a number of conferences and workshops including the CAIS Best Practices Conference, the CAIS National Forum, provincial workshops and has been part of three CAIS Accreditation Teams.

Ian is an avid mountain biker and cyclist, soccer Dad and the proud father of two lovely daughters - Mckinley (15) and Riley (13).

The Leadership Institute was a valuable and worthwhile experience. The modules were practical, motivating and very relevant. The faculty at the LI were knowledgeable and have continued to act as mentors. Most important was the opportunity to meet so many like-minded, CAIS colleagues and those connections continued each summer and beyond. My time at the LI allowed me to gain confidence as a leader.

Jen McKay, Matthews Hall

The CAIS Leadership Institute provided me with a framework and timeline for personal growth in an area that had an immediate impact on how I act in my current role in my own school community. Further, it gave me an opportunity to develop a network of colleagues from various schools across the country who, despite their diverse skillsets, all have a shared interest in what makes schools great. The time spent interacting with current and future school leaders over the course of the program certainly made for some phenomenally engaging brainstorming sessions!

Cole Carlson, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School

The CAIS Leadership Institute goes beyond general leadership, beyond even school leadership, and dives directly into leadership excellence in Canada's finest independent schools. The program brings together the best and brightest emerging leaders to learn directly from the best and brightest established leaders.

Gary Sylven, Rundle College Society

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