Proprietary schools, in their various forms, are in the vanguard of the explosive growth in international schooling and are often exemplary of schools committed to providing cutting-edge educational programs and services. The unique opportunities and challenges facing proprietary schools are seldom the focus of gatherings of school leaders.
The GLOBAL School Consulting Group’s “School Owner Roundtable” is the exception, as we intentionally focused entirely on the needs and interests of school owners. This unique event addressed ownership topics and relied heavily on peer expertise and experience through participant-driven dialogue.
Dr. David A. Wells, Executive and Managing Consultant with the GLOBAL Group, launched the conversation on Wednesday morning by highlighting revelatory research in the field of family businesses, relative to hybrid enterprises that pursue a social good (i.e. education), with a commercial business model. Economic and non-economic factors influencing the governance and management of privately-owned schools was also highlighted, with the introduction of the concept of “socioemotional wealth” in privately owned schools.
After this brief presentation, school owners took over the conversation, leading discussion of topics that were requested by owners themselves, which overflowed into times of informal interaction during the two-day event. The central topics included:
“Ownership Interests – Calibrating ROI and Owner Benefits”
“Ownership Transitions – Considering Models, Challenges, and Opportunities”
During the Roundtable, four schools were spotlighted, with owners sharing experiences related to the topics of the event. These included:
American Institute of Monterrey (Mexico) – Owner and Head of School Elizabeth Huergo
Chontales Academy (Nicaragua) – Founder and Director Dr. Erinn Magee
St. Augustine Preparatory School (Nicaragua) – Founding Co-Owner and Business Manager María Isabel Rivas
Escola Americana de Vitoria (Brazil) – Founding Co-Owner and Director Andrea Buffaro
Dr. Janet Lowrie Nason, Senior Consultant with the GLOBAL Group, and CEO Advisor for IPEKA Schools (Indonesia) presented a brief workshop entitled “Making it Work: Supervision and performance assessment of School Leaders” – and then facilitated discussion about this topic, which is especially complicated and challenging in proprietary schools.