Pre-Conference Workshops


2023 Pre-Conference Workshop Details

Add to your conference experience by registering for one of our three deeper dive sessions on Sunday afternoon. These 3 hour sessions will be led by SPARC Senior Advisors and provide a unique opportunity to significantly expand your learning.

These sessions are optional add-ons to the primary conference and require separate registration and an additional fee. Sessions will be happening simultaneously, so attendees must select one. Space is limited and seats are filled on a first come-first served basis.

Date and Time: Sunday, October 1, 1:00-4:00pm

Fee: $150 for SPARC members; $200 for non-members

Location: All sessions will be held at the Hotel Valley Ho, the conference hotel


Earn your SPARC MBA (Master the Business of Auxiliary)

Take a deeper dive into the “Business” of Auxiliary/Summer programs.  In this 3-hour session, we will review basic financial understanding, build a budget using a SPARC financial template (that you can take home), and we will dive deeper into strategies and processes to maximize your bottom-line growth. Effective budgeting processes, lean initiatives, and strong entrepreneurial practices will support a foundation for long-term financial success. In addition, we will use a SPARC Executive Summary template (that you can take home) that will help guide us through building the summary of a business plan for a new initiative. 


  • A better understanding of Auxiliary financial basics 
  • Budgeting 101: Understanding, developing, and Planning for Implementation
  • Best Practices for auxiliary program entrepreneurship
  • A strong understanding of developing an initiative (executive) summary and presentation to your CFO/HOS or BOT

Presenter: Bob Rojee, Senior Advisor, SPARC



Are you looking to launch a new summer program or a new school year initiative?  This Workshop will help bring your ideas to life!  Join us for an interactive 3-hour session where we will dive into the SPARC 10 Step Process for Program Development.  Before the session begins on October 1st, we will send you a pre-session worksheet so that you can reflect on what new program idea or concept you would like to use as your case study for the workshop.  As a group and in small breakouts, we will go through the 10 Steps outlined below.  The goal will be to have a working Action Plan that you can refer to throughout the conference and build upon so that when you return back to your school you have a detailed Business Plan and timeline. 

SPARC 10 Step Process for Program Development

  • Develop your Business Plan
  • Define your Mission & Goals
  • Identify your Audience
  • Determine your Market Analysis and Marketing Plan
  • Create Your Budget
  • Identify your Implementation Needs
  • Develop your Risk Management plan
  • Develop Tools and Metrics to Assess Program Success
  • Develop Your Timeline  
  • Create your Implementation and Analysis Process

Presenter: Karen McCann McClelland, Director of Auxiliary Programs at Sidwell Friends School and SPARC Senior Advisor


Auxiliary and summer directors have a very unique leadership role in schools and the programs they lead and are gaining greater recognition as key levers for schools to pull to advance strategic priorities and deliver on the mission. Directors are often in charge of a large domain with a lot of responsibility, yet they are also positioned somewhere in middle management or at least report to someone else. Auxiliary and summer program directors are also often unique in the necessity for them to interact with all facets of the school (i.e. facilities, security, academic depts., athletics, etc.). Unlike other roles in a school, auxiliary and summer have to be both entrepreneurial and budget-conscious—earning the money that they spend—which creates both challenges and opportunities in leading programs. This workshop will be heavy on conceptual frameworks for thinking about leadership, understanding your style of leadership, and planning strategically. A "scrapbook" of recipes, models, and tools for being an effective manager and team leader will be shared. Claim your rightful place by leading in, leading up, and leading the way!


  • Connecting the role of strategic planning to your programs and to your school’s highest priorities
  • Understanding your own leadership style and how it helps (and hurts) your objectives
  • Receiving a portfolio of practical tools and frameworks to lead your program
  • Gaining the confidence to not only lead your programs, but impact your whole organization

Presenter: David Sullivan, Senior Advisor, SPARC