Road Map to Year One: ISM’s New Head Accelerator

Roadmap to Year One: ISM’s New Head Accelerator
Roadmap to Year One: ISM’s New Head Accelerator

Online Course Timeframe: Meetings on March 17, March 24, March 31 & April 7 | Synchronous Meetings Times: 90 minutes per meeting

You’re starting a new Headship this summer or began one during one of the most unprecedented school years in education—now what?

  • What are achievable personal and professional goals to set in this new school environment, and how do they align with your school’s strategic plan?
  • How do you, as a new Head, work with an established Board, even with the basics such as meeting presentations and building reports?
  • How do you set or execute on a budget, especially one you had little or no control over creating?
  • What's your role in supporting your school's development goals?
  • How do you set the tone and culture for the school?

There are many questions to ask! Luckily, we have the answers. ISM Consultant Shannan Schuster, who recently finished a headship at The Swain School, Pennsylvania, will share her experiences, along with ISM tools and strategies to ensure your first year is productive and successful.

This online workshop will set you on the right course for your headship—without dedicating endless hours of meetings or coursework to professional development. Discover the invaluable framework that provides a roadmap to succeeding as a new Head.

You will learn how to:

  • differentiate between managing and leading, including defining your role, managing up and down, and creating YOUR team;
  • provide predictability and support to your Leadership Team, faculty, and staff;
  • navigate Board norms to set routines, boundaries, and expectations;
  • create and execute a budget, no matter the role you played in creating it;
  • support the school’s fundraising strategies effectively;
  • set personal goals that you can successfully achieve; and
  • avoid common pitfalls of first-year Heads.

After this online workshop, you’ll be:

  • confident that you’re ready to lead effectively from day one;
  • knowledgeable about recommended strategies that successful Heads use; and
  • prepared with the knowledge to stay sane, balanced, and happy through it all.

This online workshop is for:

Heads preparing to start their roles in summer 2021 or who have just completed their first year in the position.

Shannan Schuster

Shannan Schuster, Ed.D.

ISM Consultant


Shannan shares her expertise in school management, school leadership, project-based learning, faculty evaluation, scheduling, and curriculum.

Current Role

In addition to her consultation and coaching services, Shannan's responsibilities at ISM also focus on:

  • writing for ISM’s advisory letter Ideas & Perspectives, distributed to school leaders in almost 1,000 schools;
  • leading School-Head focused workshops and webinars; and
  • offering ISM content, quick tips, and tools via LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Prior Experience

Shannan was Head of School at The Swain School from 2016–2020. In this role, she:

  • worked with the Board of Trustees to implement the mission, vision and strategic goals of the school; 
  • supervised all aspects of the academic program;
  • oversaw all student activities and extracurricular opportunities;
  • was responsible for financial management of $7M budget;
  • developed and coordinated all professional development;
  • oversaw maintenance and facility operations;
  • managed and assisted with enrollment management;
  • assisted the Development office with fundraising efforts, including a $2M capital campaign, annual fund and stewardship; and 
  • worked with the communications office to implement marketing and branding campaigns.

Shannan was also the Assistant Head of School at Friends Central School. She has been a Dean of Faculty, Assistant Principal, and Department Chair.


Shannan has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. She earned her master's degree in Educational Administration, specialty in Private School Leadership, from Columbia University, and her Ed.D. from the University of Virginia.

This is a distance learning event.

How it works:

  • Synchronous learning will be held on 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, and 4/7 for 90 minutes each day. Eastern time, unless otherwise noted by your instructor, for the duration of the workshop dates posted.
  • The rest of the time will be flexible 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. 

This workshop will be held virtually.

You'll receive login information after you register. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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 only distance learning events until further notice.

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, 2207 Concord Pike, #417 Wilmington, DE, 19803.

  • 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.

See our Confirm/Cancel policy here. 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. 


Upcoming Workshops and Events

3/17/2021 — 4/7/2021


Road Map to Year One: ISM’s New Head Accelerator

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