Preparing students for a complex and changing world requires educators to connect learning to the world in dynamic and engaging ways both inside the classroom and beyond. Learning in an increasingly global world also requires educators to venture off-campus, which adds new dimensions of risk management.

This fall, in collaboration with World Leadership School, Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD (just outside of Washington, DC) will host a conference for teachers and administrators to learn, network, and share approaches for teaching global competencies and connecting classrooms to the world.

Day One of this innovative conference will focus on global learning inside the classroom, with twin tracks offered in the morning around Project-Based Learning and Authentic Assessments. In the late afternoon, we’ll have time for participants to share ideas and network with each other through Ignite Talks, Tech Slams, and Un-Conference Sessions. The evening will be set aside for cocktails, dinner, and a keynote speaker.

Day Two will focus on global learning outside the classroom, and in particular how to manage the risks of taking students off-campus for local, domestic, and global experiences. During the morning, we’ll cover the basic building blocks of risk management, such as accepted practices, team building, and group dynamics. We’ll also have time to work in small groups and brainstorm next steps for our school.

Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Share and network new approaches to global learning with other independent school educators
  • Explore new strategies for working inside the classroom such as Project-Based Learning or Authentic Assessment
  • Understand best practices for working outside the classroom including group dynamics, accepted practices, and other building blocks of risk management. Explore how your school can improve its risk management practices.

Registration is now closed.

What does it mean to get involved?

Ignite Talk

Ignite Talk presenters are allowed 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation lasting just 5 minutes. We ask all presenters to upload their presentations ahead of time into Google slides. Don't worry! We can help you learn how to do that!

Tech Slam

A "tech slam" is a short, high energy demo of tech apps, skills, or ideas. Slams involve introductions to many different tools, and the overriding principle is always the same: find out about new technologies and identify ways they might support your efforts as educators. Participants will have 2-3 minutes each to demonstrate a technology tool with the crowd, and to explain how it might be valuable in a global classroom. Be sure to bring a device and adapter, if needed, so you can project a quick demo of its use.

Un-Conference Session

The term "Un-Conference" arose as people in the technology industry started making conferences that stepped outside the traditional models, which had involved presentations selected months beforehand, panels of speakers, industry sponsors talking about their products, and "trade show" exhibits. The un-conference format creates space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and creativity.

At the beginning, the whole group will gather together and be guided through creating an agenda using open space technology. The exact process is not important to understand in advance – the process will become clear as it happens. The important part is that all those gathered will have the opportunity to put conference sessions on the agenda. No session will be "voted off" or "won't happen" for any reason. All sessions are welcome, and no advanced preparation is necessary; this experience is about sharing ideas on topics that matter to you as educators. Learn more about un-conferences.

Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 1, 8 a.m. to noon

Friday, September 30 - Global Learning Inside the Classroom

9:00* - 10:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast and Session Sign-up Simms Reception Room

*The optional Networking Breakfast will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. Since Friday is a regular attendance day for Holton students, faculty, and staff, we ask that you plan your arrival for no earlier than 9:00 a.m. Welcome remarks by Holton-Arms Head of School, Susanna A. Jones, and Founder of World Leadership School, Ross Wehner, will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.

10:00 - 10:20 a.m. Welcome to Global Gathering: Pedagogies and Passports

Susanna A. Jones, Head of Holton-Arms School
Ross Wehner, Founder of World Leadership School

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Workshops Marriott Library

    1. Authentic Assessment: Diana Gross, Senior Instructional Facilitator for Johns Hopkins and National Geographic Traveler of the Year 2012 and
      Rachel Herlein, Academic Dean Holton-Arms School
    2. Project Based Learning: Jennifer D. Klein, Director of Professional Development World Leadership School

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch Simms Reception Room

1:25 - 2:35 p.m. Ignite Talks

2:45 - 3:20 p.m. “Un-conference” Sharing Ideas Track I

3:30 - 4:05 p.m. “Un-conference” Sharing Ideas Track II

4:20 - 5:20 p.m. Tech Slam: Mary Dobroth, Director of Academic Technology Holton-Arms School

5:30 p.m. Cocktails and Reflection

6:00 p.m. Dinner

6:30 - 6:50 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Anne Keiser '66, photographer and photo editor at National Geographic and author.

6:50 - 7:15 p.m. Reflection

7:15 p.m. Closing

Saturday, October 1 - Global Learning Outside the Classroom

8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Coffee

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. Off-Campus Learning & Risk Management Workshop, Ross Wehner and Erin Hawk World Leadership School

  • Data behind risk
  • Group dynamics
  • Accepted practices
  • Co-leadership questions
  • Off Campus Learning/Risk Management

11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Reflections and Departure

ANNE KEISER – Keynote speaker

Ann Keiser is a freelance photographer. She was a staff photographer and photo editor at National Geographic Society. In addition, she was the photographer of Sir Edmund Hillary and the People of Everest, a book that highlights Sir Edmund’s environmental and community work with Sherpas. She helped produce two children’s books, To Everest and Beyond and Triumph on Everest. Keiser serves on the boards of the Choral Arts Society, the Greater Himalayas Foundation, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, the Middle East Institute, the Sulgrave Club, and Chorus America. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Holton-Arms School.

SUSANNA A. JONES, Head of School

Susanna A. Jones currently serves as Head of School for the Holton-Arms School, a girls’ day school for grades 3-12 in Bethesda, MD. She was appointed by the Board of Trustees in 2007 as the School’s seventh head since its founding in 1901. She came to Holton after eight years as Head of The Ethel Walker School, a girls’ day and boarding school for grades six through 12, in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Ms. Jones graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and Princeton University, with Honors. She began her career at the Spence School in New York City as a history teacher. While residing in New York, Ms. Jones earned an M.A. and an M. Phil. in history from Columbia University. For several years she worked in development at Union Theological Seminary and St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School in New York. In 1993, she accepted the position of Director of Upper School at Marlborough School, in Los Angeles, California, where she remained for six years. Ms. Jones co-authored The Complete Guide to Capital Campaigns for Historic Churches and Synagogues. She currently is a Trustee of Norwood School and the Online School for Girls. She formerly served as Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington. In 2010-2011 she was a member of the NAIS Think Tank, a planning body for the 2011 NAIS Annual Conference, and has presented at the NAIS national conferences as well as the TABS/NAIS Global Symposium and the NCGS Global Forum. In addition to belonging to numerous school associations, she served as an Alumni Trustee for Phillips Academy, Andover, on the Board of SPHERE, a consortium of Hartford area independent schools promoting diversity, and the Board of CAIS (Connecticut Association of Independent Schools).

During her tenure at Holton, Ms. Jones has led the implementation of a comprehensive Global Education Program, developing global competencies throughout the curriculum and more specifically offering Junior Journeys to China, Peru, and India, and the institution of a Global Scholars designation for graduating seniors. The School has also created the Holton-Arms Center for the Advancement of STEM as well as a STEM Scholars designation. In addition, Holton-Arms is one of the four founding members of the Online School for Girls, now One Schoolhouse. She writes a weekly blog which can be found at Head’s Notes.

MELISSA BROWN, Director of Diversity and Global Education Holton-Arms School

As Director of Diversity and Global Education, Melissa Brown oversees Holton-Arms School’s Global Education Program which spans grades 3-12. In her eighth year as director, Melissa works closely with parents, students, faculty, staff, and partners around the world to create opportunities for students to develop global competence both inside and outside of the traditional classroom.

Melissa’s educational background is in World Language Instruction and Latin American Literature and Culture. She holds an undergraduate degree in World Language Instruction, a Master’s in Latin American Literature and Culture, and is a Nationally Certified World Language teacher. Melissa has taught Spanish Language classes, led International programs to Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, and South America, and presented nationally on global education at professional conferences. She believes in designing opportunities for students to better understand themselves, their world, and their potential for effecting positive change is the most important educators can be doing in the 21st century.

MARY DOBROTH, Director of Academic Technology

As Director of Academic Technology, Mary oversees school wide academic technology integration and curricular developments. Mary works closely with teachers to guide the effective use of technology, develops school wide professional development opportunities, and co-teaches two Middle School courses - Guidance 7 and Computational Thinking Explorations. Mary earned her B.S in Industrial Design, and her M.A in Education with a Graduate Certificate in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. Before coming to Holton-Arms in 2012, Mary was a classroom teacher for Virginia Public Schools at the Middle and Upper levels teaching Technology Education, Architectural Drawing, Introduction to Engineering Design, and Principles of Engineering. She is a Project Lead the Way certified teacher and a certified Mechanical Drafter. Mary is committed to helping teachers find the best use of technology for their classrooms and only encourages technology integration when it is used to transform teaching and learning. Mary has presented at professional conferences nationally on topics such as technology integration and Blended Learning, digital citizenship integration, the maker movement, and global education. Mary is active on twitter @MrsDobroth and writes an educational technology blog at

DIANA GROSS – Authentic Assessment Workshop

Diana Gross, a global education technology and literacy expert, has dedicated her career to fostering global connectedness and harnessing the power of emergent technologies to empower teachers and improve student engagement. She was named National Geographic Traveler of the Year in 2012 for the “globe-spanning goal of digitally connecting teachers and students by bringing technology education to underserved communities.”

Diana began her career teaching English and computer skills in rural Namibia in 1995. She installed the school’s first donated computer, an IBM PC with a MS-DOS startup process, and trained the School Leader and teachers to use WordPerfect to create their own context-specific resources. In 2006, she became the Technology Curriculum Coordinator for Garrison Forest School for Girls’ 1:1 laptop program and developed the Digital Thinking curriculum that incorporated media literacy, programming, social media marketing, blogging, and digital media production.

In 2011, Diana became the school’s Global Educational Correspondent, traveling and blogging as The Traveling Teacher. During the year, she traveled to 16 countries, connecting schools globally via Skype and conducting Tell Your Own Story digital media production workshops in underserved communities in Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. She relocated to Cambodia to develop a first of its kind ICT and Digital Media Production curriculum and teacher training project for rural government schools.

Diana is currently based in NYC and southeast Asia where she works as a Senior Instructional Facilitator for Johns Hopkins University and as an ICT for Education expert with UNESCO Myanmar. She continues to deliver professional learning workshops and speak about her experiences through Global Citizen Educate.

Her latest muse is Augmented Reality and the possibilities of harnessing its captivating power for educational and global good.

ERIN HAWK, Director of Operations World Leadership School

Erin Hawk World Leadership School Erin Hawk has a wide range of experience when it comes to designing, managing, and leading international service learning programs.

Prior to joining World Leadership School, Erin served as a Director of Programs for Camp Fire USA, a youth development non-profit that focuses on service-learning and summer camps. While at Camp Fire, Erin developed new service learning and outdoor programs for after-school, in-school and summer camp settings using the traditional Camp Fire USA curriculum. Before that, Erin helped design and manage inner-city youth programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Tucson, Arizona.

Erin has also led a variety of service learning trips throughout Africa, Latin America and the American West. She has worked several seasons as an expedition leader for Road Less Traveled, an adventure and community service travel company based in Chicago. Most recently she has lead programs for World Leadership School in India, Tanzania, Belize, Peru and Costa Rica and set up WLS programs in Turkey, India, Tanzania, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala. Through these programs, Erin enables, engages, and encourages students to see their full potential as caring and productive citizens.

Erin grew up in Great Falls, Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC, and graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Psychology and Leadership. She recently moved to Arlington, VA and works out of World Leadership School’s Washington, DC office. In her spare time, she trains for half and full marathons, snowboards and anything else that challenges her mind and body.

RACHEL HERLEIN, Academic Dean; Upper School English Holton-Arms School

As Academic Dean, Rachel Herlein oversees Holton-Arms School’s 3rd through 12th grade curriculum and school wide faculty professional development. During her twenty-two years as an educator, she has been a classroom teacher in both public and independent schools at the Lower, Middle and Upper levels. Committed to student-centered teaching and learning, she has presented nationally on topics such as differentiated instruction, professional learning communities and 21st Century grading and reporting systems. Rachel earned her B.A. in Education with a concentration in Music from Wheaton College in Illinois and her M.S. in Educational Studies with a concentration in School Administration from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. She believes educators can leverage technology to facilitate learning experiences where communication, collaboration and creativity are paramount, and to increase students’ connection to their community, their country and their world.

JENNIFER D. KLEIN, Director of Professional Development World Leadership School

World Leadership School Jennifer Klein

Jennifer D. Klein has a wealth of experience in the classroom and the world.

A product of experiential project-based education herself, Jennifer D. Klein taught college and high school English for 19 years, including five years in Central America and 11 years in all-girls education. In 2010, Jennifer left teaching to provide professional development to teachers trying to integrate authentic student-driven global learning experiences in their classrooms. She has a broad background in global program planning and evaluation, student-driven curricular strategies, single-sex education, student service travel, and experiential, inquiry-driven learning. Jennifer has published a wide array of educational writing, appearing in publications such as Independent School and The NSSSA Leader. She speaks at conferences regularly, including the People of Color Conference, the National Association of Independent Schools’ Annual Conference, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

Jennifer coaches teachers in global integration and facilitates projects between North American classrooms and schools around the world. She is a National Faculty member for the Buck Institute for Education, facilitating workshops on Project-Based Learning, and she provides strategic coaching to schools involved in TakingITGlobal’s Future Friendly Schools project. Jennifer is a central partner in the Centre for Global Education’s international video conferences, and she writes curriculum and delivers professional development workshops for several Fulbright teacher programs through the Institute of International Education and the U.S. State Department.

Since she joined WLS in 2010, Jennifer has provided direct professional development support to the global efforts of the Berkeley Carroll School (an NAIS School of the Future, New York), Appleby College (Ontario), The Madeira School (Virginia), Greens Farms Academy (Connecticut), St. Mary’s Academy (Colorado), Ensworth School (Tennessee), Virginia Episcopal School, Windward School (California), the Town School for Boys (California), the Moses Brown School (Rhode Island), Hawken School (Ohio), and Parish Episcopal School (Texas).

ROSS WEHNER, Founder World Leadership School

World Leadership School Ross Wehner

Ross Wehner began his career as a journalist in Latin America and has worked as a political campaign manager, classroom teacher, outdoor educator for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and social entrepreneur.

Ross began his career as a journalist in the early 1990s, where he reported on the rapid growth of South America’s economies and covered the end of Chile’s Pinochet regime for the San Francisco Chronicle. He spent a decade reporting from Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Mexico. He has written about business and finance, climate change, outdoor adventure, the organic movement and other topics for Mother Jones, Outside and other magazines. He most recently worked as a business reporter for The Denver Post.

Ross has worked as a teacher at The Bush School in Seattle, The Miller School of Albemarle in Crozet, Virginia, and the University of Virginia, where he earned an M.A. in Spanish American literature. He taught leadership and risk management as a wilderness instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and as a mountain guide for Alpine Ascents, a climbing agency in Seattle. He has guided clients on rock and ice climbs throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

The World Leadership School combines Ross’ experience with global issues, leadership training and service learning. Ross is also a founding partner of World Action Teams whose mission is to develop leaders who create value for business and society. Together with David Maher, Ross also helped found World Leadership Foundation, the non-profit arm of World Leadership School.

Ross lives in Boulder with his wife Renée del Gaudio, with whom he co-authored the travel guidebook Moon Peru. Ross and Renée have two young children, Sebastian and Francesca.

The optional Networking Breakfast will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. Since Friday is a regular attendance day for Holton students, faculty, and staff, we ask that you plan your arrival for no earlier than 9:00 a.m. Welcome remarks by Holton-Arms Head of School, Susanna A. Jones, and Founder of World Leadership School, Ross Wehner, will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Shuttle Service:
We encourage you to take advantage of a shuttle service we will be running from the Marriott Suites in Bethesda at the following times:

Friday Morning 8:30 a.m.
Friday Evening 7:45 p.m.
Saturday Morning 7:30 a.m.

**Note that there will not be a return shuttle service on Saturday afternoon. We suggest that you use Taxi, Uber, or Lyft from Holton-Arms following the conference.

Directions and Parking:
Holton-Arms is located at 7303 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. Directions can be found here.

Please park in the first two bays in the front of the School (when you enter campus follow the signs to the Upper School, not the Lower School). Holton-Arms facilities staff will be present at 9:00 a.m. to assist you.

Bethesda Marriott

Lodging Information

Holton has reserved a limited number of one bedroom king suites at $109.00 per night at the Bethesda Marriott. This discounted rate is only available until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 9. Please mention the "Holton-Arms School Conference Room Block" when booking:

Bethesda Marriott Suites
6711 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20817

Other Bethesda area hotels, at which Holton-Arms does not hold room blocks, include:

American Inn of Bethesda
8130 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Doubletree Hotel
8120 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Bethesda Court Hotel
7740 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Hyatt Regency
One Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-1234

Marriott Bethesda
5151 Pooks Hill Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814

Navy Lodge Bethesda
8901 Rockville Pike # 52
Bethesda, MD 20889

Residence Inn by Marriott Bethesda
7335 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

Clarion Hotel Bethesda
8400 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

Courtyard Chevy Chase
5520 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

National 4-H Council
7100 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815


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