From Sunsets to School Growth — A Look Back at 2016

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I love going to the beach. The beach has always been a place for me to get away and to reflect. If I had time, I would visit the beach every evening for the sunset (I am fortunate to only live one mile away). In fact, my wife and I had dinner on Indian Rocks Beach on New Year’s Day. After dinner, we enjoyed our first sunset of the year (pictured above).

A new year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to set goals for the new year.

As I reflect on my work with schools, my passion is to help leaders implement effective enrollment and marketing strategies and to achieve growth. 2016 provided another great opportunity and privilege for me to work with schools as an Enrollment Catalyst.

The following are some of the highlights:

  • Worked with 50 school clients ranging from those in my Enrollment Catalyst Program to others choosing solutions such as a parent survey, secret shopper program, or on-site consultations. These schools included Independent Schools, Christian Schools, Catholic Schools, Jewish Day Schools, Episcopalian Schools and International Schools.
  • Traveled to work with schools as far away as Anchorage, Alaska, to Kingston, Jamaica.
  • Helped five schools launch Variable Tuition including Calvary Day School, Davidson Academy, Hilltop Country Day School, Lansing Christian School and Ware Academy. All five of these schools experienced enrollment growth. Topping this list, Calvary Day School in Winston-Salem, NC, increased their enrollment by 12%!
  • Conducted 59 parent, employee and student surveys for schools.
  • Presented workshops on a variety of topics at several conferences in person and virtually:
    • ACSI Midwest Region in Chicago, IL
    • RenWeb Conference in Miami, FL
    • Finalsite University in Hartford, CT
    • Minnesota Independent School Forum (Virtually)
    • Austin Diocese of Catholic Schools (Virtually)
    • Austin Admissions and Marketing Directors (Virtually)
    • VirCon3 (Virtually)

I also launched my own webinar series in 2016 and offered three workshops featuring some outstanding guest speakers. These webinars can still be accessed by clicking on the link and registering to listen to the recording:

And, last but not least, I continued to produce content in my blog. The following are my top 10 blog posts of 2016 in case you missed any of these or want to read them again:

  1. 5 Reasons Why a School Declines in Enrollment
  2. 3 Reasons Why Continuous Enrollment Makes Sense
  3. 7 Strategies that led to Eastern Christian School’s Enrollment Turnaround
  4. 3 Things Every School Admissions Director Must Do Now
  5. Is Variable Tuition Right for your School?
  6. First Year Enrollment Director Makes a Huge Difference
  7. The Ideal Campus Visit at your School
  8. Secret Advice from a Private School Secret Shopper
  9. 4 Questions to Ask about your School’s Facebook Strategy
  10. Retention Takes Leadership – A Conversation with Don Johnson

A new year gives us new opportunities. 2017 promises to be a busy year for me. I already have seven new schools scheduled for site visits in the next few months to begin my Enrollment Catalyst Program.

I hope that 2017 is a great year for you! My goal is to continue to help leaders achieve enrollment growth in their schools. I will continue to provide content that will help you through my blog, webinars, conferences and some other exciting developments! Please feel free to reach out to me directly at if there is anything I can do for you.

And, don’t forget to take time to reflect and enjoy some sunsets this year. I know I will!