Student & Residential Life

proudly sponsored by

Most sessions will include a recorded presentation available to all Conference attendees throughout the Conference until the end of December 2020


Curbing HR Headaches in Residential Life

From faculty spouses plugging in their electric cars or running a sales business out of their homes, to medical marijuana usage, sleepovers and restraining orders, we’ve all learned to expect the unexpected in faculty housing. In a rapidly changing world, it can feel like your policies are always behind the curve. Learn about current issues and ways to tweak your handbook and policies so you’ll be steps ahead of potential surprises.

Amber Stockham

SPHR, Director, Human Resources Programs, National Business Officers Association, DC

Grace Lee, Esq.

Partner, Venable LLP, DC


Engaging Residential Students When You Have No Residents: Programming in the Midst of COVID-19

We'll examine the way Bard Academy transitioned their residential programming from in-person events to an online server, engaging students like never before.

Mafalda Gueta
Residence Director, Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock, MA

Max Taylor
Residence Director, Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock, MA


Connecting Across Distance

The world social distanced and schools sought ways to maintain connection. Moving activities and major events took creativity and persistence. Join us to discuss how we maintained community through meetups, cooking shows, and contests. Look at where challenges presented opportunities and how students interacted with numerous experts and professionals, expanding our programmatic offerings at a time when many were forced to strip back. Share lessons learned and new ideas that will be carried forward.

Amber Goupil

Director of Student Life Programs, Perkiomen School, PA

Shaun Yorgey

Director of Strategic Innovation, Perkiomen School, PA


Trust, not Trouble: Nurturing Healthy Bonds with Students

Young people need trusted adults for support. But in litigious times where careers crumble under tawdry tweets, boundaries trainings focus on forbidden activities. Unfortunately, this deficient approach instills more anxiety than acumen whenever faculty and students interact. This fresh approach to teaching professional boundaries recognizes our common humanity and emphasizes Universal Youth Needs. Come learn the skills and confidence all faculty need to transform fear-based restraint into trust-based effectiveness with students.

Christopher Thurber

Psychologist & Educator, Phillips Exeter Academy &, NH

Brooklyn Raney

Consultant & Author, Brooklyn Raney, LLC, MA


Social and Emotional Learning and the Chaplain: An Underutilized Asset

In recent years, many educational institutions have expanded their teaching repertoire to include social and emotional skills, commonly known as Emotional Intelligence (EQ) or Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). While the benefits of these skills have been discussed widely, the role of the chaplain as a potential promoter of these proficiencies has not been addressed. This session will focus on how a chaplain can help promote and engage a school’s SEL curriculum.

William Whitmore

School Minister, Mercersburg Academy, PA


Re-Centering Residential Life At a Small Boarding School

This session will explore St. Mark's School's transition from its 2020 Strategic Plan initiatives to its current focus on Residential Life. The initiatives of the 2020 plan were primarily centered on academic related pursuits which unintentionally supported thinking in terms of silos around our approach to education (academics, athletics and residential life). As the school has realized its 2020 objectives, several teams are working to break down the silos through making the implicit explicit with regard to residential life and holistic education. Regardless of space or time of day, it is residential life, the boarding experience that supports overall student success. What resources, training and opportunities do faculty and students need to fully benefit from residential learning? Hear from the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential life and House Heads leading efforts with House Teams and Student Leaders.

Stacey Jones Lee

Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residential Life, St. Mark’s School, MA


Integrated Student Responses: How Asheville School seeks to identify and support students of concern

In today's market, many boarding schools find themselves increasing the size of their applicant pool and admitting students with more, and increasingly diverse, challenges. How schools respond to supporting students throughout the year can be critical to ensuring student success and maintaining positive school culture. This presentation will outline how one boarding school utilizes an integrated model across academic and student life domains to work toward student success.

Megan Grant

Director of Residential Life, The Asheville School, NC

Ben Williamson

Assistant Head of School for Student Life, The Asheville School, NC


Pre-Arrival Learning for International Students

As the international program at Walnut Hill continues to grow, ensuring students are well prepared before arrival has become ever more critical. We've worked to create an extensive online orientation, which international students can study at home prior to arriving. The session will provide ideas and tools for how schools can create their own pre-arrival orientations. We will share statistics, learning outcomes, content, administration and much more.

Thomas Christensen

Executive Director, Vital English, BC

Lauren Johanson

International Program Coordinator, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, MA


roundtable discussion:

Lessons Learned and Innovations that Will Endure Beyond 2020

Join Jennifer Rundles, Associate Director of Upper School at Darlington School, and friends to hear and share the best lessons and practices to come out of the last nine months of forced disruption and innovation in the realm of residential and student life. We’ll discuss the developments of 2020 that are worth sustaining into the future.

Jennifer Rundles

Associate Director of Upper School, Darlington School


Paul Organ

Co-Chief Executive Officer, Boardingware


Mandy Griffin

Director of Residential Life, Indian Springs School

Tim Healy

Dean of Students, Saint Mary’s School