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The Heads Network began as National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls (NAPSG) and was closely allied with the work of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. NAPSG held its first annual meeting in 1920–the very same year of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. The empowerment of women in America was reaching a crescendo after a successful 72-year struggle to affirm women’s right to vote.


Education had long been a field that recognized and embraced the value of women as professionals in the workplace, and NAPSG looked to continue the development and support of leaders of girls’ schools as a national network of heads of schools. The areas of administration, academics, as well as the larger issues of standards and ideals for school and life were especially important in schools for girls. Connecting these heads of schools with college admissions representatives also emerged as an important avenue to the continued education and success of young women, along with ongoing discussion about College Entrance Board examinations and a foreign exchange program for teachers.

NAPSG's mission was to further the professional growth of its members by providing a forum in which issues pertinent to the education of girls and young women were presented and discussed. School heads and other representatives of member schools and colleges met to address issues ranging from curricular and administrative policies to moral education and the role of women in a complex and changing world.

The Heads Network Today


The NAPSG Council held a retreat to vision the organization going forward in November 2012. The results of the meeting led to a name change, a revised mission, and a list of core tenets. In February 2013, NAPSG became The Heads Network.

The Heads Network speaks to its mission of advancing girls and women in leadership in independent schools in several significant ways, including the two-day Annual Conference in late January/early February. Additionally, for nearly 40 years, The Heads Network has sponsored the Women’s Leadership Seminar to inspire and equip future women leaders. Held twice each year, over 1500 women have participated in Seminar and are now heads and senior independent school leaders in the United States and internationally. Of utmost value is an opportunity to collaborate with fellow members and talk freely in an association that features diversity and connectedness.

In 2020, the association celebrated its 100th Anniversary. A new strategic plan was adopted in 2021, and the 2021-2022 academic year found the association expanding its programming to include webinars on topics pertinent to its member schools. The Heads Network remains a strong, focused association whose mission and programs continue to be relevant and important. Its rich past has laid the foundation to take it boldly forward, supporting and inspiring its members as it continues to promote women as independent school leaders.

"When women are in charge, more voices are included; the world runs better."


– Ann Klotz, Laurel School (OH)


1920 Cleveland, OH – Marion Coats

1921 Atlantic City, NJ – Marion Coats

1922 Chicago, IL – Marion Coats Graves

1923 Cleveland, OH – Eloise Tremaine

1924 Chicago, IL – Eloise Tremaine

1925 Cincinnati, OH – Sarah Converse

1926 Washington, DC – Sarah Converse

1927 Dallas, TX – L. Gertrude Angell

1928 Boston, MA – L. Gertrude Angell

1929 Cleveland, OH – L. Gertrude Angell 

1930 Atlantic City, NJ – L. Gertrude Angell 

1931 Detroit, MI – Mary E. Wilson

1932 Washington, DC – Mary E. Wilson

1933 St. Paul, MN – Mary E. Raymond

1934 Cleveland, OH – Mary E. Raymond

1935 Atlantic City, NJ – Valentine L. Chandor

1936 Chicago, IL – Marjorie Hiscox

1937 New Orleans, LA – Alice G. Howland

1938 Atlantic City, NJ – Alice G. Howland

1939 Cleveland, OH – Sarah B. Whitaker

1940 St. Louis, MO – Sarah B. Whitaker

1941 Atlantic City, NJ – Edna Lake

1942 Boston, MA – Edna Lake

1943 New York, NY – Elizabeth Singleton

1944 No meeting – Elizabeth Singleton

1945 No meeting – Elizabeth Singleton

1946 Rye, NY – Marguerite Hearsey

1947 Atlantic City, NJ – Marguerite Hearsey

1948 Atlantic City, NJ – Elizabeth M. Castle

1949 Atlantic City, NJ – Elizabeth M. Castle

1950 Atlantic City, NJ – Marion Reed Marsh

1951 Chicago, IL – Marion Reed Marsh

1952 Atlantic City, NJ – Anne Cutter Coburn

1953 Williamsburg, VA – Anne Cutter Coburn

1954 Atlantic City, NJ – Alnah James Johnston

1955 Washington, DC – Alnah James Johnston

1956 Atlantic City, NJ – Natalie G. Galbraith

1957 New York, NY – Natalie G. Galbraith

1958 Charleston, SC – Susanna P. Turner

1959 Boston, MA – Susanna P. Turner

1960 Philadelphia, PA – Margaret Bailey Speer

1961 Washington DC – Margaret Bailey Speer

1962 Cleveland, OH – Marion Goodale

1963 Providence, RI – Marion Goodale

1964 New Orleans, LA – Marion Davis

1965 Atlantic City, NJ – Marion Davis

1966 Boston, MA – Sallie E. Lurton

1967 Washington, DC – Sallie E. Lurton

1968 Philadelphia, PA – Virginia S. Deane

1969 San Francisco, CA – Virginia S. Deane

1970 Williamsburg, VA – Anne Healy

1971 New York, NY – Anne Healy

1972 Colorado Springs, CO – Dr. Ralph D. Rutenber, Jr.

1973 Charleston, SC – Dr. Ralph D. Rutenber, Jr.

1974 Monterey, CA – Dr. Marion H. Hamilton

1975 Hot Springs, VA – Dr. Marion H. Hamilton

1976 Colorado Springs, CO – Idanelle McMurry

1977 Boston, MA – Idanelle McMurry

1978 Charleston, SC – Nancy Kussrow

1979 Williamsburg, VA – Nancy Kussrow

1980 Colorado Springs, CO – Anne S. Lenox

1981 San Francisco, CA – Anne S. Lenox

1982 Savannah, GA – Michael S. Churchman

1983 Hot Springs, VA – Michael S. Churchman

1984 San Antonio, TX – Joan S. McMenamin

1985 Point Clear, AL – Joan S. McMenamin

1986 Coronado, CA – Virginia Wing

1987 Hot Springs, VA – Virginia Wing

1988 Colorado Springs – Julia A. Williams

1989 Clearwater, FL – Julia A. Williams

1990 Tucson, AZ – Blair Stambaugh

1991 Sea Island, GA – Blair Stambaugh

1992 Santa Fe, NM – Mildred Berendsen

1993 Sea Island, GA – Mildred Berendsen

1994 Ojai, CA – Agnes C. Underwood

1995 Charleston, SC – Agnes C. Underwood

1996 San Antonio, TX – Evelyn J. Halpert

1997 San Diego, CA – Evelyn J. Halpert

1998 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – Edes P. Gilbert

1999 Albuquerque, NM – Edes P. Gilbert

2000 Charleston, SC – Diana Coulton Beebe

2001 Stuart, FL – Diana Coulton Beebe

2002 Napa, CA – Elizabeth Lee

2003 Ponte Vedra, FL – Elizabeth Lee

2004 Savannah, GA – Ellanor Brizendine

2005 Rancho Bernardo, CA – Ellanor Brizendine

2006 Charleston, SC – Ellanor Brizendine

2007 Ventana Canyon, AZ – M. Burch Tracy Ford

2008 Hilton Head, SC – M. Burch Tracy Ford

2009 San Antonio, TX – M. Burch Tracy Ford

2010 Napa, CA – Ellen Stein

2011 Charleston, SC – Ellen Stein

2012 Seattle, WA – Ellen Stein

2013 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – Elizabeth Speers

2014 Orlando, FL – Elizabeth Speers

2015 New Orleans, LA – Elizabeth Speers

2016 Napa, CA – Sue Bosland

2017 Ponte Vedra, FL – Sue Bosland

2018 Savannah, GA – Sue Bosland

2019 San Diego, CA – Travis Brownley

2020 Ponte Vedra FL – Travis Brownley

2021 Virtual Conference – Travis Brownley

2022 Charleston, SC – Joan Buchanan Hill, Ed.D.

2023 Nasville, TN – Joan Buchanan Hill, Ed.D.

2024 San Diego, CA – Joan Buchanan Hill, Ed.D.

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