January 29 – 31, 2020 • Boca Raton, Florida

This long-running workshop is designed to engage the more seasoned residential life professional team, for both leaders and members. TABS Lab: ResLife Leadership occurs over three concentrated days, away from the daily demands of school life, to help administrative teams develop and refine a functional residential life mission and strategy for your school. Explore how to create an intentional community and a life skills curriculum that will enhance the dormitory, boost faculty expertise and retention, and elevate your entire institution and community.

Each school will receive individualized attention working directly with experienced faculty, with each school’s own materials, as well as through group discussion and interaction on contemporary and structural residential life issues. Return to your school with a comprehensive residential life mission and working strategies, that support your residential curriculum, your school mission, and the co-curricular development of your students.

Much more valuable and effective for school teams – we highly recommend that you come as a team to get the most out of this workshop!

Panel 1

“Completely exceeded my expectations! Loved the one-on-one time.”


Group Discount
Save $100 off each registration when registering two (2) or more people from the same school at the same time. 

In consideration of currency exchange rates, all registrations from Canadian member schools will include a $250 discount. 

Standard Rate
TABS Members$1495
TABS Member – Group*$1445
Non-Member Group*$2125

*To obtain the group discount, you MUST register at least two (2) attendees at the same time. We will not be able to adjust the pricing or add additional members to an established registration.

Fees include instruction, resource materials, lunches and breaks. Participants must make their own hotel arrangements (see Hotel Information in left column).

Cancellation Policy
To cancel your registration, email your request to Liz Verhalen, Verhalen@TABS.org, before January 7, 2020. Please confirm that you are requesting a refund (each registration refund will be made less a $100 processing fee) or you may transfer your registration to another staff member of your school. No refunds will be made if received after midnight on January 7, 2020 and no weather-related refunds will be granted.

If you have additional questions, please contact the TABS office at 828-258-5354.

Panel 2

“Being able to communicate with and work alongside so many dedicated, true believers inspired me to continue this work as soon as I got home.”

Wednesday, January 29
8:30am Registration & Welcome

Review the reality of residential independent school recent history and trends. Consider key components of a successful residential life curriculum and healthy school culture. Group work with faculty facilitation will follow many of the sessions over the next 3 days, providing ample time for networking and opportunities to glean expertise and best practices.

Cowboys and Pit Crews- Building your Residential Life Team
Exploring the essentials for an engaged and effective team.

Self-Audit Residential Life/Student Life Program
How do we know how good a job we are doing in our work in the residential program? What are ways to assess performance of the program, performance of the adults doing this work, and the effects of the education on our students? Regular assessment of the components of the residential program is becoming an essential part of the work we do in boarding schools.

12:00pm Lunch

Creating a Strategic Plan
How to best evaluate where you are and what you need to consider.

Embracing Difference – From Tolerance to Respect to Appreciation
Schools are increasingly diverse and multicultural, bringing together students of different races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, and talents from around the world.

5:00pm Reception at Saint Andrew’s School (Transportation provided if needed)

Thursday, January 30

Safety, Legal and Emergency Considerations & Preparation
First and foremost, boarding schools must be safe – physically, socially and individually. Let’s consider our strengths, weaknesses as well as necessary resources and what we can prepare for in advance for best possible outcomes.

Counseling on the Run
Boarding schools have a distinct responsibility to each student and his or her family as well as to the students and constituencies as a whole. Balancing the individual and community is a key to a successful boarding experience.

Deep Listening
Exercises and resources

Unconference #1
Networking and conversation addressing topics determined by attendees with workshop faculty.

Group Work and Scheduled Faculty Meetings for each school team with workshop faculty.

12:00 Lunch

Managing a Crisis on CampusCase Studies and Tabletop Discussions
Best practices and things to consider.

Group Work and Scheduled Faculty Meetings for each school team with workshop faculty.

Unconference #2
ShNetworking and conversation addressing topics determined by attendees with workshop faculty.

Enjoy an evening out exploring on your own.

Friday, January 31

Approaches to Appraising Residential Faculty
We will explore essential assessment methods and best practice to fairly appraise and develop your ResLife team.

Group Work and Scheduled Faculty Meetings for each school team.

Residential Life Mission and Objectives
School teams will work together to write and evaluate the Curriculum. TABS faculty will work individually with school groups.

Developing Your Strategic Plan
What next steps you need to take when you get back.

12:00 Lunch

Strategic Plan Group Work

How to Implement Your Strategic Plan When You return to Your School

3:30pm End of Workshop

Each year we hear attendees lament travel plans that are cuting their attendance short and skipping conclusion of this workshop, in order to rush back to school responsibilities. To ensure you maximize the value of and investment in this workshop for yourself, your school and your students, we urge you to take this into account and plan your travel accordingly.

*Schedule is subject to change and all information provided during 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.

Panel 3

“Thank you for a fantastic 3 days! Feeling refreshed, energized and armed with a lot of great ideas and a real start to our school’s ResLife curriculum. Excellent, excellent job!”


Brian P.

Head of School
Wilbraham & Monson Academy, MA

Brian Easler considers it an honor and a privilege to have served since 2014 as the Head of School for Wilbraham & Monson Academy, a remarkable boarding and day school for 430 girls and boys in grades 6-12, where he has been since 1998. For most of that time Brian served as the Dean of Students & Associate Head of School, a role he found exceptionally rewarding, and he has also enjoyed being a dorm parent for male and female students of various ages, teaching trimester ethics electives to seniors, occasionally doing a little coaching and leading student trips to remote locations like the southern Amazon basin. Brian is a graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in English and Philosophy and earned a Master of Education in Experiential Education from Springfield College and a Master of Arts in Independent School Leadership through the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to his work in education, Brian served in the United States Army, 101st Airborne Division, as a Sergeant, Airborne Ranger and Team Leader in the Long Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Detachment. Brian enjoys leisure time with his wife and dogs at their cabin in Vermont, reading, hunting and hiking.


Julianne Puente
Deputy Headmaster and Dean of Students
Kings Academy, Jordan

For the past 11 years Julianne Puente has been part architect, part laborer and part builder of King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, a 7-12 coed boarding school modeled after Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.  Her role as Deputy Headmaster & Dean of Students afforded her the opportunity design, construct, and implement most of the programs, systems, policies and protocols that give shape to the current King’s Academy school culture. While her first years at King’s were focused primarily on student life, she now plays large roles in academic affairs, finance, curriculum design, development, alumni affairs, admissions, safety, operations, and the recruitment and evaluation of faculty. Julianne is also a faculty member in the Department of History, Religion and Society, where she currently teaches world religions.

Having attended the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York for her secondary school education, Julianne returned to her alma mater to work as a teacher, administrator and coach for 14 years prior to joining King’s Academy. At Hackley, Julianne worked in admissions and college counseling, served as a class dean and as a history teacher, in which capacity she developed several new courses, including one on world religions.

A collegiate athlete and a passionate and dedicated coach, she was at the helm of the varsity girls’ soccer and softball teams that won numerous league and state championships during her tenures at both her schools. As an accomplished musician, she has provided guitar and drum accompaniments for various student and faculty performances throughout her career.  

Julianne holds a Bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in American studies from Columbia University, and a certificate in Negotiation and Leadership from Harvard University.  She was recently appointed Albuquerque Academy’s next Head of School, a role she will assume in July 2020.