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.
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.
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.
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.