Developing Your Leadership Capacity: A Program for Aspiring and Current School Leaders

Oct 19, 2021 3:00PM—5:00PM

Cost $1050 members; $900 group-rate; $1575 non-members

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Developing Your Leadership Capacity

WELCOME SESSION: October 19, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm

SESSION 1: November 9, 2021 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 2: December 7, 2021 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 3: January 25, 2022 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 4: March 8, 2022 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm

SESSION 5: April 19, 2022 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm


Recognizing that independent school leadership comes in a variety of forms, from teacher leaders and deans to department chairs and division directors, this ongoing program will explore key topics that educational leaders face in their schools. Focusing on the power of active mentoring, the latest research on leadership and organizational management, personal connections, and regular reflection, participants will identify and practice key skills and habits of effective leaders. They will deepen their own leadership capacity by exploring leadership styles, school culture, communication, diversity and innovation, self-care, networking, and relationship-driven feedback models. Throughout the year, we will explore the role of leaders to create inclusive environments in typically privileged and predominately white independent school environments.

This program is designed for aspiring and current educational leaders, in both academic and non-academic (admissions, communications, development, human resources, etc.) roles. The goal will be to help participants thrive in their current independent school roles.

This ongoing program will be framed around four central themes:

  1. Getting Better: Growth-Focused Goals and Benchmarking in Your Current Role
  2. Leading From Where You Are: Understanding Your School’s Culture and Navigating Within It
  3. Building High Functioning Teams: Feedback, Mentoring, and Networking
  4. The role of leaders to create inclusive environments in privileged and predominately white independent school environments.

In addition to the full cohort sessions, participants will have the opportunity for a thirty minute 1-1 mentoring session with one of the facilitators, to be scheduled approximately mid-way through the year.

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



"I really began to trust myself as a leader. I learned that I AM a leader and that believing in my abilities is as important as honing my skills."

"The compass activity was a game changer for me in my relationships at work! It gave me a tangible and high-leverage way to see myself and grow as a leader from within my current role. And the final session was really inspiring. I have so many specific notes about next steps I want to take."

"I appreciated the personal advice and suggestions for how to seek out and secure a leadership position. Being able to brainstorm issues that are relevant to our current position and role play powerful conversations with other participants of this workshop was very useful."

"This has been a great program for a challenging year. Carla and Laura were both excellent resources for leadership discussions. Hearing their stories and their advice have definitely helped me grow as a budding leader."



Carla Cretaro, CATDC Facilitator
Carla Cretaro is the Lower School Head at The John Thomas Dye School. I have enjoyed being in the field of education for the past twenty years, most recently joining The John Thomas Dye School (JTD) as Lower School Head. Prior to my start at JTD, I was the principal for seven years at Community Magnet Charter School, an affiliated charter in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Additionally, I have taught every grade at the elementary level and have served as coordinator in charge of school programming, enrollment, and student achievement.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge. I also hold a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an Administrative Services Credential. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, spending time with family and friends, and having fun with my two teenage sons, Maxwell and Cameron, who currently attend Harvard-Westlake School.

Laura D. Ross is the Associate Head of School at Harvard-Westlake.  Prior to beginning this position, I spent eight years as an upper school head, three at Harvard-Westlake and five at Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas.  Prior to moving into a division head role I spent seventeen years in a variety of roles in education: I’ve been a college counselor, a college admissions officer, a soccer coach, a teacher of meditation, social ethics, and world religions, and a dorm parent in a boarding school.  I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree from Stanford University in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.  My husband Gregg teaches math at the middle school at Harvard-Westlake and my daughter Casey is Harvard-Westlake class of ’23 and my son Graham is Harvard-Westlake class of ’26.

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.