We are committed to...
  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Emerging Leaders Institute

The next cohort will begin Fall of 2020.

Applications will open in March 2020, and will be due May 2020.

Program Description

Emerging Leaders is a year-long cohort-based program to support and develop independent school leaders in taking their next step in their career. That may be toward taking on new responsibilities in your current role or taking on something completely new. Participants will meet monthly via video-conference, attend NWAIS professional development programming and ELI retreats.

Participant Profile

Ideal participants may be currently serving in a variety of positions within their school including teacher, administrator, or staff and actively seek leadership opportunities outside of their role. Teacher candidates should be able to demonstrate leadership beyond their classroom, such as serving as a grade level leader, dean, department chair, self-study coordinator or task force chair. Administrators and staff who currently serve as instructional coaches, division heads, assistant heads, admissions officers, business managers, and development director will also be strong candidates. Participants should be able to articulate their vision for the next step in their leadership journey.


Over the course of the two years participants will participate in:

  • Monthly zoom meetings with their cohort. These will have a mix of content delivery and discussion. Zoom meetings will take place from 3:15-5:00pm in the afternoon, on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
  • Six coaching sessions (three per year) with someone currently serving in a leadership capacity in an NWAIS school. These will focus on problems of practice and supporting your personal leadership journey.
  • Two day-long retreats to kick off each year’s learning and develop the cohort as a team and learning community
  • Participation in several NWAIS programs including:
    • Fall Educators Conference (2018, 2019)
    • Leadership Institute (2019)
    • Two additional NWAIS single-day workshops of your choice (2018, 2019)
  • Attendance at NAIS & POCC Encouraged – Price not included


Over the course of the two years participants will:

  • Build meaningful and transformational relationships with facilitators, cohort members and presenters and coaches.
  • Develop skills and knowledge in core areas of school and organizational leadership.
  • Have time for reflection and personal growth resulting in a set of documents to help propel you in the next phase of your career including:
    • CV / Resume
    • Ed Philosophy Statements
    • Diversity Philosophy Statements
    • Leadership Philosophy Statements
    • Career Roadmap


Check back for 2020 Tuition

Tuition is inclusive of all components and event registration fees. Travel and housing during conferences are not included. NWAIS attendees can utilize the NWAIS travel share program to defray some of these costs.

This program is open to those working in NWAIS and ACIS schools. If you are not employed by a NWAIS or ACIS member school and would like to participate, please contact Emily McGrath to see if you may qualify for a waiver.

Cancellation Policy

View the cancellation policy


The Emerging Leaders Institute will serve approximately 20 participants. The second cohort will begin with a required retreat in August 18, 2020. The application will help you and the selection committee assess if this is the right time in your career to take on this program.

Application Components

  1. CV / Resume
  2. Endorsement from current Head of School: An endorsement stipulates that the Head of School is aware that you are applying and is supportive of your participation. Link to endorsement form will be included.
  3. Recommendation from supervisor. Link to recommendation form will be included.
  4. Application (more information to follow)

Application and Decision Timeline

March - April 2020 - Applications Are Open

May 1, 2020 - Applications are due

June 1, 2020 - Second Emerging Leaders Institute Cohort Announced

  • Guiding
  • Inspiring
  • Advancing
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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