Barry Giller serves as the vice chair of the Board of Directors for CESA. Barry joined the faculty of Charlotte Christian as Head of School in June 2010 and ushered the school into its 60th anniversary. As head of school Mr. Giller oversees the college preparatory school’s 180 employees and 1055 students grades JK to 12. A 1994 graduate of Wheaton College, he received his Bachelor of Arts in history/social science and a certification for secondary education. He also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership in Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Giller currently resides on the board of directors for North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association and Teaching Fellows Institute. Mr. Giller served six years as headmaster at Christian Heritage School, a private K-12 interdenominational Christian college preparatory school, in Trumbull, Conn. He joined Christian Heritage in 2001 as the upper school principal and was promoted to the headmaster position in 2004. Barry and his wife, Lisa, have seven children and are active members of Church at Charlotte.
CESA member schools are accredited, mission-driven, Christian institutions aspiring to be academically, programmatically, and institutionally excellent.
CESA member schools commit to a model of leadership that includes a governing board, which formally (policy statement) and informally (daily practice) delegates the daily operation of the institution to the head of school who supervises the administrative team, faculty, and staff.
CESA member schools follow best practices that demonstrate astute financial management, appropriate budget forecasting, and thoughtful short and long-term financial planning processes.
CESA member schools shall provide high quality academic, artistic, and athletic programs designed to meet the mission of the school and to distinguish the institution as one of high quality.
CESA member schools shall develop a Christian ethos rooted in a commitment to the Nicene Creed and/or Apostles Creed, the foundational tenets of Christian orthodoxy, that distinguishes them from other local public and independent schools and we should have a nice sense of community.
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How to create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
The best managers in America achieve top results while also scoring high on employee happiness and job satisfaction. They do it by empowering their teams, providing great coaching, and emphasizing accountability. During this session, educators will practice making seven moves to transform their classrooms into joyful, empowering environments that replicate the successful practices of managers in other top-performing organizations. The session features a Flex model of blended learning. Participants begin by learning to set mindset goals, gradually release control to their students, and nurture teams. Then they engage in a powerful self-directed learning experience in which they practice driving their own learning while working through seven challenging activities. Meanwhile, facilitators speed conference with each participant individually to coach them to success and model the importance of giving feedback. Participants leave with concrete, measurable skills that they can use in their own schools to improve their students' happiness and performance at school, as well as their own joy as an educator.
Heather Clayton Staker is a researcher and author in the United States who has spent 15 years studying innovation in education and the rise of blended learning as the enabler of student-centered learning. She is the co-author of the Amazon bestseller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (San Francisco: Wiley, 2015); The Blended Workbook (San Francisco, Wiley, 2017); and the popular report How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves: A Playbook for Teachers (Christensen Institute, 2017). Heather has been a featured presenter in over 125 radio, television, podcast, webinar, and live events worldwide and in legislative hearings in the United States as a spokesperson for student-centered learning. As the founder of Ready to Blend, Heather leads a team of 150 facilitators in the United States, Middle East, and South America who have certified to deliver blended-learning workshops to their teachers. Prior to this role, Heather was a senior research fellow for the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation and a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company. She served for one year as the student member of the California State Board of Education during Governor Pete Wilson’s administration, taught U.S. history as a teaching fellow at Harvard College, founded a co-op preschool, and marketed Oil of Olay for Proctor & Gamble. She holds a BA magna cum laude in government from Harvard University and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. She is the mother of five children and lives in Austin, Texas.
Andrew Lazo – Lewis the Teacher: Practical Lessons from a Lifelong Educator
This interactive session will explore, expand, and apply the ideas of Andrew and Diana’s keynote session using a number of Lewis’s essays and addresses that speak cogently to a number of current educational concerns. Andrew will start with by taking exploring (and perhaps taking issue with) Lewis’s statement that “the task of a modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.” Andrew will introduce three of Lewis’s key shorter works: “Meditation in a Toolshed,” “First and Second Things,” And “Learning in War-time,” applying their crucial ideas to our current work, and using them to extend the themes of his talk. The session will end with small group discussions and time for a Q&A.
Lewis scholar and educator Andrew Lazo comes to share a kind of “unified field theory” of Lewis’s work. Lazo combines decades of classroom teaching and groundbreaking scholarship to mine powerful and eminently practical insights from one of the twentieth century’s most influential Christin thinkers.
The CESA Profile Tool: An Overview and Discussion
In this session, designed for CESA Members of Council and Candidate Schools, Katie will spend time reviewing what has been learned from the CESA profile tool and how best to utilize your school’s results. Additionally, there will be time to discuss ways to improve the tool in subsequent administrations.
Katie has an intimate history and knowledge of CESA. She played a role in its founding, and served as its original Director of Academic Advancement. In that position, Katie co-wrote the original CESA standards and helped develop the initial institutional review process. She also played a major role in organizing the early CESA symposia and heads retreats.
Through her work at Cardus, Katie wrote the Christian Education Survey, the famous “Cardus Study” that was part of the impetus for the creation of CESA. Katie has served on the faculties of Wheaton College, Boston University, Cairn University, and Kennesaw State University. She also served as Fellow and Scholar with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, working with Ashley Berner and James Davison Hunter on a 5-year study investigating moral formation in different school sectors. A portion of that work has recently been published in The Content of Their Character: Inquiries into the Varieties of Moral Formation (Hunter, J.D. and Olson, R. Eds. 2017).
Katie also has extensive experience in K-12 Christian schooling, having served as an administrator and faculty member at Boston Trinity Academy, The Clapham School, and Delaware County Christian School. She has her bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of St. Thomas, and her doctorate from Boston University.
Jon Eckert – Networked School Improvement
The most efficient way to improve is to do good work with others. A number of CESA schools are realizing adaptive improvement by working together in sustained ways both within and across schools. They are fundamentally changing school culture, work flow, teacher evaluation, curriculum design, and learning environments. Through the collective leadership of administrators and teachers across schools, these leaders are fundamentally changing outcomes for students. Katie Wiens and Jon Eckert will share how CESA and Baylor University are coming alongside to catalyze the work these schools are doing. These schools are systematically collecting evidence and changing systems to become the schools they aspire to be. You will be able to interact with leaders from Mt. Paran Christian School, Second Baptist School, Grace Community School, The Woodlands Christian Academy, Prestonwood Christian Academy, and Charlotte Christian School.
Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership, and the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair for Christians in School Leadership. With the Center for Christian Education, he is developing academies, institutes, improvement communities, and degree programs that serve Christians in diverse school contexts. Dr. Eckert came to Baylor with over two decades of experience in education. He taught outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he was selected as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education where he worked in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. Prior to Baylor, Dr. Eckert was a professor at Wheaton College for ten years.
His research interests include collective leadership, teaching effectiveness, evaluation, and strategic compensation. Dr. Eckert has conducted research for the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Foundation, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and the Center for Teaching Quality. He has worked with public and independent schools to develop leadership and systems that improve outcomes for students.
He is the author of The novice advantage: Fearless practice for every teacher (Corwin, 2016) and Leading together: Teachers and principals improving student outcomes (Corwin, 2018), book chapters, and numerous peer-reviewed articles. He has written and presented white papers on Capitol Hill and the National Press Club and has been invited to present all over the U.S. and as far away as Muscat, Oman at a G8-Broader Middle East Summit for education ministers.
Ron Blue – Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School
This session will present and engage the participant in a biblical worldview of finances for individuals and institutions. Understanding and applying transcendent principles of financial decision-making provides the foundation for Healthy Schools, influencing school employees, students, families, and donors, leading to the development of a culture of financial stewardship and generosity. Ron Blue, author and national speaker, with 50 years of experience in the financial industry, will help to lead this session along with other team members from the Ron Blue Institute.
Ron Blue is the Founding Director of Kingdom Advisors and the author of nearly 20 books on biblical financial topics, including Never Enough? Three Keys to Financial Contentment. He has most recently created a small-group curriculum, God Owns It All. Ron is also Chief Executive Officer of the Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning at Indiana Wesleyan University. In 1979, he founded Ronald Blue & Co., the largest Christian financial planning firm in the country. He and his wife, Judy, have five children and thirteen grandchildren and live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark Dillon – Shepherding People of Wealth: For Their Good and Yours
If all or part of your responsibility is to develop authentic and lasting relationships with people of wealth, you are striving to partner in ways that benefit your school and the giver, alike. For many of us, that idea is daunting. After all, most of us are not what we would consider wealthy—so in that regard, the wealthy are not our peers. And, in Christian circles especially, there is not a little angst about how we relate to the wealthy. Are we showing them favor for what we can get from them? Are we preferring them to others of God’s people? Whether your giver universe is 50 or 5000, there is, without doubt, unrealized major gift potential right at hand, be it current parents/grandparents, alumni or friends of the school. Often the missing ingredient is not love for your mission or willingness to give. What’s missing is a compelling reason to give, coupled with a careful, winsome invitation to participate at a level that will stretch the giver and empower your ministry. Themes:
Perry Glanzer – Assessing What Counts: The Baylor Spirituality and Character Survey
One scholar has said, “Ideas are cheap. It’s data which is hard to get.” When it comes to assessing the character and spiritual lives of our students this historically has been true. Consequently, a team of scholars at Baylor have devised the Baylor Spirituality and Character Survey. In the first of its kind survey, we measured key variables regarding students’ religious identity, beliefs, values and behavior, as well as numerous character traits. This talk will present our most recent, preliminary findings regarding the character and spirituality of Baylor students.
Perry L. Glanzer (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of Educational Foundations at Baylor University and a Resident Scholar with Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the coauthor, author or editor of a dozen books including: The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching; The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life; Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in a Fragmented Age; Christian Higher Education: A Global Reconnaissance; The Idea of a Christian College: A Reexamination for Today’s University, Christianity and Moral Identity in Higher Education: Becoming Fully Human, Christianity and Scholarship in Higher Education, and The Quest for Russia’s Soul. In addition, he has authored or co-authored over eighty journal articles and book chapters on topics related to moral education, faith-based higher education, and the relationship between religion and education. His primary scholarly and teaching interests pertain to moral education and the relationship between Christianity and education.
Shonn Brown – Book Study: Uncommon Ground
Brian Jensen – Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your MissionMany organizations can throw a group of people together and call it a team, and maybe even get most of them rowing in the same direction. What does it look like however, to have a truly collaborative team of people, who flourish in their work together, as they contribute to your school’s mission--and ultimately to advancing Christ’s Kingdom? Join us as we explore what a healthy organizational culture looks like, how healthy teams operate within that, and how your own team can develop into one that thrives for years to come.
Brian brings 15 years of Christian education experience to his work at Vanderbloemen. Following his own college experience, Brian’s passion for Christian education developed while working at North Central University in its Student Life division, where he realized his love for working with college students and the transformative experience that a faith-based institution could have on their lives. Prior to joining Vanderbloemen, he served at Geneva College as the Vice President of Student Development where he provided executive leadership for student programs, services, and athletics.
Through his experience and leadership, Brian brings expertise in organizational culture, leadership development, personnel development and team dynamics, and educational management. He is passionate about helping Christian organizations accomplish their mission as they seek to further Christ's kingdom. Working with clients around the globe (he once completed a search for a school in Rwanda!), Brian is energized by the work he gets to do everyday.
Brian co-authored Storied Leadership: Living and Leading from the Christian Narrative, a book that offers a perspective on leadership that is developed from the rich story of the Scriptures. He also co-edited Reimagining the Student Experience: Formative Practices for Changing Times, a book designed to help professionals doing the good work of student affairs on Christian college campuses.
Chuck Evans – Your Board's a Bad Board (and it might not be your fault...)
Partnership between school boards and heads of school is essential to quality governance and leadership. Often overlooked, however, is the crucial impact--both positive and negative--that a head and his or her leadership team can have on the board and its work. How can heads of school put their boards in the best position to govern well, and what should heads avoid doing that could undermine their boards' effectiveness?
A former head of schools in Virginia and Texas, Chuck Evans has been serving independent schools as a teacher, leader, and consultant for more than twenty-five years. As a consultant, he has worked with dozens of schools since 2006, leading strategic and financial planning processes and major program expansion projects. He has worked as a lobbyist in the Texas State Legislature, a certified mediator, and is a founding board member of the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability (CESA).
Chuck Evans – Knocking Down Board Hurdles: Why board members have the toughest job in schools
School boards get a lot of criticism--some of it deserved, but some not. Understanding why being a good board member is so hard, though, is the starting point for building a great board. This workshop analyzes the underlying difficulties and helps boards and heads of school identify and solve the right problems first. It's a necessary set up for long-term, successful governance and board stability.
Mia Mbroh – Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
The ability to create safe and loving spaces where voices may be heard and souls may be seen is not an easy task. Those desiring this outcome must cultivate a self-awareness and accountability that gives birth to the confidence needed to move through growth-inducing conversations. This session will rest in a dialogue about how we enter conversations that challenge us and prompt us towards better. We will examine where we get stuck on this journey and the tools that help us grow in our brave. We seek to have truth-filled, courageous conversations.
Mia Mbroh is a licensed professional counselor and certified parent educator. Her dedication to helping others has built her a 30-year career of facilitating countless conversations dealing with social and emotional health. In each encounter, she seeks to help individuals identify their own narrative in order to move toward their full potential. By creating a safe space for dialogue, Mia helps each individual feel comfortable by showing her own transparency while displaying her ability to listen and facilitate conversation from others. The result is a vulnerable dialogue with each participant leaving with a sense of value and worth. The goal of conversations facilitated by Mia, is to provide a transformative energy and educational understanding of the potential that accompanies relational health.
Bill Mott – Healthy Boards - Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools
The stakes are high for the future of Christian education. The impact of governance and leadership on Christian schools is profound and yet schools are reluctant to understand the influence of innovation and best practices for a healthy board culture that reveal meaningful relationships. The purpose of this workshop is to define what a board can look like that has adopted healthy, best practices ways of working with Christian school leadership that ushers in a new era of governance and leadership excellence. This session will be particularly useful for new and aspiring Heads.
As a consultant, author, and speaker, Dr. Mott has assisted many organizations. These include numerous independent schools, colleges, museums, libraries, churches, and nonprofit organizations with governance, fundraising, marketing, and management issues. Dr. Mott experience and expertise includes all aspects of board development and governance issues and challenges. Dr. Mott’s focus is on governance issues, specifically the connection between nonprofit boards and their organizations’ senior leadership. Working with boards to deepen their relationship with the whole organization is central to his efforts. He has written several books focused on independent school Boards, and he is also a faculty member of the Peabody Leadership Institute for Independent Schools. Dr. Mott currently heads Providence Christian Academy in Murfreesboro, TN. He has served as a director of development for a major university, executive director of a museum house, president of a college, head (president) of two independent schools prior to his current position, and for 11+ years served as president of his own consulting firm.