23rd Annual Heads Retreat

Seagate Hotel and Spa • Delray Beach, FL




Status: OPEN

$3,669 Non-Member

Travel and accommodations not included

[$3,119.00 Gold Member]

As always, the excellence in preparation and delivery of all presentations, materials, and the research therein, is unparalleled.

Mark Davis, Head of School
Covenant Day School, NC

Command Your Journey

As the leader of your school, you’re responsible for navigating your school’s ship and empowering your crew. ISM’s Annual Heads Retreat gathers School Heads to hear the latest research concerning private-independent schools, engage in deep conversation, and network with their peers to discover new perspectives.

Dr. Bryan Smyth, ISM's Director of Research, will present a firsthand look at the latest private-independent school research. Attendees will also get to participate in inspiring conversation and knowledge-sharing while seeking advice and insight from fellow School Heads.

And because our research shows that a School Head’s sense of well-being has a significant impact on the health of the school, attendees will also have plenty of time to relax and reflect after half-day sessions, enjoy meals and receptions, and explore beautiful Delray Beach.

With a limit of 24 attendees, this Retreat is a consistent sell-out. Register today!

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

staff photo barbara beachley

Barbara Beachley

ISM Director of Advisory Services | Consultant


Barbara provides her expertise in the areas of student-centered and brain-based pedagogies, faculty growth and culture, faculty evaluation, academic leadership, mission identity, survey best practices, and data analysis.

Current Role

As Director of ISM Advisory Services, Barbara:

  • Oversees ISM’s Consulting, Publications, Research, and Professional Development divisions
  • Consults in strategic academic planning and school leadership
  • Writes for ISM’s publications, including Ideas & Perspectives
  • Facilitates some of ISM's scheduling workshops, empowering teachers to transition to and teach effectively in longer periods
  • Leads courses at ISM’s Summer Institute, including Transformative Academic Leadership: Inspire and Empower Excellence and Administration and Faculty Evaluation: Maximize Your Team's Capacity
  • Speaks at educational conferences, including CASE-NAIS, EMA, and AISAP
  • Facilitates Board and school leadership retreats

Prior Experience

Barbara joined ISM in 2011 after working in the field of education since 1996. She served as an ESL and adult literacy teacher at Boston University, MA; an upper school modern language teacher at the MacDuffie School, MA; and a language teacher and lead advisor at Collegiate School, VA. She also served as Academic Dean at Cape Henry Collegiate School, VA, where she oversaw curriculum and professional growth in grades PK−12.

While enrolled at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, she attended a year of high school in France through School Year Abroad. She later lived in Spain and Brazil, where she learned Spanish and Portuguese.


Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish from Trinity College, CT; a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Boston University, MA; a master’s degree in educational administration from Harvard University, MA; and a master’s degree in independent school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, NY.

Personal Mission Statement

To cherish my work and to support and empower educators such that they cherish theirs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

5-9 p.m. Reception, dinner (your guest is welcome) and opening session

Thursday, November 8, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-10 a.m. Morning session
10-10:15 a.m. Morning Break
10:15 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Morning session
Noon-1:15 p.m. Lunch (your guest is welcome)
1:30-3 p.m. Afternoon session
3–5 p.m Free time
5-6 p.m. Evening reception (your guest is welcome)

Friday, November 9, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-10 a.m. Morning session
10:15 a.m.–noon Morning session
Noon-5 p.m. Free time

Saturday, November 10, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-Noon Potpourri—topics of interest

Your spouse or guest is welcome at all meals and receptions.

Workshop Location
Seagate Hotel and Spa
1000 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Group hotel reservation rate of $229 is available until October 10, 2018. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa
1000 East Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Heads Retreat attendees can take advantage of a special $229 nightly rate plus taxes. To make your reservations, click on the link above or call 877-577-3242 and say you are with the ISM Heads Retreat.

Stay calm. Stay cool. Stay comfortable. That’s the essence of your stay at The Seagate Hotel & Spa, the premier and preferred beachfront getaway in Delray Beach, Florida.

Born from the distinguished Seagate heritage of hospitality, experience the luxury of a resort with the intimacy of a retreat, where island ease meets urban chic, and the ocean soothes you as the city stirs you.

Beyond the charming, beach-chic façade, relax in contemporary comfort surrounded by 7,000-gallon aquariums, a 2,500-gallon shark tank, and sea-inspired fixtures evoking tropical tranquility.

Enjoy luxuriously appointed guest rooms with the finest features, our full-service spa and fitness center, a poolside paradise, six distinctive dining venues, and endless amenities that capture the tranquility of the sea—all in Seagate style.You will enjoy:

  • Private beach access at the Seagate Beach Club with pool, restaurants, and transfers including towels, umbrellas, and beach chairs
  • Transportation anywhere within a 3-mile radius of the hotel
  • Access to the Seagate Country Club featuring an 18-hole private golf course and tennis
  • 24-hour fitness center access
  • Complimentary newspaper delivered daily to your room
  • Complimentary WIFI
  • In-room coffee & tea
  • Discounted parking of $10 per night

BY PLANE: The Seagate is easily accessible from three airports—Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL), and Miami International Airport (MIA). For ground transportation, consult the website of their airport you wish to use. SuperShuttle.com services both Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports. If you chose SuperShuttle, use the discount code SFUN2 when you book.

BY CAR: For information and directions, visit https://www.theseagatehotel.com/about-the-seagate/location-directions/

Confirmation Policy

We will correspond with you through e-mail as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its beginning. Occasionally, we may be forced to cancel an unconfirmed, scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. So we ask that you do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive notice that your workshop is confirmed. (ISM will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline or travel agent.)

Cancellation Policy

If circumstances change and you cannot attend the workshop, you must confirm your cancellation in writing via fax (302-656-0647) or email (workshops@isminc.com). If you do so at least 10 business days prior to the start of the workshop, you can request a full refund of monies paid. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, we will refund you all but $600. If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, you will forfeit the entire workshop fee. You also have the option of applying your monies paid to another workshop within a year of the cancelled one. If you want to exercise this option, you must inform us in writing with your request to cancel. If you do not so, we will automatically keep the $600 cancellation fee.

If you enroll using Consortium Credits, and cancel your attendance in writing at least 10 days prior to the start date of the workshop, all Credits will be returned to your school. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, if you cancel, all but two of the Credits will be returned to your school. (You have the option of buying back those two Credits for $600.)

If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, your school loses all the Consortium Credits used for payment.

Please note that non-payment of tuition does not constitute a cancellation. *We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.

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