Imagine What You Could Achieve With the Support of an ISM Executive Coach

ISM’s Platinum membership provides you with an Executive Coach, a training curriculum for success, and an Advisory Board of fellow Heads who are working to strengthen their Headship. Join an elite group of peers who can help you excel.

EXECUTIVE COACHING TRANSFORMATIVE STRATEGIES PEER GROUP SOLUTIONS SCHOOLWIDE RESOURCES

As a Member

Be supported and empowered in your headship with individualized guidance—backed by 45+ years of research and experience.

Rely on ISM experts—many former School Heads themselves—to walk through your challenges and find solutions specifically for your needs.

Plus: Engage in monthly cohort meetings with other Platinum Heads to discuss the topics most impactful to your mission.

 

As a School Head, you are expected to have all the answers. Rely on us to help you answer critical questions, such as:

Where should our school focus its efforts?
Are teachers, parents, and students happy?
Do our donors understand how their gifts impact our mission?
Should our school undertake a new schedule initiative?
How can I keep the Board informed and engaged?
Am I setting the school up for future success?
 

Executive Coaching


Personalized Attention

One-on-one guidance

Get advice and insight from your ISM Executive Coach with a monthly one-on-one support session to dive deeper into your challenges and opportunities. Ask questions about your specific issues, and get tailored advice so you can move forward with confidence.
Receive individualized guidance each month
Turn to an ISM expert and former School Head for advice
Feel confident that you have the tools to succeed

MEET THE PLATINUM COACHES Scroll to see more →

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson

Platinum Executive Coach

Experience

  • President and Headmaster, Baylor School, TN
  • Head of School, Brookstone School, GA
  • Head of School, Valwood School, GA
  • Admission Director, Upper School Head, Baylor and Hammond School, SC

 

Scott, a 40-year leader in independent schools, joined ISM as a Platinum Executive Coach in summer 2021. Before that, he served as President and Headmaster of Baylor School, Tennessee, from 2009 to 2021. Scott understands the unique demands of independent school leadership and the skills necessary for navigating headship effectively—from strategic planning to the realities of working daily with the myriad constituencies of today’s complex school world. Above all, he retains his passion for independent schools and the services they provide for their students.

 

Andrew Tayler
Andrew Taylor, Ed.D.

Consultant & Platinum Executive Coach

Experience

  • Head of School, Tower School, MA
  • Head of Lower School, St. Paul’s, MD
  • Assistant Head of School, St. James’ School, CA
  • Assistant Headmaster, The John Thomas Dye School, CA

 

Andrew joined ISM in 2017, following 22 years in private-independent schools. Andrew shares his expertise in school management, professional growth and development, project-based learning, scheduling, and faculty evaluation. Andrew previously served as Head of Tower School, Massachusetts, where he was charged with rationalizing the operating budget, rightsizing the staffing model, and reconfiguring the school schedule to facilitate interdisciplinary instruction and project-based learning. Before that, he was Head of Lower School at St. Paul’s Schools, Maryland.

 

Shannan Schuster
Shannan Schuster, Ed.D.

Consultant & Platinum Executive Coach

Experience

  • Head of School, The Swain School, PA
  • Assistant Head of School, Friends' Central School, PA
  • Dean of Faculty, Flint Hill School, VA
  • Teacher, various independent schools

 

Shannan joined ISM in 2020, following 26 years in public, parochial, and private-independent schools. Shannan shares her expertise in school management, hiring, leadership, support services, scheduling, and Board-Head collaboration. Shannan previously served as Head of School at The Swain School, Pennsylvania. Before becoming a Head of School, Shannan was the Assistant Head of School at Friends’ Central School, Pennsylvania, and Dean of Faculty at Flint Hill School, Virginia.

 

Polly Parker
Polly Parker, Ph.D.

Platinum Executive Coach

Experience

  • Head of School, Escuela Americana, El Salvador
  • Head of School, Chase Collegiate School, CT
  • Head of School, The Winston School, CA
  • Director, Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, VA

 

Polly brings over 15 years of national and international leadership experience building educational programs and leading change initiatives. She helps school leaders overcome adversity and challenges, including funding, curriculum evolution, and regional political and socioeconomic obstacles to success.

In her role as Head of School at Escuela Americana El Salvador, Polly established relationships with US state department officials, laid the framework for a fundraising infrastructure, and secured $600K in grants. She also Spearheaded end-to-end program growth and change by introducing innovative solutions, design thinking, a new curriculum, and building a team aligned with the new outlook on education. This led to increased enrollment—overcoming 10 years of downward trends.

 

 

Discover Transformative Strategies for Success


Proven Curriculum

KEY STRATEGIES FOR LONG-TERM GROWTH

More than a single voice and experience, our Executive Coaches pull from our rich history and research to provide you with a multiyear approach to school sustainability, executive leadership, Board relationships, and strategic planning. Receive research-backed guidance from ISM and experts in various disciplines and backgrounds.
Card image cap

First year highlight:

Complimentary ISM Surveys: Stability Marker Assessment Survey and Parent Satisfaction Survey. These instruments help you understand your school’s strengths and challenges so you can focus on the areas of most importance.

Card image cap

Second year highlight:

Complimentary Boardable® App: Boardable can help your school better engage with your Board members and committees, enabling them to have greater focus to ensure your school’s future viability. Along with a streamlined onboarding process by the ISM team, take advantage of pre-loaded resources only available from ISM.

Create a Sustainable School Model

CORE TOPICS

  • Sustainability: ISM X and Stability Markers
  • Structure: ISM Circle
  • Positioning: P&O Statements
  • Faculty Culture: Feedback and Growth
  • Financial Planning
  • Change Management
  • Advancement Practices
  • Well-Being and Efficacy
  • Efficient Hiring
  • Re-Enrollment Strategies
  • Employment Contracts
  • Scheduling
  • Academic Planning

 

Cultivate Strong Board Relationships and Your Leadership Style

CORE TOPICS

  • Board Structure
  • Strategic Planning
  • Recruiting, Orienting, and Retaining Great Board Members
  • Generative Thinking
  • Developing a Philanthropic Board
  • Head Support and Evaluation Committee
Develop a Strategic Vision and Personal Goals for the Future

CORE TOPICS

  • Sustainability: ISM X and Stability Markers
  • Strategic Financial Planning
  • Strategic Academic Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Goal Setting
 

Benefit From a Close-Knit, Supportive Group of Peers


Peer Group Solutions

AN ADVISORY BOARD OF FELLOW HEADS

Only other Heads can understand and empathize with the challenges and triumphs of your unique role. Ask for advice, provide feedback, and engage with peers throughout your Platinum membership.
Get feedback on new ideas and discuss common challenges.
Engage in affinity groups based on grades served, boarding or day environment, or leadership style.
[ Exclusive Invitation ] You’ll have the opportunity to attend Platinum-only retreats twice per year!
 

+
Enjoy Member Benefits for Your Entire School Team

 


40+ complimentary webinars each year

Ideas & Perspectives, ISM’s flagship advisory letter for your entire school

All research from ISM

Savings on events and consulting services

Tools and assessments to ensure long-term viability

Exclusive member community

Rely on ISM’s 45+ years of research to support your ongoing growth and leadership as a School Head. Your school’s success depends on it.

 

Want to learn more? Contact our team today!