NAIS Member Voices Podcast

The NAIS Member Voices podcast features stories from the thoughtful, hard-working individuals who make up the independent school community. You'll hear from faculty and staff at NAIS member schools about their roles, challenges, successes, inspiration sources, and more. Whether you are currently part of the NAIS community, considering joining, or simply interested in learning more about our industry, we hope you will listen and enjoy!

Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to hear a new episode each month. 

Find Member Voices on iTunesSoundCloudTuneInSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

Looking for more NAIS podcasts? Listen to New View EDU to explore the future of schools.

Want to sponsor an episode? Click here for more information.

Season 7 Episodes: 2023-24

Check back each month for a new episode!

New! Episode 83: Recruiting and Retaining Top Teachers with Denise Spirou, The Greene School

Release Date: December 4

Denise Spirou, head of school at The Greene School (FL), describes how she looks for teachers who are joyful and who are problem-solvers—not problem-starters. She shares how she helps her school stand out to potential job candidates, and how she prioritizes the mental health of her team by encouraging them to take days off and participate in walking meetings. Finally, she discusses the importance of servant leadership, not taking things personally, and being able to “fess up when you mess up.”

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Coming Up: Episode 84: Combating Teacher Attrition with Fran Bisselle, Hathaway Brown School

Release Date: January 8

Fran Bisselle, head of school at Hathway Brown School (OH), discusses trends in teacher attrition and how independent schools can bolster teacher retention by understanding the current workforce landscape and leveraging teacher-focused policies. She unpacks the effect of the pandemic on teacher burnout and how Hathway Brown had to adapt to ensure teacher retention. She also describes how the hiring and onboarding process in her school had to become more teacher-focused.

Aliya PittsEpisode 82: Restructuring Tuition with Aliya Pitts, The Prairie School

Aliya Pitts, chief advancement officer at The Prairie School (WI), talks about the importance of group innovation, careful communication, and making data-driven decisions when undertaking a tuition redesign.

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Nancy LangEpisode 81: Resetting Tuition with Nancy Lang, The New School

Nancy Lang, head of school at The New School (AR) shares how she addressed an erosion of trust in her market, adjusted to thinking about tuition strategically long term, and made sure everyone was on the same page throughout the process.

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Paul Turnbull and Christina LewellenEpisode 80: AI and the Future of Education

Listen to an episode from our sister NAIS podcast, New View EDU. Host Tim Fish sits down with educational innovators Christina Lewellen (right), of ATLIS, and Paul Turnbull, head of school at Mid-Pacific Institute, to dig deep into what ChatGPT means for schools.

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Episode 79: The Conversation: A Shared Leadership Model

This episode of Member Voices: The Conversation features a dialogue between a head of school and her board chair, published in the Summer 2023 issue of Independent School magazine. Ashley Harper, head of school, and Eileen Quenell, board chair at Wakefield School (VA), discuss the shared leadership model that grew from their almost instant chemistry and mutual respect, and what shared leadership looks like at their school.

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Episode 78: Supporting Staff and Board Members with Melinda Bihn, French American International School and International High School

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Season 6 Episodes: 2022-23

Episode 77: Stacey Roshan, Former Teacher and Director of Innovation & Educational Technology, and Jenna Borrelli, Director of Wellness and Health Education, Bullis School

Stacey Roshan, former teacher and former director of innovation and educational technology at Bullis School (MD), and Jenna Borrelli, director of wellness at Bullis, share classroom tools that help kids connect to their teachers and one another. They also talk about wellness techniques for teachers and the importance of reflection and awareness to well-being.

Sponsored by ERB



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Episode 76: Matt Gerber, Chief Innovation Officer, Western Reserve Academy

Matt Gerber, chief innovation officer at Western Reserve Academy (OH), describes his practical approach to innovation, the types of courses his school's innovation center offers, and the impact these factors have already had for his students in the real world.

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Episode 75: Seth Hanford, Head of School, Elgin Academy

Seth Hanford, head of school at Elgin Academy (IL), talks about his leadership journey and how being a successful leader relies on building relationships. He also discusses the importance of connection, community values, and spending time with students during challenging times.

Sponsored by FilterED by Sourcewell

FilterED by Sourcewell

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Jessie Barrie and Kalyan BalavenEpisode 74: How Equity and Well-Being Work Together in Our Schools

Listen to an episode from our sister NAIS podcast, New View EDU. In last season's finale, two school heads with deep expertise in leading diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work—Jessie Barrie of the Bosque School (NM) and Kalyan Balaven of the Dunn School (CA)—join host Tim Fish and special guest co-host Caroline Blackwell for a conversation about equity, well-being, and the future of inclusion efforts in independent schools. The new season of New View EDU debuts March 14.

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Episode 73: Kori Rimany, English Teacher, The Frederick Gunn School

Kori Rimany, an English teacher at The Frederick Gunn School (CT), talks about the effects of the pandemic on student wellness and shares her impressions of faculty health and well-being today, including how to continue moving forward and what it looks like to teach when you're not OK.

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Episode 72: The Conversation: Dot Kowal, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Sonoma Academy; and Rochelle Reodica, Head of School, The Independent Day School

In this episode of Member Voices: The Conversation, we are featuring a dialogue between colleagues at NAIS member schools, published in the Winter 2023 issue of Independent School magazine.

Dot Kowal, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Sonoma Academy (CA), and Rochelle Reodica, head of school at The Independent Day School (CT), discuss what prompted them to create a study group for Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian educators, why it matters, and what they've learned along the way.

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Episode 71: Briel Schmitz, Head of School, and Alexa Carver, former Board Chair, Spruce Street School

Briel Schmitz, head of Spruce Street School (WA), and Alexa Carver, the school's former board chair, discuss how they ensured that they each stayed in the appropriate "lane," how their partnership fostered risk-taking and innovation, and how they worked together to confront crises at their school.

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Mark McKeeEpisode 70: Mark McKee, Head of School, Viewpoint School

Mark McKee, head of school at Viewpoint School (CA), shares his experience of leading as an introvert, orienting new board members, and dealing with school crises.

Sponsored by SpringMath by Sourcewell

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Episode 69: Taryn Upchurch, Director of Outreach, Tru School

Guest host Joe Corbett, NAIS senior research analyst, speaks with Taryn Upchurch, director of outreach at Tru School (CA), about using Jobs-to-Be-Done in marketing, personalizing messaging for families, and finding students that resonate with your school’s mission.

Sponsored by Proliftic by Sourcewell
Proliftic by Sourcewell


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Episode 68: Gary Krahn, Head of School, La Jolla Country Day School

Gary Krahn, head of school at La Jolla Country Day School (CA), joins us to discuss how to develop student media literacy, the importance of treating everyone with dignity, and how educators can encourage students' ways of thinking.

Sponsored by HMFH Architects
HMFM Architects

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Episode 67: Joe Powers, Head of School, The Woods Academy

Joe Powers, head of school at The Woods Academy (MD), discusses how elementary school leaders can innovate, the future of elementary school leadership, and how he stays in the moment.

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Johnathan Harris and Casey HitchcockEpisode 65: Casey Hitchcock and Johnathan Harris, Co-heads of School, Lynnhaven School: The Conversation

In this episode of Member Voices: The Conversation, we are featuring a dialogue between colleagues at NAIS member schools, published in the Summer issue of Independent School magazine.

Casey Hitchcock and Johnathan Harris, co-heads of school at Lynnhaven School (VA), discuss how they landed on this leadership model, the benefits of two heads, and what makes it work for them.

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Archives: Episodes and Resources from Past Seasons

Questions? Comments? Stories you’d like to share on the podcast?

Please send thoughts and ideas to us at [email protected]