Residential Life Summit • July 26-29


July 20 – 24, 2020

For All Experience Levels

Today, Residential Life professionals must have ready knowledge of communication strategies, management techniques, and a variety of legal, sociological and psychological issues. This interactive workshop will offer both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for the participant to explore a wide variety of topics that are vital to running a top-notch residential program.

Recognizing the importance of covering issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and how this has affected boarding school and will affect boarding schools this upcoming school year, many of the topics will incorporate pandemic planning into the conversations, discussion, and presentations. Given the on-going nature of the COVID-19 crisis, adjustments to these topics will continue right up until the beginning of the workshop.

A Sampling of Topics

2020 Residential Life Academy Agenda

All times below are ET (Eastern Time)
Daily Virtual Classroom commitment: 3-4 hours
Daily Independent Work: 1-3 hours

Monday, July 20

1:00pm–5:00pm ET

Tuesday, July 21

Independent Work Day & Faculty Office Hours 

Wednesday, July 22

1:00pm–5:00pm ET

Thursday, July 23

Independent Work Day & Faculty Office Hours 

Friday, July 24

1:00pm–5:00pm ET


Doug Dickson

Assistant Head for Student Life, Episcopal High School VA

Doug began working at Episcopal High School in Alexandria Va, July 1, 2017 where he is the Assistant head for Student Life.  He responsibilities include overseeing the student support network for a boarding population of 440 in an all residential boarding school, one of the few all residential boarding schools in the country. 

Doug’s transition to Episcopal High School comes after serving 9 years as the Head of the Upper School at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin Texas, an international day/boarding school located in one of the most vibrant and fast-growing cities in the nation.  Doug’s responsibilities included all aspects of the management of the Upper School including the academic, athletic, and residential programs at the school.

Previous to his time at St. Stephen’s, and for 26 years Doug lived and worked at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH.  During his time at St. Paul’s, Doug served in a variety of capacities including teacher, dorm head, coach, and administrator.  Doug served at Athletic Director for five years and Dean of Students/Vice Rector of Student Life, for an additional 12 years.

Throughout his career, Doug Has been involved with TABS and other organizations to promote residential programs that add value to all of our schools and most importantly create the safest possible conditions for the many students who enjoy the privilege of attending our boarding schools.

Susan Hazell

Director of Development, Ridley College ON

Susan received her B.A. Honours, French and Spanish, from Mount Allison University and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. She has been teaching in independent and public schools for over thirty years and has held the following positions at various stages throughout her career: French teacher, Spanish teacher, Housemaster/Head of House, Debating Coach, Swim Team Coach, Director of Admission, Dean of Residence, and Assistant Head, School Life.

Susan was the Executive Director, Canadian Association of Independent Schools    (CAIS) from 2001-2004. During that time, she visited, promoted and consulted to schools across

Canada. Her consulting has included workshops on leadership, residential curriculum, crisis management, residential staff and services, staff evaluation/performance reviews, FORTE Interpersonal Communications, and she has been a course leader for ‘Women and Leadership’ and ‘Deans of Students’ for ISM in the U.S.A. for over fifteen years.

Most recently, Susan was the Executive Director of Advancement at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, British Columbia for the last nine years. During that time, she built the Advancement Department, including Fundraising Campaigns/Donor Recognition and Stewardship, Communications and Marketing, Admissions, Alumni and Parent Relations, and Special Events. Under her leadership, annual giving has increased significantly (both funds raised and number of donors), two capital campaigns have successfully been completed ($4M and $10M). She worked closely with the Foundation, managing the

endowment funds and creating policies and procedures both for the Foundation and for the Advancement Department. She has her CFRE designation and also the IAP-Senior Certification.

Susan begins a new role at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario as Director of Development and will be responsible for all fundraising initiatives, including developing a strategic plan for the Fundraising Department.

Jackie O'Rourke

Educational Consultant, Outermost Education Services MA

A veteran English teacher, dorm parent, field hockey and ice hockey coach, Jackie O’Rourke opened her consulting firm, Outermost Education Services, in 2018 after serving as the Dean of Residential Life and Leadership at Tilton School. A graduate of Cushing Academy, O’Rourke earned her BA and played ice hockey at Williams College, then added her MAT in Secondary Education from Boston University. After beginning her career at Berkshire School in Massachusetts as the Director of Student Activities, O’Rourke taught English for a semester at Boston Latin School before venturing overseas to teach English, coach soccer and serve as a dorm parent at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan. She later returned to Berkshire to teach, coach and advise. O’Rourke now lives and works on Cape Cod with her husband, Devon, and daughter, Finny.

José Ruiz

Dean of Students Milton Academy MA

José has been active in independent school life for many years and in numerous, valuable roles. He is a graduate of Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and has worked in independent schools for the last 17 years. Prior to joining Milton in 2012, José was the associate dean of students and director of residential life at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts.
José’s experience in the classroom is extensive; he taught both introductory and advanced levels of Spanish at St. Mark’s and at Westminster. José majored in Spanish at Middlebury College and has completed work toward his master’s in education at Teachers College of Columbia University.
His experience includes overseeing all aspects of dormitory life as well as implementing a variety of school-wide initiatives in student life, advising, discipline and health services.
A leader in school diversity work, José was director of diversity at Westminster where he developed strategies for recruiting faculty and students of color; identified culturally significant speakers who would be effective on campus; and worked closely with students of color and their families. José has several times led sessions at the NAIS People of Color Conference and has attended many diversity and leadership institutes of stature, including the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute.
José’s broad experience includes admission officer; football, basketball and track coach; advisor to various student groups, including the International Student Organization and Gay-Straight Alliance; and member of many school committees, ranging from academic review to NEASC steering committee.

What do people say?

As a professional transitioning into boarding schools for the first time, this academy helped me feel prepared for my new job.
Ryan Grant
Walnut Hill School for the Arts
Whether you are a long-time house-head or first timer, this was well worth it!
Jeff Natale
Milton Academy

Schedule subject to change

*The information provided in this workshop is for general information purposes only and should not be used as, or relied upon in place of, legal advice. Schools should work with their own attorneys for specific legal counsel regarding their circumstances and issues.