September 12, 2018

Pre-Registration Required • Workshop Fee - $100 per workshop unless otherwise noted


9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Gigi ChinisciBringing Disney’s Philosophy to Your School

Gigi Chinisci, Former Admission Professional, Albuquerque Academy (NM)

Independent schools are facing more competition than ever before. How can your school deliver exceptional service to its families? When does your disposition maximize your potential? What are the proven strategies for handling negative people? This interactive workshop will answer these questions and many more. 

Our energies are divided among not just our current families, but also our co-workers and potential families. By looking at Walt Disney’s business philosophy and exploring the science of positive psychology, this workshop will show you the simple practices that will set your school apart from the crowded field. These techniques and principles can easily be incorporated at your school and in other parts of your life.

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Greg BamfordDesign Thinking for Admission Professionals

Greg Bamford, Associate Head of School for Strategy and Innovation, Charles Wright Academy, (WA)

Like many small young schools, Watershed School in Colorado once struggled to achieve full enrollment, but over the last three years, they have grown by 82%. This journey was not easy or pain-free. Bamford, a new head of school, and his admission director had to hear tough feedback, learn about their market, and grow as marketers and as leaders.

Using a design thinking process, they generated new customer insights and began to understand which touch points were pulling families in--or pushing them away. This interactive workshop will introduce admission professionals to new design thinking tools--an “empathy map” for generating customer insights and “customer journey mapping” for identifying key touch points that can either generate loyalty or drive attrition. Attendees will leave with actionable new tools to help them better understand their markets.


1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

FREE Pre-Conference Workshop for International School Attendees

We look forward to welcoming a growing cohort of international school admission leaders to EMA’s 61st annual conference in San Diego. Collectively, our international school enrollment leaders travel hundreds of thousands of miles to join their colleagues in North America. We want to ensure that you maximize this opportunity including networking with, and learning from, each other. Thanks to the generous support of our friends from OpenApply, we are able to offer this additional learning opportunity at no charge.

Date: Wednesday, September 12th
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm (with a post event wine and cheese reception from 5-6)
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego (EMA conference hotel)
Who: Attendance is limited to international school participants.

Presentations by:

  • Dr. David Willows is Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, Belgium. David is also a regular blogger, presenter & trainer at international events and author of several books and articles in the field of international school branding, admissions, marketing and communications. Today, he is considered a leading practitioner in the field of advancement and continues to be involved in several global network organizations, helping to shape and define the future of the learning business.

    Telling the story of my school: The most important idea I ever had
    Sometimes an idea ends up influencing an entire career. In this interactive workshop, I will try and pull together some of the highlights of this journey and we will think together about why storytelling is so important in our lives, including for the jobs we do. You will have the opportunity to tell stories to your colleagues and I promise that you will leave with a box of principles that will get you thinking about admissions as never before.

  • Matthias Krusch was born in Northern Germany. He completed his schooling in Germany and subsequently moved to England and completed a BA in English and American Literature at the University of Kent and an MA in European Literature at the University of Sussex. After obtaining a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (teaching qualification) from the University of Cambridge he began his teaching career in Guildford, southwest of London. Matthias took up a teaching position at ISS in March 2003. Between 2009 and 2015 he led the Middle School at ISS as Principal and subsequently served as the Deputy Principal of the Upper School until August 2017. As a principal, student admissions already played a significant part of his work at ISS and with the beginning of the 2017/18 school year Matthias moved into a full-time whole school admissions position. In addition to his administrative work, Matthias continues to teach IB MYP and Diploma classes in his subject areas, English and German. His philosophy of education centres on educating the whole child. He sees open-mindedness, tolerance and respect as key elements of his work and the foundation of his relationship with students, parents and colleagues. Matthias immensely enjoys meeting new families and students, welcoming them to the school and to Stuttgart.

    The International School Challenge - how to differentiate in admissions
    In this session I will present the admissions process and enrolment data from my current school - a fairly typical international school (IB World School) with a very mixed student population, about 75% international and 25% host country. By looking at the student numbers and the enrolment data some of the specific challenges of international school admissions will be highlighted. I am planning on talking about the challenge of ongoing enrolment all through the year and how to bring in students and families mid-year. I will also focus on company paid places and what that means for admissions and how to find mission appropriate families while at the same time having to accept students whose parents work for companies that support the school. This also leads to the different approaches in how to market the school internationally and locally. Interviewing both families and students can be difficult due to families often not visiting the country before actually moving. Reading and comparing report cards from around the world and deciding on suitable testing in order to place students appropriately will also be a topic. The aim of the session is to inform, to explore solutions and to discuss the issues raised.

  • MacKenzie Hovermale, OpenApply Director, Faria Education Group
    The Future of International School Admissions
    This thought-provoking session challenges participants to imagine the state of our industry ten years from now. Drawing on Faria Education Group’s experience working with over 2,300 international schools in 120 countries, MacKenzie offers a few predictions of where we might find ourselves ten years from now, bearing in mind the increasing demands for an international education, the relentless pace of globalization and the critical challenges of data safety and security.

  • Aimee Gruber, Senior Director of Global Outreach, EMA
    Enrollment Management Trendspotters: Outreach Directors Tell All
    Longtime EMA road warrior Aimee Gruber breaks down today's trends. Discover what's happening (the mortgage that ate Sunnyvale), what's coming (homeschooling's appealing new face), and why it matters. Learn what's replacing the stodgy video, and find out what made 2,700+ parents want to apply (or not) to schools. Plus, get a sneak preview of the 2018 State of the International School Admission Industry Survey and walk through the conference program to ensure that you maximize the experience.

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