Department Chairs Institute

Aug 07, 2024 10:00AM—Aug 09, 2024 3:00PM



Cost Early Bird Pricing for Members (available until July 10) $1,600 members; $1,350 group-rate 3+; $2,500 non-members

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Department Chairs Institute

SESSION 1: August 7, 2024 | 10:00am - 3:00pm

SESSION 2: August 8, 2024 | 10:00am - 3:00pm

SESSION 3: August 9, 2024 | 10:00am - 3:00pm


The role of the department chair is often one of the most complex in a school. The chair must negotiate the responsibilities of leadership within the department as a teaching colleague while at the same time working with the administrative team in addressing the larger issues of the entire school. The Department Chairs Institute will guide participants in exploring the multilayered challenges of this unique position and in developing the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to become effective department leaders.

With the help of readings, activities, and group work, participants will learn new skills and processes, support each other around challenges, and establish a strong “leadership learning community” amongst themselves. Throughout the Institute, participants will have opportunities to work individually and collaboratively on their own department visions and will leave with practical structures and strategies that will help them to plan and implement their goals in the year ahead.

Some of the specific topics we will explore:

  • Developing departmental structures and systems that support student learning and foster equity and efficiency
  • Forging a common and compelling vision/direction amongst independent-minded colleagues
  • Identifying, prioritizing, and advancing professional and departmental goals for the short and long term
  • Designing and facilitating impactful department meetings 
  • Leading and managing change over time

Central questions we will explore:

  • What does being department chair mean to me?
  • How can I understand my department from multiple perspectives?
  • What does my department need the most right now? In the future?
  • How can observations and feedback best support student learning and faculty growth? 
  • What do I need to effectively navigate difficult conversations?
  • How can transparent departmental structures and consistent departmental practices enhance student learning and team collaboration? 
  • How can I inspire my team?


This program is designed for educators who are managing, new to, or entering into the department chair role.

Do you work at an independent school outside of California? Click here for a discount on our non-member registration!


Erin Nordlund, CATDC Facilitator

Erin Nordlund is a K-12 Director of Teaching and Learning at Chadwick School. Prior to her current position, she was Chadwick's Curriculum Specialist and, before that, the English Department Chair and Interim Dean of Students. Erin has developed, led, and presented on a wide range of school-wide, divisional, and departmental curriculum, instruction, and assessment initiatives and wellness programming and has taught eighth through twelfth grade English. Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California.  


Fehmeen Picetti, CATDC Facilitator

Fehmeen Picetti has over twenty years of experience as an educator, with work spanning from the classroom to school leadership in both public and independent schools. As a dedicated middle to high school English teacher, she has honed her approach to lesson design, assessment, and relationship building in ways that translate to her work as an effective facilitator and educational leader. In her current role as the Director of the Academic Support Center (ASC) at Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton, California, she leads a team of learning specialists and supports teachers with serving students who have a range of documented learning differences. In addition, Fehmeen facilitates a mentorship program for new teachers, as well as professional development in diversity, equity and inclusion for senior administrators in her school community. Prior to her current position, she was the English Department Chair, leading school-wide workshops on equitable grading practices, and within her department spearheading initiatives focused on vertical and horizontal alignment, diversifying curricula, and differentiated instruction. She cares deeply and remains curious about her colleagues and students. Fehmeen holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara, a Single Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University, and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University.


Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.