Alan is a natural coach. He has decades of experience but doesn’t come across as a know-it-all. I believe that even experienced heads and executives need coaching, and so I asked Alan to coach me in my 14th year leading a large K–12 private school. Instead of giving lots of sophisticated answers like many other consultants do, Alan had the uncanny ability to ask exactly the right questions that led me and my board to come up with exactly the right answers for us. 

Alan came to speak with our board at a critical juncture in our developmental path as a school. He was an exceptional listener and helped us to see some perspectives that made all the difference. In fact, years later, we realize that what we learned and felt from Alan in a few hours’ time was quite possibly one of the most important board governance and training sessions in the history of our school. Alan has seen it all. He has a mind for best practices and a heart for understanding people.

Grant Beckwith, Head of School, American Heritage Schools, Utah

Consulting with Alan will likely be the single best decision our board has ever made.  He is incredibly effective for several reasons:  he has decades of effective governance experience; he is uniquely skilled at validating each participant's perspective and his insights are logical and mature.  His guidance has fundamentally improved the way our board functions.

Kristine TraustasonBoard of Trustees, Governance Committee Chair, Seven Peaks School, Oregon

As a first-time head of school, working with Alan helped me develop more trust in my instincts and greater clarity as I addressed challenges and opportunities.  He was able to toggle between coaching and mentoring at my request and provided a perspective that could only be learned through his lived experience as a school leader.  I especially appreciated Alan's nudges to stay in touch as I was often too busy to remember to ask for help.

Chaya KeefeFormer Head of School, Bright Water Waldorf School, Washington

Our board of trustees has loved working with Alan both with mission review and in helping shape our annual and new trustee orientation. His approach has been thoughtful, grounded in stories and experience, and was adapted to meet our school where it was in its journey. Alan's sense of humor and genuine commitment to helping schools grow into the best version of themselves are clear from the moment you begin speaking with him!

Sumant Bhat, Head of School, Stanley British Primary School, Colorado

With an unequaled depth of experience and humble wisdom, Alan has helped guide our board through a formative process of learning proper governance practices to a place where we are today: united and thriving. Alan has a keen sense for personal dynamics and a thoughtful, intelligent approach to helping boards and heads work to find common ground and, from there, a common vision. We highly recommend partnering with him.

Alan has been a safe conversation partner through a challenging year as a new head of school in the middle of a global pandemic. His decades of personal experiences as a school leader have been a tremendous resource for checking my own intuitions and decision-making processes. Over the years I've had several unsuccessful attempts at finding a coach/mentor and finally with Alan I feel like I have found the right blend of intellect, personal experience, and wisdom to make the relationship incredibly fruitful.

Sam Adams, Head of School, Seven Peaks School, Oregon

Alan Sparrow is a wonderful mentor and coach. I first began working with Alan in the summer of 2010 when he served as my mentor for the NAIS Aspiring Heads' Program. He was an excellent sounding board, offered constructive and direct feedback on projects and ideas, and provided encouragement with equal ease. As our formal partnership drew to a close, Alan remained accessible and approachable any time I needed a listening ear or a coach to ask just the right questions about how I was approaching or thinking about a challenge as a new Head of School. To this day, Alan is one of my first calls for a wide range of support or collegiality as I sort through the innumerable dilemmas we all face as Heads of School.

Ben Pettit, Head of School, Community School, Idaho

I began coaching with Alan as I transitioned from teacher to administrator and it has been a true professional gift. Striking the perfect balance between coach and mentor, Alan begins each session with probing questions, guiding me to deeper reflection and processing. At times, we spend all of our time in a coaching format and at other times, Alan will say, “Would you like to continue coaching or would you like to move to mentoring?” Alan brings his knowledge and expertise, curiosity, and encouragement to each session. Whether it be Alan coaching me to arrive at a new idea or realization, leaving a session with a sense of validation that my instincts and actions were on point, or Alan helping me understand the bigger picture due to his vast experience in Independent Schools, our time together consistently ends with my feeling more capable, invigorated, and clear about next steps.

Charlotte LarsenAssistant Principal, Rowland Hall, Utah

Alan's insight, wisdom, and mentoring (not to mention his humor) significantly shaped my approach and growth as an independent school leader. His style is supportive and positive. Most notably, he helped me gain a deeper understanding of how to ensure that each member of the community felt they were heard as a unique individual, and I've used those strategies ever since in a host of leadership roles. Alan is a great guy and you'll be grateful for your time working with him!

Stephen BennhoffFormer Head of School, Pine Point, Connecticut

Working with Alan has enabled me to continue my growth as a Head of School. I appreciate that he would ask me questions that enabled me to come to the solution rather than simply providing me a possible answer. He never started these conversations with, " I think you should....", Instead he would ask, "What do you...." Using this coaching style, Alan helped me gain confidence in my leadership. I highly recommend Alan as a leadership coach.

Nathan Sheldon, Head of School, Casady School, Oklahoma

I was appointed headmaster of Parker School on the big island of Hawaii in 2002, a position I held until my retirement in 2020.  I had the great good fortune to be able to draw on the expertise of the man who taught me the ins and outs of running a school, Alan Sparrow.  He conducted a board training which was very well received, helping to set the stage for many years of collaboration with my board members concerning both governance and fundraising.  Alan remained in regular touch with me throughout my tenure, providing advice and ideas.  I heartily endorse him as an educational consultant.

Carl SturgesRetired Head of School, Parker School, Hawaii

 I worked with Alan for 12 years as a Division Head at Rowland Hall. He was a generous mentor then, and he has continued to serve as a thoughtful sounding board since I assumed my own Headship at Sacramento Country Day. He brings a wealth of experience, and because he learned my natural tendencies, he knows how to prod me to think differently about the challenges before me.

Lee Thomsen, Head of School, Sacramento Country Day School, California

I worked as a division head and senior administrator during Alan’s tenure as a longtime head of school and benefited greatly from his energetic and insightful mentorship and guidance. He used his deep knowledge and experience with schools, organizations, and leadership to quickly understand and analyze the various challenges that I faced. But, through his coaching he always helped me be the one to resolve the complicated issues I faced with clarity and purpose. His incredible, consistent support for me, both personally and professionally, has been instrumental to my career in independent schools.

 Jij de Jesus, Director of Capital Giving, Rowland Hall, Utah

As a new head of school in the same town as Alan, I found him to be a good neighbor and a good mentor. Many of us may see schools in our same city as competitors. I have been fortunate to find great collaborators. Alan was a sounding board, a listening ear, and a coach when I needed him to be. He was a cheerleader for my success. He still is and remains a person I can turn to for coaching.

Jim Brewer, Head of School, McGillis School, Utah

Alan masterfully brings board members together to build and shape an effective, healthy, and connected board. He innately understands the importance of good board governance. One of Alan's greatest strengths is developing a cohesive, effective, connected, and successful board. Board members love working and partnering with him.

Jennifer Price-Wallin, Board Chair, 2016-2020, Rowland Hall, Utah

Alan’s guidance as I researched and applied for new jobs was the most beneficial piece in my journey as I moved out of the classroom and into administration.  He provided clear insight into the hiring process and made sure to help me understand (whether through mock interviews or talking through ideas) how to put my best foot forward so that I could stand out during the interview process.  Alan understands education and leadership through and through, and his care for me and my success made a world of difference.

Rob ScotlanUpper School Assistant Director for Student Life, Annie Wright Schools, Washington

Alan Sparrow is a remarkable executive coach.  He was able to provide ongoing amazingly thoughtful support and guidance through a myriad of school life topics. Whatever the school challenge that came my way, he would illuminate a pathway forward through sensitive and thoughtful coaching.  He was able to provide observant, insightful, timely feedback in a way that enhanced the world of leadership, fully embracing my school’s mission and vision and attuning his reflections to our school’s needs and culture. I recommend him fully to everyone.

Alex ColledgeDirector of the Middle School, St. Thomas School, Washington