Tap Dancing on Marbles: Leadership, Governance, and Stewardship

This interactive session for heads and trustees will unpack how leadership, governance, financial sustainability, and organizational stewardship intersect. At the core of this work is mission-driven, data-informed decision making. Schools have always been complex organizations requiring deft guidance and careful oversight. However, the pandemic created conditions that even the most seasoned school leaders and trustees could never have imagined.

Emerging from a period of economic disruption, political polarization, and racial reckoning, the independent school landscape has shifted dramatically over the last 18 months. During this time, many schools focused on short term objectives in order to address the daily fires on their doorstep. Now, school leaders and trustees must balance the need for long-term planning to ensure school sustainability while also caring for an exhausted and frayed community. For many, this feels like tap dancing on marbles.

We will explore how to practically apply these concepts through the use of case studies, simulations, and group discussions. Participants will learn how to leverage effective leadership and governance strategies, such as change management and organizational savvy, to support their schools during this critical time of disruption.

Led by Anne-Marie Balzano and Ari Betof.

Sunday October 17, 2021 from 1:00-4:00 PM
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346

SAIS Member
School Personnel

School Personnel
Through September 3 $175 per person $219 per person
September 4-October 1 $225 per person $269 per person
After October 1 $325 per person $369 per person
- We are working to design meeting experiences that accommodate everyone comfortably. We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and public health authorities to create the safest environment possible. If needed, we will update plans as things change and we will communicate with attendees accordingly. Feel free to contact us with any questions.



Anne-Marie Balzano is Mission & Data's senior governance strategist. In her role, she designs learning opportunities for heads of school and boards and leads the Board Chair Support Program. A former teacher, head of school, associate professor, and most recently, director of leadership and governance at NAIS, she possesses a unique and multi-leveled perspective of the educational landscape and the complex demands of supporting leadership and governance development across multiple contexts. Anne-Marie is a trusted advisor to schools across the country, facilitating board retreats and educating boards of trustees on effective governance practices, governance trends, polarity management, and building a positive board culture. She earned her bachelor's degree from American University and her doctorate from Mills College.



Ari Betof is Mission & Data's co-founder & partner. He is a nationally recognized expert in independent school financial sustainability and organizational stewardship. Ari has served as an independent school trustee, head of school, director of institutional advancement, director of enrollment management, director of strategic planning, and faculty member. He has been an instructor in University of Pennsylvania’s PennGSE Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Leadership Master’s Program. He has served as a mentor in Harvard University’s School Leadership Program and faculty member in the NAIS School Leadership Institute. Ari earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on financial and organizational sustainability and MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management where he was an Emerging Markets Institute Fellow.




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