Together in Our Independence

November 2017
Campfire S'mores at the ISANNE Advancement & Communications Conference at 
Church Landing in Meredith, NH
ISANNE Quick Links
December 2017
4-5 Academic and Student Life Leaders Conference, Church Landing, Meredith, NH

January 2018
9-10 Business Officers Conference, The Westin, Portland, ME

9 Corporate Partner Reception, The Westin, Portland, ME

March 2018
MAIS Law Seminar, Senator Inn, Augusta, ME

7 Archives Conference, Fryeburg Academy

April 2018
Cliff House, ME

May 2018
Woodstock Inn, VT
November 2017 
Hello ISANNE Friends,

We kicked off November on lovely Lake Winnipesaukee with conferences for the Advancement & Communication professionals and the Heads. The Advancement & Communications conference focused on "It's All About the Brand" with 70 participants from 29 schools. The planning team, led by Co-chairs Nick LeBel from Bridgton Academy and LeeAnne Smith from Stanstead College, 
packed a day and a half with take-back-to-campus information and networking. Thought leaders shared new ways to gain strong Search Engine Results (SEO), branding and positioning strategies, lessons learned from the campaign trail, expanding your donor base, and effective alumni engagement practices from a panel of three alums from different schools. The keynote speaker, Andy Shepard CEO of the Outdoor Sport Institute, shared how to differentiate from the crowded marketplace. Andy's experience with LL Bean and the US Biathlon highlighted examples of building brand and rebranding an existing one. We also learned how to identify a school's 3-4 unique brand pillars and integrate them throughout one's community. 

The Heads conference "Diversity and Inclusivity in Challenging Times" began with Berwick Academy's Head, Greg Schneider and Director of Cultural Competency, Michael Buensuceso describing their strategy for implementing change in their school culture. Heads Nicole DuFauchard, The Advent School in Boston, Phil Peck from Holderness and Geoff Wagg from Waynflete Schools also presented. A critical first step is to reveal and acknowledge the reality of the school's current culture and how it  compares to the school's mission and then make the commitment to address the disparity. Several schools shared the ways they are addressing attitudes, initiating conversations among community members and the challenges encountered along the way.  

A school's brand is the promise made to families about the opportunity at the school. Both conferences provided questions and information to help schools strengthen their brand for the benefit of the student. This month's blog post, "Affording our Value Proposition," by Kimball Union Academy's Head, Mike Schafer is about the challenge to deliver this promise while facing rising tuition and operating costs.     


Laurie Hurd
Executive Director
Together in Our Independence

ISANNE  unites, supports and promotes its diverse member schools in a changing world.
ISANNE Member Views

   Mike Schafer is Head of School at
Kimball Union Academy
This month's Member View comes to us from Mike Schafer, Head of School at Kimball Union Academy

"Affording our Value Proposition

The pressure is mounting on our independent schools, particularly those in northern New England. Demographic changes and slow economic development are making it more challenging to enroll mission appropriate students. Our schools are working to authentically convey, what feels like an ever-challenging message of "value proposition". In additional to enrollment challenges, the requirement to secure resources to support students, and facilities to create the "best environment" for our children to learn and grow is for many school Heads is perhaps our greatest challenge. Tuitions continue to rise above inflation. Our common understanding of what a child needs to be well educated in the 21st century is changing with each passing year.
School and Corporate Partner Events 
Upcoming ISANNE School and Corporate Partner Events open to ISANNE members:

November 15 - Building Construction and Renovation Risk Management Forum with 
Fred C. Church 

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