Jan 3, 2023

ISA Celebrates 20 Years!

We are humbled to announce that ISA enters our 20th year in 2023! Since our inception, ISA has designed distinct strategy for two decades for over 1200 clients. ISA started with a notebook computer, cell phone and a dream of transforming and influencing the education landscape.

Today, we start the new year grateful for the journey we have traveled, the clients we have served, the relationships we have developed, the campuses we have toured and the lessons we have learned along the way. Thank you to each and every one of our client family members who have contributed to our growth and development.

Join the Party! We would love to hear from you! If you care to wish us a happy birthday or share a favorite memory of our work together, please share your thoughts below. We will be celebrating our 20th all of 2023 and love to relive some of favorite moments with you.

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  1. Stuart Hirstein on January 3, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    Congratulations, Ian and team! I have two favorite memories. The first, is when we started working with Ian in 2015 as we developed the Strategic Plan for the University School of Jackson. Ian and I initially met in my office to talk through the process and gameplans. He mentioned being from Central Illinois (it’s not often you come across a fellow midwesterner!) I also grew up in a small town in Central Illinois and immediately felt a bond. I was also impressed with Ian’s thoughtfulness, calmness, ability to look at the proverbial crystal ball of the future of education, and his ability to get people around the table to think strategically versus tactically.
    My second memory occurred in 2022, when we worked with Ian again at Saint Edward’s School. Ian had transformed his strategic planning and practice over the previous seven years. However, he never lost the personal and professional characteristics that impressed me over seven years ago.
    Ian and team: Congratulations on an important milestone. Know that you have and still are making a difference in the lives of schools and in the lives and communities those school serve.
    Best wishes for another successful 20 years!
    Stuart Hirstein
    Head of School
    Saint Edward’s School

    • Ian Symmonds on January 9, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      Such a thoughtful reply, Stu. I would have expected nothing less that a person of your caliber. Thanks for your kind words and heartfelt sentiment. Those were fun times in 2015 – I really enjoyed learning so much about a school and community that I knew so little about in Tennessee. Thanks for being the great leader in our industry that you are and for blooming and flourishing in your new found home in Florida.

  2. Nancy Mugele on January 3, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    Congratulations on this milestone in your incredible career, Ian. I have had the honor and privilege to work with you and your team at two schools, and your insights and reflections are invaluable to school marketing. I rely heavily on your thought leadership and look forward to watching your continued success.

    Nancy Mugele
    Head of School
    Kent School MD

    • Ian Symmonds on January 9, 2023 at 4:20 pm

      So very kind of you, Nancy. We count you as one of our closest friends and colleagues. We are so proud of the work you are doing and the new trails you are blazing in MD.

  3. Doreen Kelly on January 3, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Congratulations Ian! I am so grateful to be an early client with two strategic plans early on to set up an amazing future! Happy Birthday and continued good success!
    Doreen Kelly
    Head of School
    Ravenscroft School, NC

    • Ian Symmonds on January 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for your heartfelt sentiment, Doreen. I so remember that first strategic planning process with you at Ravenscroft – so much change and excitement in the humid summer air in Raleigh. Thanks for your continued support.

  4. Andrew Menke on January 9, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations, Ian. I feel so very fortunate to have benefited from your extraordinary guidance at two different schools, securing a bright future for both!

    Bravo and wishing you and your team well in the next 20!

    Andrew Menke
    Head of School
    Waterford School, UT

    • Ian Symmonds on January 9, 2023 at 4:18 pm

      So kind, Andrew. You have been a tremendous partner for ISA. I so cherish the work we have done together. Thank you for your kind words!

  5. Kevin Yaley on January 14, 2023 at 12:59 am


    While you have undoubtedly left your mark on so many other schools across the country, looking back after 12 years at Parker I can say with absolute confidence that we would not be in such a good place were it not for your insight, guidance, and counsel. Bottom line, you and your team make people like me look much better than we are! Thank you for all you have done, and be sure to take in your two decades of success in as it is truly remarkable, though not the least bit surprising.

    Be well, my friend!

    • Ian Symmonds on January 16, 2023 at 7:21 pm

      Such nice sentiments, Kevin. That means the world to us. Thanks for being such a great leader in the world of west coast schools and for consistently supporting ISA. The world is a better place due to Parker and your leadership has taken Parker to the next level and beyond. Seriously.

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