Summer Blending Leadership Course

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After the success of our sold-out online course in 2016, GOA and the authors of Blending Leadership invite independent school leaders to participate in a unique in-person learning experience…


 Augment your practices and expand your network. July 23-25, 2017.


The Blending Leadership Seminar is an all-inclusive, 2-day learning experience held at the Islandwood School on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. This is an intensive, face-to-face seminar designed for school leaders ranging from division heads to department chairs to grade-level leaders to heads of school. This seminar provides the knowledge base, practical experiences, authentic outcomes, and professional and personal networks to help participants lead effectively, both online and off, in today’s ever-changing school landscape.

Based on the recent book Blending Leadership and led by that book’s authors, this is a transformative learning experience — an opportunity to expand leadership capacity by building learning muscles to make learning-while-doing possible and probable for all participants as they move on in their careers. There is no greater meta-skill for the leader who wishes to remain agile and thus relevant to the unpredictable nature of the educational enterprise.

Read a testimonial from Katrina O’Connor of West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, Canada, who participated in our online course this fall.  

The Facilitators



Stephen Valentine is an educator, school leader, writer, and serial collaborator. He serves as the assistant head, Upper School, and director of Academic Leadership at Montclair Kimberley Academy.








Dr. Reshan Richards is an educator, researcher, and entrepreneur. An adjunct assistant professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, Reshan is also the chief learning officer and cofounder of Explain Everything.



Before the Seminar

Participants will prepare by doing some light reading and answering questions in advance so that the facilitators can curate targeted small group experiences as well as generate useful topics for the full group to consider. In the weeks leading up to the seminar, participants will join one 30 minute pre-session group video-conference to meet cohort colleagues and the facilitators in advance of the face-to-face time.

During the Seminar

BLI outside

The seminar takes place at the beautiful Islandwood School on Bainbridge Island, WA, USA. Seminar participants will be on campus with two other GOA programs: teacher training for GOA faculty and the Blended Learning Institute for classroom teachers. This is a vibrant, global community of educators who will share meals and leisure time to forge new professional connections.

All Blending Leadership activities will be designed to leverage the time, place, and path of those involved. As part of the experience, participants will engage in a series of thought-provoking, practical activities, receiving guidance and feedback from peers, facilitators, and outside collaborators and experts.  By testing out a variety of meeting practices — face to face and online — participants will experience and evaluate the affordances and limitations of both environments. Participants will also build a network of colleagues that will extend beyond the seminar.

Though the activities will be modified and remixed based on the needs of the participants and the input of the pre-conference group meeting, the following lists provide possible pathways for the two day program.

Day 1 Snapshot

  • Deep background: Insights into emerging leadership concepts and tech tools
  • Leadership by design: Individual and group work to surface and define an existing problem worth solving
  • Supported Play: What would your [insert school element]  look like if you tried [insert a tool/practice]?
  • Structured Reflection: Looking back on the past school year and looking ahead to the next year, articulating and advancing mission.
  • Space exploration: Consider the designs of existing work spaces, both online and off, and prepare to redesign them or ask pertinent questions about them.
  • Speed-dial: When facing a problem the likes of which has never seen before, develop a new list of “first three people to call.”

Day 2 Snapshot

  • Pop-up Thought Leadership: Writing a book in 90 minutes
  • Appy Hour: Tech tools for leaders
  • Reading club: 10 blogs and books blended leaders should be reading
  • Sharing as strategy: Social media mapping, voice finding, micro-storytelling, sketchnoting
  • Off Ramping: Self care and the well-being of those who are served
  • The art of the side project: Launch a side project for the upcoming year.

Participants who take part in this seminar will immediately be serving their current school or organization by working on relevant tasks, reflecting on existing practices, building new leadership habits, establishing goals for the 2017 – 2018 school year, and building their own personal and professional networks.


After the Seminar

After the seminar, participants will be invited to join the expanding Blending Leadership Community, gaining access to others who have participated in Blending Leadership courses and/or been longtime supporters of the Blending Leadership Newsletter.  Additionally, you will receive an open invitation to reach out to Steve and Reshan whenever a problem or opportunity — the likes of which you have never seen before — arises.


  • Price per participant: 1500.00USD
  • Included:
    • All programming, including pre and post-seminar activities
    • Shared lodging (two per room) at Islandwood July 23-25.
    • All meals
    • Transportation from Bainbridge Island ferry docks to Islandwood and back.
    • The book Blending Leadership
  • Not included:
    • Travel to and from Bainbridge Island (via Seattle airport)
  • Refund Policy: Cancellations before June 1, 2017, will be refunded in full. Cancellations after June 1 will be charged 50% of the registration fee.

Important Details

  • Arrive at Islandwood by 5pmPT on Sunday, July 23 for opening reception and dinner. Please note it can take up to two hours to reach Bainbridge Island from Seattle’s airport.
  • The seminar concludes at 3pmPT on Tuesday, July 25.