Our Plan

One membership.
One community.​

Let’s face it. We’ve all needed one another this past year. Boarding school staff, faculty, and leaders shared their fears, challenges, and small victories; offered generous advice to one another; and created spaces for important, pressing, sometimes difficult, but always fruitful exchanges. We’re grateful to have been your partners on the journey.

Like so many of your schools, TABS has emerged from these past two years a different organization. We’ve paired the lessons of the pandemic with those we gleaned from extensive member research to shape a new vision for serving schools. A more detailed roadmap is in the works, and we’ll be sharing more details about that soon.

For now, please peruse some of the key themes guiding our future priorities—and the concrete improvements to membership we’ve instituted. Please let us know if you have suggestions or ideas!

Summary of our themes and our future direction:


TABS is one community. As NABI sunsets and we emerge from the shadow of a pandemic, the TABS membership should reflect that unity. The Association is returning to a unified membership with one set of benefits and one dues structure. 


TABS must have an expansive view but a clear purpose. We aim to create exceptional value for boarding schools and their leaders through best-in-class Professional Learning, Enrollment & Recruitment Assistance, and actionable Research & Insights.


TABS programs must deliver unambiguous value to the Association’s core audiences, with rich offerings for Heads and Assistant Heads of School, Residential & Student Life Leaders and Practitioners, and Admission and Marketing Professionals. Secondary audiences for TABS’s next chapter include DEI Directors, Advancement Professionals, Institutional Researchers, and Trustees. 


Speed matters. When the issues are urgent, TABS must be nimble in our response. We’ll sustain a robust schedule of timely and topical virtual learning, and conduct relevant flash surveys to collect and disseminate key information rapidly.


The Association finds its roots in shared principles. TABS should reflect and demonstrate support for Justice, Inclusivity, and Belonging. As a first step, TABS is initiating an audit of our organization and our strategic initiatives to embed these principles more deeply throughout our work.


Throughout the past year, boarding schools cooperated with unprecedented openness. TABS will expand the opportunities for members to connect with and learn from one another, standing up online community spaces and regular discussion forums. We’ll also continue to convene the membership, in-person and virtually, around key educational and strategic questions, sourcing subject matter experts when it’s beneficial.


There is an ongoing need for schools to define and promote the advantages of an immersive, residential education, one that prepares young people exceptionally well for life. TABS will help its members make the case for boarding school. The Association will move to a worldwide student recruitment approach, with programming, platforms, tools, guidance, and data-driven insights to support schools’ recruitment and enrollment work, at home and abroad.


The residential and student life functions in schools should be elevated. TABS will be at the center of that effort. The Association plans to introduce a new learning credential for professionals in the space.

Added Benefits

More specifically, beginning in 2021-22, the following benefits, for the first time, will be included in membership and in your dues:

  • All-School / All-staff Pass to TABS Virtual Annual Conference. Every employee of your school can attend the Virtual Conference, at no additional cost.
  • One (1) complimentary Pass to TABS In-person Annual Conference (for a for a Dean, Director, or other staff member in a role focused on Residential and Student Life)
  • Introductory virtual training for all staff on Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response
  • One (1) Complimentary Pass to any of our five virtual Summer Session programs: Now Boarding for new boarding school employees, or one of five Summer Institutes—for Admission; Marketing & Communication; Residential Life; Development; and New Teachers (Benefit for Summer 2021 Only)
  • Full inclusion in TABS worldwide recruitment platform (the successor to TABS Connect and to ReadyForMore.com), at no additional cost.
  • Individualized consultations, by appointment, on a variety of marketing and enrollment topics, including student recruitment strategy, website productivity, lead nurturing, and digital marketing — all complimentary.
  • Biennial Boarding School Brand Benchmark Study (formerly for NABI schools only), revealing the educational values, preferences, considerations, and plans of tuition-capable parents and their children in the U.S. and Canada

Bennies at-a-Glance


Professional Learning

Robust Programs and Welcoming Spaces to Elevate You, Your Team and Your School


All-School/All-Staff Pass to
TABS Virtual Annual Conference

One Pass to TABS In-Person Annual Conference for a Staff Member in a Role Focused on Residential or Student Life

One Pass to New Heads Symposium at Annual Conference (for new Heads of School only)

Introductory Virtual Training for all Staff on Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response

Year-round Member Rates to In-person Workshops, Seminars, and Symposia

Resource Aggregation on Best Practices

Webinars from Subject Matter Experts including Recordings & Materials Archive

Online Forums and Discussion Groups defined by Administrative Role

Enrollment Assistance

Tools and Guidance to Help You Connect with Prospective Families across the Globe


Your School Profile on BoardingSchools.com and TABSconnectED, with 24/7/365 Editing Privileges

Full Inclusion in TABS Worldwide Recruitment Platform​

Member Pricing for International and Domestic In-Person Recruitment Events​

Rotating Opportunity to Participate in Head of School
Family Webinar Series

Individualized Consultations on Student Recruitment Strategy, Digital Marketing, and Other Topics

Digital Brand-Building and Consumer-Marketing on Behalf of the Boarding School Category

Research & Resources

Fresh Insights to Help
Bolster Your Leadership


Biennial Brand Benchmark Study

Annual Data Collection Analysis of Enrollment Trends

Frequent Flash Surveys with Published Results

Periodic TABS Reports: Research on the Pressing Topics of the Day

Career Center: Post a Job or Search a Job. Basic Listings are Complimentary

Pathways Forward: The Boarding School Newsletter with Alerts, Insights and Resources

Advocacy regarding regulatory or legal threats to the sector

KeepingTABS Blog

Targeted discounts, some exclusive to TABS members

Eligibility to Enroll in TABS Insurance TuitionNet Program (currently available to U.S. schools)

Comprehensive Dues Structure

The 2022-2023 dues for TABS membership are based on the number of boarding students enrolled in your school on opening day of the school year during which your application is submitted.

The fee is $45.24 per boarding student. The minimum dues amount is $4,155 and the maximum is $12,475.

Dues for schools located outside the United States are paid in US dollars.


Will Gilyard is in his 19th year of working in independent schools. In 2020, he returned to his alma mater Choate Rosemary Hall to take on the roles of Form Dean, and Alumni Engagement Associate. Will joined Choate after nine years at the Kingswood Oxford School (KO), a 6-12 independent day school located in West Hartford, CT, where he served as Dean of Students, an upper school math teacher, assistant football coach, and faculty advisor for the United Students club and Boys of Color group. At Choate, Will is the faculty adviser to Choate Afro Latino Men (CALM), and Girls Who Code (GWC).

Will also serves as a core faculty member and helped create the curriculum for the Institute for New Teachers of Color in Independent Schools, created in 2020, the Interschool Leadership Institute, created in 2013. Will also served as a core faculty member of the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color (KOLIEC) from 2011-2018 and helped create the curriculum for the mentoring/advising circles for institute participants.

Before joining KO, Will was the Head of the Upper School at the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine in New York City. He serves on the board of advisors for the IDEAL School, also located in New York City. He is passionate about the role of educators in independent schools, specifically in the lives of students of color. Will has attended numerous workshops, conferences, and institutes related to leadership in independent schools and anti-racist education. Will had the honor of being a member of a think tank for the CARLE institute. 

Will has his B.A. in Psychology from Williams College and his M.A. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Joseph. Will is thrilled to be a part of the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) team and looks forward to working with energized and focused individuals who are interested in being change agents in the residential life sphere.

Will and his wife, Afton, ALP/Enrichment Teacher in Stratford Public Schools reside in Wallingford, CT with their two sons, William (10) and Maxwell (8).


Associate Head of School Ryan Pagotto ’97 joined Blair’s faculty in 2002 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the School on matters related to student and residential life, including health and counseling services, athletics and co-curricular programs. He runs Monday School Meeting and, among other things, is known for greeting students in the morning at the Clinton Hall doorway and offering freshly picked apples from his office during the month of October. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Ryan serves as a member of the history department and teaches Global Issues. He also authors the monthly e-newsletter From Hilltop to Home, a communication designed to help new boarding-school parents navigate the ins and outs of the Blair experience.

Over the course of his time at Blair, Ryan has served as a history teacher, head tennis coach, a dorm head and Dean of Admission. He completed his undergraduate work at Dickinson College, where he captained the men’s tennis team, and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Columbia University. Before joining the faculty at Blair, Ryan taught at the Taft Summer School in Watertown, Connecticut, and Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He also spent three summers as program director of the Cambridge Prep Experience at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University.

In addition to his roles in schools, Ryan has served as a faculty member for the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) Summer Session and is a regular presenter at national boarding and independent school conferences on student and residential life.

Ryan and his wife, Jennifer, performing arts department chair and Director of Instrumental Music at Blair, live in Grullon House with their children, Jack, Will, Ella and Addison, and their dog, Teagan. The Pagottos enjoy opening their home to Blair students, faculty and staff members throughout the year.


Susan served as a professor and leader at Middlebury College for over 25 years, most recently as Executive Vice President and Provost, leading Middlebury’s academic programs across multiple campuses – Middlebury, Bread Loaf, Monterey – as well as study abroad locations around the world. Prior to her Provostship, Susan served as Vice President for Strategy and Planning, Dean of Planning and Assessment, and Dean of the Faculty. She is a tenured Professor of Psychology and taught throughout her time at Middlebury.

Susan began her consulting firm in 2018, advising schools, colleges, non-profits and foundations in the areas of strategy, planning and governance; and coaching senior administrators to build leadership capacity and support change management. This led her to partner with TABS in 2019, in the development of TABS current strategic plan.

In addition to consulting, Susan co-authored the book, The College Stress Test, an analysis of educational markets and tools for helping schools to identify their place within market trends. The book was named one of the best books on higher education in 2020 by Forbes Magazine. Susan has presented extensively on topics relating to human sexuality, social psychology, and the psychology of women and gender. She received her B.S. with highest honors in Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa, at Denison University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology at UCLA.