Leading During an Election Year: Multiple Perspectives, Critical Questions, and Thoughtful Planning

Aug 05, 2024 1:00PM—Aug 06, 2024 12:00PM



Cost Early Bird Pricing for Members (available until July 9) $560 members; $475 group-rate 3+; $880 non-members

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Leading During an Election Year: Multiple Perspectives, Critical Questions, and Thoughtful Planning

SESSION 1: August 5, 2024 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

SESSION 2: August 6, 2024 | 9:00am - 12:00pm


This two-day virtual program collaboration between CAIS and CATDC is designed for school leadership teams. It will grant them the time, tools, and guidance to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by an election year. We’ve learned from previous election years how important it is for schools to be proactive in their approach to meeting the needs of their communities during politically charged times.

Critical questions we will consider:

  • What will your approach be and how does it align with your school’s mission and vision? 
  • How will you care for and prepare all adults in the community to navigate conversations and learning with students?

We will broach these critical questions through a panel discussion and guided reflection on Day 1, and an opportunity to develop a plan considering your school’s unique context on Day 2.

To deepen the learning and the impact, we hope you will bring a team of leaders from your school to do this necessary work together.

Participants will:

  • Learn from the past experiences of other school leaders
  • Brainstorm areas of the school community and communication to be aware of during the election cycle
  • Discuss how to set community expectations and establish boundaries 
  • Connect the schools stance and strategy to the mission statement 
  • Consider system or structural impacts 
  • Explore internal and external resources


Teams of 3-6 school leaders holding perspectives that reflect a broad view of community constituents (i.e. Board member, HOS, Senior Admin., DEI Director, Dean of Faculty, and/or Teacher).

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools)

CATDC and CAIS are excited to announce a new partnership to offer a highly responsive virtual program specifically designed for school leadership teams. We are thrilled to extend an invitation to CAIS Member Schools to participate in this program at the CATDC member-school rate. As this is a virtual program, we hope educators from across California and beyond will join us in this collaborative effort.

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


Cheryl Adenekan, CATDC Facilitator

Cheryl Adenekan spent her youth in Lakewood, Colorado, before embarking on a journey that took her from Mozambique with the Peace Corps to teaching English and Theater in Phoenix, AZ. After four years, Cheryl expanded her horizons in Chengdu, China, and later in Shanghai, where she taught English and eventually became the Language Learning Director. Returning to Colorado, she taught at a Charter School in Aurora, fostering a love for theater. This passion led her to Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew, where she spent some time as a theater teacher before becoming the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Currently, Cheryl is the Director of Equity and Learning for the California Association of Independent Schools. Since 2007, she have been an active member of SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Inclusion), serving on the National SEED staff for four years. Additionally, she is the secretary of the Board of Northern California PoCIS and a board member of Canamac Productions, an Equity and Learning virtual platform/experience/consulting team. In these roles, Cheryl is dedicated to understanding the positionality and politics of the spaces she enters, driven by a passion for fostering just relationships. She lives in San Mateo, CA, with her husband and 17-year-old twins.


Lauren Benjamin, CATDC Facilitator and Northern California Director

Lauren Benjamin has cultivated a thriving career as a multidisciplinary artist and educator for over 20 years. Lauren earned her BFA in painting and photography and holds a Master’s in Education. She is an alum of dance epicenter Jacob’s Pillow and CATDC’s Leadership Fellows. She worked as a supervisor to student teachers at Mills College Graduate School of Education, where she was able to mentor and coach new teachers as well as experienced professionals new to the field of education. Lauren believes in sharing the power of identity development through the lens of the arts and has published her curriculum with Frameline Organization and presented at educational conferences, including conferences held by the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE) and Project Zero of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. During Lauren's eight-year tenure at Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, she held multiple roles including Dance Program Director and Fine Arts Department Chair. Her most recent position was Assistant Principal of Mission & Culture, where she centered belonging in the school’s adult onboarding and school-wide student programs. In 2023, Lauren joined the CATDC team as the Northern California Director, bringing her extensive experience in education and leadership to facilitate professional growth and collaboration among teachers in the region. She identifies as a love practitioner who aims to build community through her teaching practice and leadership.


Kate Sheppard, CATDC Facilitator

Kate Sheppard has specialized in supporting organizations navigating through crisis for the past decade. She is passionate about applying a human-centered approach to ensure individual and organizational resiliency through times of challenge. Kate has over 20 years of experience facilitating adult learning, is a facilitator for the Center for Courage and Renewal, trains and certifies professional development coaches, and is a Trauma Informed Systems Trainer in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Kate believes participatory research is the most effective way to catalyze sustainable change and has led over 100 organizational assessment projects to catalyze paradigm shifts and disrupt inequities within organizations. Kate holds a M.A. in Human Development with an emphasis in Leadership in Education and Social Services. When she is not consulting with organizations across the nation, Kate directs staff and leadership development for the YMCA of San Francisco.

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.