What are the integral characteristics of a healthy school?  Are our boards practicing healthy governance practices set the tone for the school? Are we ensuring that our administrators and teachers’ have the tools they need to navigate the increasing demands of their roles? What about teaming? Are we utilizing healthy teaming practices to enable our organizations to create capacity? How are we tending to our students’ and families’ well-being? Do our assessment practices reflect what we know about healthy learning? Are we creating healthy cultures of generosity?

This year’s 10th Annual CESA Symposium will explore these topics and more in-depth while beginning new fostering the enduring relationships that lead to the transformative growth of schools and leaders.

Mr. Rich Stearns

Mr. Rich Stearns

Rich Stearns is President Emeritus of World Vision U.S., continuing to share his leadership influence by writing and speaking on behalf of the organization. He was the longest-serving president in World Vision’s history, from 1998-2018.

Rich joined World Vision U.S. to follow what he felt as a distinct call from God on his life, leaving a corporate career that included CEO roles at Lenox and Parker Brothers Games. He holds a B.A. in neurobiology from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Over 20 years at World Vision U.S., Rich built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the nonprofit sector.

Mr. Grant Lichtman

Mr. Grant Lichtman

Grant Lichtman is an internationally recognized thought leader on the transformation of K-12education. He works with school teams to develop a comfort and capacity for change in a rapidly changing world. For almost 15 years, Grant was a trustee and senior administrator at one of the largest independent schools in the United States. Since 2012, Grant has visited more than 125 schools, published three books, written numerous articles, and worked with thousands of school and community stakeholders to develop unique and powerful visions and strategies for transforming education away from the Industrial Age and towards future-focused models of deeper learning.

Mrs. Jennifer Marshall

Mrs. Jennifer Marshall

In her role as Vice President at The Heritage Foundation, Jennifer A. Marshall ran the think tank’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity. In that capacity, she oversaw research into a variety of issues that determine the strength and character of American society. Issues explored by Institute researchers range from marriage, life, and religious liberty to health, education, and welfare to the application of America’s founding principles to today’s challenges.

What to expect from the CESA Symposium:

  • Inspiring, out-of-the-box keynotes
  • Substantive breakout sessions, some based upon empirical research, others based upon experiences and discussion of nagging issues
  • Ample time to connect with like-minded Christian school leaders
  • Time to build the team from your school in attendance
  • To leave with more questions than answers

School leaders, including Heads of School, board members, division heads, directors of Christian life, directors of diversity, directors of development, CFO’s.

Check back soon to see the full roster of speakers and facilitators that will present at this year’s symposium!

Are you interested in presenting?  We are accepting proposals for a limited number of breakout sessions that will challenge our leaders to improve their schools’ health.  Submissions can be submitted by clicking here.

Click here to make a hotel reservation at The Woodlands Resort.

Countdown to the CESA Symposium 2020

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Speaker Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gordon Graduate Leadership

Gold Sponsors

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Barry Giller

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.

Mission Clarity

CESA member schools are accredited, mission-driven, Christian institutions aspiring to be academically, programmatically, and institutionally excellent. 

Effective Goverance

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.  

Institutional Viability

CESA member schools follow best practices that demonstrate astute financial management, appropriate budget forecasting, and thoughtful short and long-term financial planning processes.  

Academic & Programmatic Distinction

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.  

Sense of Coherent Christian Community

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.

Schedule of Events

Monday, Jan 20th

Tuesday, Jan 21

Wednesday, Jan 22