Building on a significant history as an organization founded by women heads of girls’ schools for their mutual support and advancement. HMAE is a professional learning community of heads of all genders, who gather to share challenges and aspirations, and to learn, inspire, and engage with one another in a spirit of collegiality and a commitment to promoting and sustaining women’s leadership.
Nominate a Member
Want to propose a head of school for membership or be considered for membership? Contact the Executive Director to inquire about the nomination process.
What HMAE Members are Saying
In today’s vernacular, Head Mistresses of the East is “da bomb.” Through a yearly conference in November, it provides an opportunity to get together with other heads of schools with girls. It is heartening to talk with others who do what we do, see similar trends and face comparable issues. The sessions provide an opportunity to hear inspiring speakers, listen to colleagues talk about subjects of interest and get excited about the joys of our profession.
Our founders in 1911 would recognize our goals and approve of them, even if they wouldn’t recognize the expression, “da bomb.” Make a commitment to be there! The company is superb, speakers wonderful, accommodations comfortable and the chocolate peanut butter ice cream unique!
I love Head Mistresses. I became a member at age 33 in 1977 when I was head of Stuart School. I don’t think I ever missed a meeting, even serving as President once. I had so much to learn and the wisdom and friendships shared were so life giving. And oh the war stories we shared! Confidences were never broken. There was never competition among us and our schools, just the joy in the honor of leading schools.
When I began my 1st headship in 1995, my mother, Adele Sands, told me that HMAE would be one of the most valuable organizations that I would join. As I close out my career in Los Angeles, I think back to her prescient words and fully realize that HMAE is indeed where I have felt most nourished intellectually and spiritually. It is not only an actual place where we gather but also a state of mind where we hold one another in friendship, fellowship, and laughter as we consume copious bowls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. It has been my professional touchstone for 26 wonderful years.
HMAE is unique among school leadership groups in part because the membership is overwhelmingly female. As a man, accustomed to male dominated organizations, this is a salutary difference. I have always been warmly welcomed at HMAE; I have never felt like an outsider. But there is a tone difference that is palpable but hard to capture. The buzz of conversation at the social gatherings has a different timber. The conversations rarely center on the Red Sox – thank God. There is a collegiality and a sensitivity to collective sentiment. There are open and routine displays of mutual affection. Conversations about serious topics do not devolve into one-upmanship. Do not misunderstand, I love the other organizations, but there is an intangible quality to HMAE that makes the Annual Meeting delightful.
HMAE continues to be that go-to place for me when I have questions or seek guidance. I know that I can engage in conversations with members; there is a true esprit de corps in this organization.