Organizing Your Board to Support Institutional Sustainability

Westin Wilmington • Wilmington, DE




Status: OPEN
Certification Credits: 20 IACP

$2,284 Non-Member

Travel and accommodations not included

[$1,941.00 Gold Member]

Registration for workshop has closed

I received an actionable set of tools to create the strategic plan we need. This was probably the most valuable workshop I've ever attended in terms of providing concrete, actionable next steps.

Sheryl Medeiros, Board Chair
Eastside Catholic School, WA
Workshop participant 2017

This workshop earns 20 credits towards your IACP credit requirements

Bring your team! Pay only $1,397 tuition for each additional person. Call 302-656-4944 to register.

This weekend workshop focuses on your Board of Trustees and its role in enhancing the sustainability of your private-independent school. The structure of the workshop reflects ISM's decades of research into the relationship between Board structure and function and the strategic strength of your school.

Leave with the knowledge to survive now and thrive for years to come with proven ISM leadership strategies, assessment tools, and planning processes. This workshop begins Saturday morning and ends Sunday at noon, allowing most participants to be away from home only two nights, and to miss just one day of work.

Topics Include:

  • Using ISM's Strategic Board Assessment II instrument.
  • Developing a strategic plan that integrates critical financial variables within its structure.
  • Establishing the central role of the Committee on Trustees (Governance Committee).
  • Developing the Annual Board Agenda.
  • Formulating each year of a Board committee structure designed to fit the Annual Board Agenda.
  • Determining the role of the Head Support and Evaluation Committee: the linking unit between governance and operations.

Who Should Attend:

Board Presidents, Chairs of Committees on Trustees, School Heads, and others in Board leadership positions should attend.

staff photo walker buckalew

Walker Buckalew, Ph.D.

ISM Executive Consultant


Schools benefit specifically from Walker's experience as an ISM consultant, in school and university administration, and in his national research into the factors that make schools successful in retaining and maintaining high academic performance. Since joining ISM in 1989, Walker has developed expertise in Strategic Performance Analyses, Long Range Planning, Board Workshops, and Transition Planning. He has also been instrumental in developing ISM's approach to strategic financial planning. He is an expert in Board structure and responsibilities.

Current Role

Walker is the author and/or editor of ISM's line of books for teachers, including:

  • Twenty Principles for Teaching Excellence:The Teacher's Workbook
  • MFE: Faculty Development and Renewal
  • Teaching Excellence II: A Research-Based Workbook for Teachers

In addition, he co-wrote Coping With Choosing a College, a guide for students, parents, counselors, and teachers.

For more than 20 years, Walker has been involved with research into the areas of renewal, performance, health, and stress. In 1995, he started a process on Meaningful Faculty Evaluation that he offered through a firm of his own. This process became one of ISM's consulting services.

Prior Experience

Walker brings with him 19 years of experience in education, having been a teacher and administrator in public schools, an associate professor of education at St. Lawrence University (NY), and director of both the Kellogg Foundation Behavioral Health Project and the Reynolds Foundation Minority Health Project at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Before joining ISM, Walker served as Chief Operating Officer, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President of Cumberland University (TN), where he worked effectively with a 42-member Board.


Walker earned his ME.d. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wyoming and his bachelor’s degree from Duke University.

Workshop Schedule


7:15-8:00 Continental Breakfast

8:00–10:00 Session One

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 Session Two

12:00-1:00 Lunch with ISM

1:00-3:00 Session Three

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Session Four

5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM


7:15-8:00 Continental Breakfast

8:00-10:00 Session Five

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 Session Six/Action Planning

Workshop Location
Westin Wilmington
818 Shipyard Dr.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Group hotel reservation rate of $169 is available until June 16, 2018. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

The ISM Summer Institute Hotel is The Westin Wilmington, attached to the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

818 Shipyard Drive (Riverfront)
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: 302-654-2900

Special ISM Rate: $169 plus taxes

Once you have registered for a workshop, please make your hotel reservation by calling 302-654-2900 and letting them know you are with ISM. Follow the hotel link on your workshop page for room rates and reservations.

There riverfront has a lot to offer you to occupy your downtime after an intense day of professional development training. Follow the river walk for restaurants, the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge and the DuPont Environmental Education Center, the Delaware Children's Museum, and Stratosphere Trampoline Park, to name a few.

Take in a movie at the new Penn River Cinema, with not only comfortable stadium seating but also an IMAX theatre. At various times during Summer Institute, the Class A Wilmington Blue Rocks will take to the diamond at the next-door Frawley Stadium. For Planet Fitness members, there is a large facility across from the Westin.

The outstanding River Rock Kitchen is right inside the Westin, but you are also walking distance to the first-class Iron Hill Brewery, Delaware's Big Fish Grill, Timothy's on the Riverfront, Joe's Crab Shack, and Firestone; Udon Thai Cuisine and Kooma for Asian fusion; Molly's Ice Cream (sandwiches too!), the Riverfront Market and Harry's Seafood Grill just a little further down the Riverwalk.

You can also hop one of the Dart First State Route 12 Riverfront buses ($2 cash) to go to LOMA, or Lower Market Street, for more excellent restaurants we well as the Queen Theatre.

Getting There

By plane and shuttle: Philadelphia International is the closest airport. A shared van shuttle to Wilmington —a 45–60 minute ride, depending on traffic and the number of riders—costs about $35 each way. Visit the del reservation page ( and select click on the Group Code button. Enter 207866 at the bottom in the GROUP ID box. You can reach Delaware Express at 800.648.5466.

You can also use UBER — rates will vary depending on time of day, etc. You can use the Fare Estimator on to determine the fair. Use UberX or UberPOOL for the lowest fares.

Flights to Baltimore (BWI) can be less expensive, but it is an 80-mile trip to Wilmington. A shuttle costs about $125 each way, or you can rent a car at the airport.

By train: There is an Amtrak station in downtown Wilmington. You can request the hotel shuttle for transportation.

By car: Click here for directions from the Philadelphia Airport to the Westin Wilmington.

How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

It is essential that your school approves the following e-mail addresses from ISM:

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

What does my registration fee include?

All workshop materials, breakfasts, lunch or dinner daily, and social hours are included.

What is not included in my registration fee?

Hotel accommodations and travel expenses, other meals not noted.

What should I wear?

Summer temperatures average mid-80s to a low of 65. It can get quite hot—into the 90s—and humid. The classrooms and guest rooms are usually comfortable, but you may want to dress in layers in case the rooms are too warm or too cool for you. Dress is casual. Wear whatever is comfortable—jeans, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. For current weather conditions, we recommend checking

What should I bring?

You’ll receive a letter from your workshop instructor letting you know what to bring. However, please bring a laptop or tablet for online access.

Where can I work out?

The Westin has a state-of-the-art fitness room and an exercise pool. Planet Fitness members can walk across the hotel parking lot to the expansive Riverfront Planet Fitness facility. The Riverwalk provides an excellent running and walking path as well.

Can my special dietary requirements be met?

Absolutely. Just give the Workshops Department a call at 302-656-4944, and we'll make sure your needs are accommodated.

How much free time will I have?

There are periods before, between, and after workshop sessions for relaxation, recreation, and socializing.

Should I need medical or dental attention, where should I go?

Should you need medical attention in a non-emergency, notify ISM staff and the hotel staff. The hotel can recommend what facilities are available, and may be able to supply transportation. In an emergency, call 911.

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.)

CCancellation Policy

If circumstances change and you cannot attend the workshop, you must confirm your cancellation in writing via fax (302-656-0647) or email ( 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.

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. Failure to appear does not constitute a cancellation.

*We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.

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