Leadership & School Culture Track

Sessions & Descriptions

Equipping School Leaders, As Easy as ABCD!


Session #1

The Authentic Leader is Self Aware

Utilizing the Best-in-Class DiSC and DRIVING FORCES Assessment from TTI – we will drive awareness around strengths and weaknesses, and core motivations.

Presenter: Tony Woodall

Session #2

The Authentic Leader Has Heart

Utilizing tools for values clarity – we will discover (or perhaps rediscover) the heart behind why we are leaders, how we lead, and how this all translates into inspirational leadership. 

Presenter: Tony Woodall


Kori Hockett Testimonial: Fighting for emotional clarity in the midst of difficulties

Session #3

Building Great Teams: Breaking Through Dysfunction To Win! 

Taking timeless lessons from “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, we will explore how to break through common team dysfunctions and help the team win!

Presenters: Tony Woodall & Dr. Gene Frost

Session #4

Building Great Teams: Be Like Katherine!  

Utilizing an assessment based on the amazing CEO Katherine of “The Five Dysfunctions”, we will assess our team building capabilities, and create a plan of action for our own leadership growth.

Presenters: Tony Woodall & Dr. Gene Frost

Session #5

Creating Clarity: The Plan that actually works!

To fully create clarity, leaders must cast vision, align the team, and operationalize initiatives via a Strategic Planning Process. In this session, we will workshop a “future back” strategic planning approach that begins by creating a view of the world and then develops specific initiatives for your school based on the case for action and the complexity versus impact of each initiative. We will then learn to apply a dual transformation approach to operationalizing the specific initiatives considering available resources (i.e., people and money). Strategic planning requires key stakeholder identification and engagement, knowing your current versus desired culture, and accounting for major areas of growth in your financial plan.  The cohort will walk through all these areas and apply tools to their own schools strategic planning process.

Presenter: Phil Strzalka

Session #6

Developing Leaders Part One:  The Nine Box Shuffle

Utilizing the Nine Box management paradigm, we will determine what our leadership team needs, and how to start to build out a growth plan.

Presenters: Tony Woodall & Steve Bult

Session #7

Developing Leaders Part Two: Key Development Tools

In this session, we will present best-in-class leadership development tools, and which tools might be best to develop your leaders.

Presenters: Tony Woodall & Steve Bult


Tony Woodall, Founder | Rootstock, Winfield, IL

Like many companies, Rootstock was born out of passion and necessity. During his twenty years of delivering substantial bottom-line results in sales, marketing and brand strategy – Tony “kind of stunk” (his words) as a leader. He “wasn’t the worst leader of all time” (his words again) but after falling short yet again to get his teams to gel, he took a break from leading and went back to ‘“just selling”. Over time a nagging feeling that he had to get back to leading got the better of him. Humbled by his shortcomings, he sought to learn. Early in the journey he became utterly obsessed with all things leaders and team. He became thoroughly convinced that a key is the ability to navigate change with genuine leadership. He’s now dedicating his life and career to helping leaders and organizations thrive in high impact moments.

Tony’s Special Skills and Certifications:

  • Routinely delivers that “AHA!” moment
  • Distills the complex into vital simplicity
  • Sees the best in people and gets them to believe in what he sees
  • Transformational Public Speaker (inspires you to change, not just feel good about being inspired)
  • Certified Leadership Coach with Discovery Coaching Services
  • VAA with TTI Success Insights
  • Trained practitioner in Human Centered Design through LUMA Institute


Dr. Gene Frost, Executive Director | Wheaton Academy Foundation, West Chicago, IL

Dr. Gene Frost is an alumnus of Wheaton College, where he majored in religious studies. Gene received his divinity degree from Northern Seminary and his doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University. He began his career as a youth pastor and Bible teacher in a Christian school, then spent 22 years in the business world. His diverse business experience included being a pit trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, a corporate trainer, and a human resources director for a company of 700 employees. His last ten years in business were spent as President and CEO of an educational mentoring and software company. Gene returned to his lifelong passion of Christian schooling by serving as Head of School at Wheaton Academy, West Chicago, Illinois, from 2006-2018.  Wheaton Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected evangelical Christian secondary schools. Gene has authored two books entitled, Learning from the Best: Growing Greatness in the Christian School (ACSI, 2007) and Learning from the Best Volume Two: Growing Greatness that Endures in the Christian School (ACSI, 2014).

Gene now serves as the Executive Director of the Wheaton Academy Foundation and as an executive coach for the Wheaton Academy Institute. The Wheaton Academy Institute leverages the experience and success of Wheaton Academy for the benefit of other Christian schools. The Institute sponsors an annual Best Practices Conference for the Christian School™ and an International Student Program conference. Other areas under the umbrella of the Institute are curricula, publishing, and consulting with other Christian schools. Gene continues to speak and consult with Christian schools all across America.

Gene and his wife Barbara have 15 grandchildren aged 13 and under, one granddog and one grandcat. Barb serves as the administrative assistant for the Foundation.

Phil Strzalka | Executive Director, Wheaton Academy Institute

Phil brings more than 25 years of experience as an attorney and a management consultant developing and implementing people and operational solutions at educational institutions and other not-for-profit organizations across the country. His deep experience includes 100s of projects involving strategic planning, performance improvement, organizational design, business process redesign, and talent/leadership development for administrators, faculty, and staff. He has grown to become a regular thought leader, author, and speaker.

“I strongly believe that Christian educators have never been so well positioned to make an impact. It is my honor to currently serve as the Institute’s Executive Director. Soli Deo Gloria!”

Steve Bult, Head of School | Wheaton Academy, West Chicago, IL

Steve Bult is an alumnus of Calvin College, where he received his B.A. He then received his M.A. from Governors State University. Steve began his career in education as a Social Studies teacher in California. He then went on to serve as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at Chicago Christian High School. During these same years, he was an Adjunct Professor at Trinity Christian College. In 2006, Steve accepted the position as Principal at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago, IL, and then transitioned into the role of Associate Head of School there in the fall of 2017. In August of 2018, Steve became the 39th Head of School at Wheaton Academy. With 29 years of experience in Christian education, Steve has used his spiritual gifts and passion to develop a Christ-centered learning community at Wheaton Academy. In doing so, Steve has collaborated with his colleagues to implement and embed the Professional Learning Community philosophy at the school. Also, his ability to communicate creatively and efficiently while integrating faith and learning has led to the development of the Living Curriculum Teacher Development Model (LCTDM™). The LCTDM™ is a teacher evaluation model combined with a system of strategic compensation for teachers.