Coaches' Corner

Have an issue you’re grappling with? Ready to reflect on your personal and professional journey? Working with a certified coach can be an important tool in your toolkit. NAIS is offering you that time to discuss and process with complimentary sessions with certified coaches in our first Coaches' Corner.

Located in the NAIS Expo, attendees can sign up for free 45-minute sessions with educator-focused coaches who are trained to listen, ask powerful questions and create a space for reflection. Visit the conference app to sign up. Whether you have a school-based dilemma, or are facing a personal or professional crossroads, take advantage of the opportunity to use a fully trained and certified coach as a sounding board during your time at the Annual Conference.

Coaches' Corner Schedule

All times listed are Pacific Time.

  • Session 1: 8:00–9:00 AM
  • Session 2: 11:00 AM–12:00 PM
  • Session 3: 1:30–2:30 PM
  • Session 4: 8:00–9:00 AM
  • Session 5: 11:00 AM–12:00 PM
  • Session 6: 12:00–1:00 PM
Registrants may only attend one coaching session at the conference to ensure that as many attendees as possible can participate.

Coaches’ Corner Coaches

  • Paula Apostolou, a certified educator coach, works alongside fellow educators to support them in creating purpose and balance in their lives. Paula has more than 20 years of experience as an educator ranging from teacher to administrator. She has coached heads of school, teachers, teams, and educational organizations since 2018.
  • Melissa Brookes, a certified professional coach, has deep experience in program management, communications and branding, organizational leadership, and independent schools. Her coaching brings out a client’s potential by connecting their inner purpose and passion to their outer goals and strategies so that they become the most confident, authentic, and fulfilled version of themselves.
  • Elizabeth Elizardi is lower school director at The Agnes Irwin School (PA). She will begin a new role as assistant head of school for academics and Programs at Roland Park Country School (MD) in July. Elizabeth is a leadership coach trained in facilitative and instructional coaching through MATCH, The New Teacher Project, and MentorCoach.
  • Trina Gary is an experienced leadership coach and consultant committed to working with others to strengthen self-awareness, raise consciousness, and build community. As the executive consultant and coach of Brown-Gary Associates, Trina works to build and empower collaborative teams focused on learning from and with diverse groups of people.
  • Aimee Giles empowers bold, adventurous heads of school and school leaders to stay “in the arena” and lead with integrity, power, and impact. With more than 20 years of leadership experience, she coaches leaders to courageously tackle the big challenges that lie ahead—in education, in schooling, in life—with grace, dignity, and joy. 
  • Mike Hanas is a native Chicagoan who started his career in boarding schools before serving as head of Carolina Friends School (NC) and San Francisco Friends School (CA). He earned certification through the UC Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute, and he employs a complex systems approach to individual and team leadership development and conflict resolution. 
  • Olaf Jorgenson is in his 15th year heading Almaden Country Day School (CA). Ole speaks and publishes widely; his latest book is Raising Kids: Your Essential Guide to Everyday Parenting. A coach since 2010, Ole is certified by the Center for Executive Coaching and on staff at Lingo Live. 
  • Mark McKee is in his eighth year as head of Viewpoint School (CA). Previously, he served eight years as head of Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew (CA). He holds a certificate in coaching from Fielding Graduate University and an ACC credential from the International Coaching Federation. He has served on the boards of several independent schools and educational nonprofit organizations. 
  • Mary Menacho, a certified leadership coach, is executive director of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). She coaches leaders, drawing on her extensive experience as a teacher, division leader, head of school, trustee, and board chair. Mary speaks and writes on leadership and best practices in independent schools. 
  • Jason Ramsden, a 30-year veteran of independent schools in admissions, marketing, and technology, is a certified personal and executive coach through the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute. He helps people manage life transitions, both personal and professional, using reflective inquiry.
  • Jay Rapp has held many teaching and leadership roles in public and independent schools. He is currently the assistant director of strategic initiatives and alumni relations at Brooklyn Friends School (NY). He also has served as a leadership strategist and executive Coach for Mission & Data, as well as spending 17 years at NAIS in various capacities including vice president for professional development. He is a certified executive coach, iPEC.
  • Alexis Stern is 16-year educator and former independent school division head and department chair who now supports individuals and groups as an ICF-certified leadership coach and consultant. Alexis’s exploratory coaching methods result in greater self-awareness and clarity of purpose, enabling leaders to identify opportunities, find solutions, and act with more intentionality.
  • Eric Temple recently joined Educators Collaborative, a search, strategy, and transition services firm, after 18 years of headship. Eric has served on many boards, including the NAIS board as chair of the Equity and Justice Committee, and was on the faculty of the NAIS Institute for New Heads. He has executive coaching certifications from UC Berkeley, and the NeuroLeadership Institute. 
  • Lukie Wells is a senior design partner at Design Group International where she supports school leaders, senior administrative teams, and boards. She is a 35-year independent school educator who has worked in a variety of schools including as a head of school and director of accreditation for the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS).
  • Laura S. Yee, founder and CEO of Radical Becoming, leadership coach, and Equity, Justice, and Belonging consultant, empowers equity-driven leaders to experience transformational growth in order to lead for social change. Using a “critically conscious” approach, clients unearth their unique talents and manifest courage to lead authentically in alignment with their core beliefs and values.