Directing the Athletic and PE Programs

Directing the Athletic and PE Programs
Directing the Athletic and PE Programs

Time: 11:00am ET -

Learn the learn the ins and outs of the Athletic Director role so you can effectively communicate, promote, and maintain your school’s athletic program. Explore how to create and implement physical education initiatives that encourage students to lead happy and healthy lives, while maintaining policies that protect their safety.

This workshop is now virtual! What that means for you:

We're all in this together. 
Our professional development events offer guidance, support, and insight to help you lead from a position of strength during this unprecedented time. Let's work together to ensure you're equipped to enter the 2020–21 school year with the research and strategies you need to take on any challenge.

deposit iconLimited Time Offer: Deposit and Defer Option 
Attend any Summer Institute workshop with a $250 deposit paid by June 1, 2020. The remaining balance for your workshop is due by December 31, 2020. Email to get started.

team iconTeam savings have been expanded for our summer workshops!
Would more than one of your school leaders like to attend Summer Institute? After your school registers your first workshop participant at the General price, all other attendees qualify for Second Person Pricing for any workshop. Call to register: 302-656-4944.

Athletics play an important role on a school’s campus. It is the responsibility of the Athletic Director to ensure that their athletics program operates to provide their student athletes with an optimal experience, extending their learning to the playing field.

Through expert-led instruction, hands-on-activities, and research-based strategies, you will be prepared to lead your athletics at your institution. Additionally, physical education is the opportunity to instill the importance of taking care of one’s health through their fitness. Learn how to create and implement physical education initiatives that encourage students to lead happy and healthy lives, while maintaining policies that protect their safety.


    • Define your athletic program mission statement and philosophy, providing your program with a baseline set of priorities upon which every other decision will be based.
    • Establish how to build a successful culture for your student athletes.
    • Learn how to cultivate a positive environment that encourages hiring and retaining quality coaches and staff.
    • Discover how to build a great team with an effective evaluation process.
    • Learn how to lead your physical education department in conjunction with your school’s athletic program.

    Who Should Attend

    Athletic Directors and administrators directly involved in their schools’ student athletics or physical education programs should attend.

    Mary Jo Pruitt

    Mary Jo Pruitt

    ISM Summer Institute Faculty | Director of Athletics at Castilleja School


    Mary Jo Pruitt provides her expertise in the daily operations of upper school and middle school athletic teams, including optimizing processes, encouraging teamwork, and creating a positive atmosphere.

    Current Role

    As Director of Athletics at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA, Mary Jo oversees the daily operations of the Upper School and Middle School athletic teams, which includes 11 Upper School Sports and 10 Middle School Sports.

    Prior Experience

    Prior to Castilleja, Pruitt served as the Assistant Coach for the Stanford Cross Country and Track & Field teams. She worked primarily with the women's distance and middle-distance runners with a special emphasis in recruiting.

    She also previously acted as Assistant Director of Compliance Services, Recruiting and Director of Operations for Track and Field and Cross Country. During her tenure as Director of Operations, Pruitt was the Meet Director of two of the largest high school/college meets in the country, the Stanford Cross Country Invitational and the Stanford Track and Field Invitational.


    Pruitt graduated from UC Davis with bachelor's degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology and earned her master's in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco.

    Summer Institute will be held as a distance learning event.

    How it works:

    Summer Institute will be open from 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT through 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT for the duration of the workshop dates posted.

    During that time, you can expect:

    • Two live sessions with your instructor every day, each up to 90 minutes long
    • Flexible time for independent work, connecting with peers, and group learning

    This workshop will deliver the same high-quality learning and takeaways you expect from an ISM workshop. Below you’ll find an overview of the topics covered.

    Virtual Workshop Schedule (subject to adjustment)

    Topic #1

    • Introduction: Get to know the Athletic Director Group with activities and discussion
      • Outline of the week, expectations for working online and purpose for the workshop
      • Importance of ISM–What does ISM Mean When We Say Mission-Driven, Student


    Topic #2

    • The Athletic Department’s Mission Statement
      • Building a Departmental Mission
      • How to Go From Your School’s Mission to a Department Mission
      • What are your Mission’s Essential Elements and Expected Outcomes?
      • What is Essential in a Crisis, like Covid-19? What outcomes are Possible?
      • How Can Your Department Collect and Share Evidence of Achieving Your Mission


    Topic #3

    • Creating a successful culture  
      • The Role of the Athletic Administrator on your campus
      • Leadership Overview: What is Leading, what is Managing, What is Leading in a Crisis?
      • What Kind of Leader Am I? What Kind of Leader Do I Want to Be?
      • Where is AD in the administrative structure?
      • The ISM Circle
      • Responsibilities of the Director of Athletics …what are our main responsibilities at each of our schools?


    Topic #4

    • Building and Leading a Great Team
      • Characteristics of Good Communication
      • Having Difficult Conversations
      • Development of a Growth Oriented Coaching Staff…what are the attributes of a great coach?
      • What is quality coaching?


    Topic #5

    • ISM’s Growth and Evaluation Framework
      • Ideas for Coaching Observation
      • Building your Athletic Department and Coaching Staff
        • Mentoring vs. Evaluating
        • Social and Emotional Learning
        • Wellness / Nutrition
        • Professional development
        • Coaches recognition

    Topic #6

    • Hiring, Induction, and Mentoring of New Coaches
    • Making changes in your coaching staff
    • Creating the coach’s handbook
      • Content
      • Specific policies
      • Parent’s expectations and how do we meet them
      • Parent/Student Handbook


    Topic #7

    • The Physical Education component


    Topic #8

    • How Should We Plan for School Considering COVID-19?


    Topic #9

    • Departmental Goal Setting, Action Planning
    • What is Achievable?
    • Building Your Action Plan


    Topic #10

    • Reflections on The Workshop
    • Tips and Tricks: Sharing Innovations and Technology Tools
    • How Will We Stay Connected and Continue to Learn From Each Other?

    This workshop will be held virtually. You'll receive information after you register. 

    How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

    It is essential that your school approves the following email addresses from ISM:


    You will be receiving all communication—including your confirmation email and access to your workshop's Google Drive account—from these e-mails.

    What does my registration fee include?

    All workshop materials are included.


    Event Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

    We take the health and safety of our school leaders seriously.

    In an abundance of caution and to protect the health of all participants, ISM will hold its 2020 Summer Institute and Advancement Academy as distance learning events.

    Should ISM cancel an event, we ensure a 100% money-back guarantee for all registrants—so you can buy with confidence. You can feel free to direct any questions to

    Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

    Tuition Payment and Cancellation Policy for ISM’s Professional Development Events

    Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the event. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

    Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing, faxing to 302-656-0647, or mailing to: Event Experience Manager, ISM, 1316 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE, 19806.

    • Cancellations received more than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded. Gold Dollars will also be fully refunded.
    • Cancellations received less than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will not be refunded.
    • Non-payment of tuition or no-show to the event does not constitute a cancellation. Full tuition will be due and payable.

    The Substitution Option and Wallet Option

    If a member of your team can no longer attend a workshop for which they have registered and it is past the cancellation window, your school has two options to avoid penalty. Schools may also exercise these options at any time for cancellations. 

    1. The school may substitute another employee.
    2. The school may bank the funds for a future ISM registration. These funds must be applied to a professional development event within one year from the start date of the original workshop. After one year, the funds will be forfeited. To use banked funds, please call the Event Experience Manager at 302-656-4944 x152.

    *We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.


    Our Guarantee

    ISM believes in providing quality and excellence in all of our events and in ensuring the satisfaction of everyone who attends. Nearly 100% of our participants say they would recommend our events to their colleagues. If you are not satisfied with your event for any reason, ISM will credit the fee you paid toward another similarly priced workshop or will refund it.

    If you have any questions, click below to send us an email. 

    Workshop Registration

    Register for your workshop online by filling out the form below. If you'd prefer to register by PDF, download our registration form. It can be returned via email to or faxed to 302-656-0647.


    If two or more team members from your school are registering for this workshop, fill out the form below for the first registrant. Click "add to cart" and select Add Another Attendee from the cart menu.




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