Foundations of Care and Practice

Advance your career and equip yourself with the essential tools needed to cultivate a safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environment for your students with this comprehensive, real-time virtual program for boarding school professionals.

Through cohort-based learning, TABS Foundations of Care and Practice Credential guides boarding school professionals to develop foundational insights essential to providing the best care for students

You will learn from experienced faculty from TABS member schools and build relationships to your professional growth.




JAN 2024




12-14 HOURS





About this Credential

The TABS Foundations of Care and Practice Credential is a comprehensive professional development program that provides boarding school practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to provide the best possible care for their students.

The program covers a wide range of topics, including mission and purpose, safety, health, and wellness, cultivating inclusivity and belonging, and advising and supervising adolescents. Participants will learn from experienced faculty and build a community with other boarding school professionals committed to their professional development and providing the best possible care for their students.

What You'll Gain


8 Modules • 4 Cohort Meetings

1 • Self-Care: Strategies for Managing Your Responsibilities and Relationships

Caring for yourself is essential to caring effectively for students and colleagues in your boarding school community. Reflect on strategies that support your health, examine pitfalls in managing relationships and responsibilities in a boarding environment, and develop a self-care action plan.

2 • Boarding Schools: Our Mission and Purpose

Explore an array of mission, purpose statements, and origin stories of boarding schools — including your own — and examine ways in which the shared commitment to vibrant residential life programs comes to life in the daily experience of the people — students, teachers, and parents — who embark on this unique educational journey.

3 • Promoting Student Health and Wellness

Boarding school educators are in a unique position to help students develop lifelong healthy habits. Explore research and current trends around student health, data collection tools, and strategies for defining and prioritizing health and wellness goals for their community.

4 • Understanding Common Mental Health Challenges of Adolescents (including Suicide Prevention)

Examine the most common mental health challenges our students may face, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, bullying, and self-harm. You’ll learn how to identify and support students with mental health concerns, create safe and supportive school environments, and approach a student in crisis.

5 • Introduction to Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response

In this trauma-informed training led by RAINN, gain an understanding of the foundations and complexities of sexual misconduct, trauma and its impact on survivors, how to respond in trauma-informed ways, and how to identify and reinforce healthy boundaries for yourself, students, and others in your community.

6 • Mentoring and Supervising Students in a Boarding Context

The opportunity to develop relationships with caring and supportive adult mentors is a key reason families choose boarding schools. Explore ways to empower students as leaders within the boarding setting, set and maintain healthy boundaries, and balance your role as advisor and supervisor of boarding school students in a variety of on-campus settings.

7 • Building Equitable and Inclusive Boarding Communities

When students live where they learn, cultivating inclusive communities of belonging is critical. Explore the wide array of lenses through which we can understand diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging on our campuses, reflect on your own identity and experience, and develop strategies for supporting inclusivity and belonging in your sphere of influence.

8 • Supporting International Students

With up to 30% of boarding school students enrolling from beyond North America, understanding the unique needs of international students is essential to building supportive communities where students thrive. Explore the typical emotional journey of a student attending boarding school in a foreign country, cultural insights and understandings caring for international students, and strategies for challenges you and they may face during the educational journey.

Course Features


One-hour live virtual modules taught by boarding school faculty experts.


Cohort meetings with your fellow cohort and cohort advisor to unpack your learning and insights.


Final submission that reflects your learning, professional practice, and feedback for development of the program.


Credential and badge that you can add to your resume and social media profiles and share with your network.

Meet Your Faculty & Advisors


Humanities Department, Senior Teacher Asheville School, NC


Associate Head of School, Thomas Jefferson School MO


Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Western Reserve Academy OH


Associate Dean of Students, Milton Academy MA


Director of Student Wellness, Tabor Academy MA


Assistant Head of School, History Teacher, Skiing and Crew Coach, Taft School CT


Assistant Head for Equity & Community Life, Lawrence Academy MA


Dean of Student Life and Wellness, Loomis Chaffee School CT


Medical Director, Phillips Academy MA


Director of Residential Life, St. Stephen's Episcopal School TX


Assistant Head of School, Hebron Academy ME

Learn More

The Foundations of Care and Practice is a complimentary, in-depth professional development program for TABS members, with a limited number of spots available. 

patricia sasser

Patricia previously served as the Head of the Upper School at the Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida. She also worked at the Loomis Chaffee School as a dean of students and was heavily involved in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school. Prior to Loomis Chaffee, Patricia worked at The Madeira School in several roles, including as a major gifts officer, director of student activities, special assistant to the head of school on diversity, and the assistant dean of students for residential life.

Before transitioning into education, Ms. Sasser worked at ESPN as an associate producer, where she was a two-time Emmy® nominee and a 2006 Emmy® award winner.

Raquel majeski

Raquel Majeski began working at Lawrence Academy in 2017 and is the Assistant Head for Equity and Community Life. She has a BA from Eckerd College in communications and human development and an MA from Nova Southeastern University in reading and special education. Raquel lives in Brazer with her two children, Lauryn and Wade. She loves spending time with the students at LA, participating in book clubs and bible study groups, and attending Dave Matthews Band concerts. Raquel is also the Chair of the diversity task force for the town of Groton.


Marquis Scott joined The Lawrenceville School in 2018 and has made significant contributions in various leadership roles. He has implemented a technology-focused strategic plan to enhance cyber security practices, improve employee portal utilization, and streamline campus-wide technology support. Marquis has also played a pivotal role in advancing the School’s initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion, implementing best practices and leading senior staff efforts in this area. Additionally, he has led strategic communication and institutional marketing committees, ensuring consistent communication, website strategy, and brand identity aligned with the School’s mission. Marquis has been instrumental in the marketing and branding of Lawrenceville’s Gruss Center for Art & Design and collaborates with the Lawrenceville community to prioritize and execute strategic projects. 

In addition to his role as the assistant head of school, Marquis has successfully undertaken various acting leadership positions, including chief technology officer, director of communications and external affairs, dean of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, and director of human resources. Currently, he leads a student-centered Wellness Team, working collaboratively with the medical director, dean of students, and dean of campus well-being to prioritize a holistic approach to student well-being.

Scott holds a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University’s School of Business in Newark, NJ, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa, with an anticipated completion date of Winter 23-24. Scott recently completed the National Association of Independent Schools’ Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads. He is an alumnus of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hotchkiss Board of Governors.

Courtney Jackson

Courtney is an educator and DEI practitioner who currently lives in Connecticut at The Loomis Chaffee School, where she serves as the Director of Gender and Sexuality, English teacher, and dorm head. Courtney is an alumna of The Peddie School in New Jersey, earned her BA in Philosophy from Lehigh University, where she also was a member of the Women’s Soccer team. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College, where she studied gender and sexuality, and a Master in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied diversity, equity, and inclusion more broadly. Courtney enjoys spending time outside with her dog, reading memoirs, running, cycling, and sipping coffee.


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.