Professional Development

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, SBS faculty and staff engaged in COVID-19-related webinars through NAIS, AISNE, state departments of education, and Utica National Insurance Group. Additionally, they continued their work in professional development courses on anti-racism, technology, remote learning, and more.  

Faculty members Ellen Carter, Kara Fagan, Hannah Richards, Karen Pleasant, Karen Suchenski, Andrea Tehan Carnes, and Bill Ivey enrolled as a team in the Back to School Camp organized by the Association for Middle Level Education. A week of topic-oriented chats and one-on-one planning time with AMLE experts preceded three in-depth days of sessions on remote learning, building relationships, assessment, smoothing transitions, social-emotional learning, and much more. The experience also included follow-up check-ins and ongoing access to resources.

Teachers Karen Pleasant, Sara Gibbons, Andrea Tehan Carnes, Cat Wagner, Karen Suchenski and Assistant to the Residential Life and Academic Deans Sam Torres participated in American University’s Summer Institute on Education, Equity, and Justice entitled, “Uplifting Women & Girls of Color Through Antiracist Pedagogy, Practice & Policy.” This three-day virtual conference consisted of workshops that focused on how racism affects the education, health, and legal status of our students of color. The conference provided practices and tools to help us develop equitable educational and social-emotional programs for our students of color at SBS.

Middle School Dean Bill Ivey enrolled in a six-week book discussion on Gholdy Muhammad’s Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. The online chat was hosted by anti-racist educator Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price. The book draws on the tradition of Black literacy societies to build a four-part framework for equity teaching: identity development, skill development, intellectual development, and criticality. Bill said, “I’m about halfway through the book and can already tell it will add a critical layer to my Humanities 7 work.” Bill also guest-facilitated a session in the NENTS 1.0 seminar for beginning teachers, on being white anti-racist educators. Bree Wisniewski ‘12, who will be teaching fourth grade at The Bement School, was in the group. Bill is also a staff member for NENTS 2.0, designed for teachers with 1-4 years of experience. This seminar runs from August 12-15 and also deliberately and intentionally incorporates an equity lens into the work of education. Both seminars are co-sponsored by AISNE and CAIS.

In addition to attending many professional development sessions, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment Kristen Mariotti has given several professional (virtual) presentations this summer on enrollment management in our current climate for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), The Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA), and the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). She also recently recorded a Podcast with EMA discussing SBS’ remote learning plan. 

Marketing & Communications Manager Maeve Ryan attended the 2020 National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Virtual Conference June 22-24. She also participated in AISAP’s three-part series of webinars called “Run High-impact Search Engine Marketing Campaigns” to learn more about best strategies for digital marketing campaigns.

Cat Wagner will participate in two online courses by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) : “Integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Dance Curriculum” and “Building an Online Dance Course: Process and Product.” 

Director of International Admissions Brittany M. Weiss enthusiastically participated in Carney Sandoe & Associates Women’s (Re)Institute. CS&A (re)imagined their annual Women’s Institute and (re)invented the way CS&A supports women in education. For the month of June, CS&A (re)developed the formerly in-person weekend event into a dynamic online learning and networking tool. Brittany was able to network with educational leaders stateside and abroad, most of whom were women in the field, about topics relating to COVID-19, social justice, admissions, and beyond. Each week of June was focused on a relevant theme: flexibility and adaptability, fundamentals, knowing yourself, and laying the groundwork for success. One-to-one advising was provided throughout the month as fresh virtual content was delivered each week, offering a unique opportunity to become a student again!

This spring, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Sharon Weyers participated in a number of webinars delivered by industry partners including Enrollment Management Association (EMA), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Association of Independent School Admissions Professionals (AISAP), and School and Student Services (SSS). Several of the webinars focused on supporting students and families financially through COVID-19 and beyond, dedicated to equitable and inclusive financial aid practices.