2018 Dean of Students Symposium
Palmer Ball
Palmer Ball Consulting

Palmer formed Palmer Ball Consulting, LLC, in 2016, as she embarked on a new career as a consultant specializing in project work for independent school financial operations. In addition to her consulting work, she was an adjunct faculty member of the independent school finance graduate class at the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University in New York City. Before starting her consulting career, Palmer served as business manager at Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina for 21 years. Prior to that, she was vice president for business and finance at Converse College, her alma mater, for four years, following three years in the development office. Palmer was the recipient of NBOA’s prestigious Ken White Award in 2015, served two terms on the NBOA Board of Directors, and was elected to the Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools (ABOIS) in 2008. Palmer earned her B.A. in biology from Converse College and an M.B.A. in accounting from the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.
Sandy Boyd
Assistant Principal & Dean of Students
Carolina Day School

Sandy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Presbyterian College and a master’s in community counseling from Appalachian State University. He has held a variety of teaching, counseling, and administrative positions and currently serves as the assistant principal with Carolina Day School in Asheville, NC. In addition to his work with Carolina Day, Sandy is also an instructor with Kanuga’s Mountain Trail Outdoor School.
Ryan Carlson
Black Mountain Expeditions

Ryan Carlson is the director of Black Mountain Expeditions (BME), part of the Camp Merri-Mac and Camp Timberlake family. Prior to launching BME, Ryan served as the director of wilderness programs for Ohio Wesleyan University. Ryan has designed and delivered programs for independent schools, universities, and corporate teams around the globe, including Patagonia, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Wyoming’s Wind River Range, Joshua Tree National Park, the North Cascades, the Florida Everglades, and locations throughout Western North Carolina. Ryan holds an M.S. in management and leadership and B.S. in outdoor education, and his certifications include the following: American Mountain Guide Association Certified Rock Instructor, Professional Climbing Instructors Association Certifying Instructor, Wilderness Education Association Certified Outdoor Educator, and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Master Educator.
June Jenkins
Training-Consultation Coordinator
Safe & Humane Schools, Clemson University

June Jenkins has more than 25 years of experience in education as a teacher and administrator. In 2014, she retired as the project director for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project in Virginia which focused on community partnerships and prevention of risky behaviors of youth in 40 collaborative sites. She holds a postgraduate professional license from the Virginia and South Carolina Departments of Education in PK-12 administration and supervision. She completed a postgraduate certification in positive behavior interventions and support through the University of South Florida and is a youth mental health first aid trainer. In 2005, June became a national certified trainer-consultant in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and in 2010 became a trainer-certification course instructor.
Sean Kelly
Social Media Coach
The Social Institute

Sean holds a B.S. in psychology with a minor in education from Duke University. He is a former Duke Basketball player, who spent three years as a student manager before earning a spot as a scholarship walk-on his senior year. His team went on to win the 2015 National Championship. Before teaming up with The Social Institute, Sean served in the admissions office at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica, California.
Ritchie Pickens
Assistant Principal
Lipscomb Academy

Ritchie Pickens has 27 years of combined teaching, coaching, and administrative experience at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville. Ritchie earned a master’s in education administration from Lipscomb University, was a summer fellow at Vanderbilt's Peabody Professional Institute for Independent School Leadership, and is currently pursuing a master’s in Christian ministry from Lipscomb University.
Farrar Richardson
Head of Middle School
Spartanburg Day School

Farrar Richardson is currently the head of middle school at the Spartanburg Day School. She graduated from Davidson College with a degree in psychology and joined Teach for America where she taught 5th grade students in New Orleans. Farrar attended Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education and earned a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education. While working on her degree, she spent three years with the University School of Nashville as a first grade teacher. Farrar joined Spartanburg Day in 2001 as a 5th grade teacher, and became the head of middle school in 2012.
Ken Rogers
Middle School Principal
Charlotte Christian School

As a trained counselor, Ken holds a B.A. in English from Berea College and an M.S. in counseling from Johns Hopkins University. With independent school experience as a teacher, dean, and head of middle school, Ken is a frequent presenter and consultant to independent schools. He has previously served as head of middle school with Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA, and the Wellington School in Columbus, OH. Ken currently serves as middle school principal with Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina, and is a faculty member of the ISACS New Teacher Institute.
Lori Spear
Executive Vice President

Lori received a B.A. from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. She spent six years working with the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE) before coming to SAIS in August 2003. Lori is an active member of GSAE, having served as chair of the GSAE Board of Directors. She earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in June 2006. She is also an advocate of historic preservation, and has served on the board of Rhodes Hall, a historic home in midtown Atlanta, as well as the board of the DeKalb League of Women Voters. Lori has also volunteered for YearUp Atlanta, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Red Clay Music Foundry.
Laura Tierney
Founder & President
The Social Institute

Laura is an unshakable optimist and a competitive athlete at heart. She was a student-athlete at Duke University, earning a B.A. in sociology and journalism. Before founding The Social Institute, Laura served as social media director at the award-winning advertising agency McKinney, leading social media strategy for national and international brands. Earlier in her career, Laura helped ESPN use social media to launch espnW and inspire millions of women and girls who love sports. She has developed social strategies and campaigns for leading brands including Duke Men’s Basketball, Nike, Under Armour, Disney, Toyota, Travelocity, and Oakley. Combining her standout sports leadership experience with her career managing social media for world-class brands, Laura is driven to reinvent the conversation around teens and social media. She bridges the gap between adults and teens as one of the nation’s leading pioneers in positive social media education.
Lanny Witt
High School Principal
Lipscomb Academy

Lanny has been working in education for 34 years. Having previously served as a head of school for 15 years, Lanny has especially enjoyed the last six, working closely with students and faculty as the high school principal at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville. While earning a master’s degree at Lipscomb University, he became interested in conflict management. He is certified by the state of Tennessee as a Rule 31 Mediator with training that has helped him to implement restorative discipline practices at Lipscomb Academy High School.