Director’s Inner Circle & Owner’s HQ

For early education school leaders who want high-touch mentoring that creates high-level growth.

Because when you want to be a leader your team looks up to … you want to learn from the industry leader!

“Now I’m able to focus on the bigger picture and the next steps…what is next for me and what is next for our company. We’re able to look forward, instead of just looking at the now.” — Jessica Kelley, Owner, Red Barn Child Care Center & Preschool

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“I’m no longer overwhelmed or stressed. I’m excited and energized! I’m now working on the ‘big picture’ stuff and the daily managing operations are running so smoothly with everything implemented that I’ve learned from you over the last year.”

Rivka Wineberg
Chabad of Long Island

Imagine waking up every morning feeling a sense of purpose, with clarity about your goals & the direction of your center.

You walk into your office and feel a sense of calm and control. You know you have the systems and processes in place to manage distractions, deal confidently with your workload, and continue to reclaim your time.

As you walk through your school, the cheery, bright faces of both the staff and the students are a happy sight!

Your calendar no longer gives you anxiety.

Your staff connection and culture have undergone a radical transformation.

You’re a gold medalist at delegation and … your family finally has you BACK!

Your directors are leading the way you would lead and all of a sudden … your dreams aren’t just dreams. They’re attainable!

Sound too good to be true?!

Chanie With Directors

Hi! I’m Chanie Wilschanski

Early Childhood Leadership Coach and founder of Schools of Excellence

I began my career in Early Childhood over a decade ago, teaching toddlers at the acclaimed Preschool of the Arts in New York City for 8 years before moving into higher studies and earning my Master’s in EC and Special Education.

In 2015, I started training teachers and school leaders on the HOW part of creating excellence in their schools.

Today, I’m popularly called the School Culture Doctor since I’ve worked with hundreds of EC Directors and School Owners to help them build a school of excellence with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, and a more collaborative culture.

As a wife and mother of 4, my hands are full and I understand what it takes to lead a large center and have a full-time job at home.

It breaks my heart when I see so many dedicated school leaders sacrificing all of their time with their families and all of their self-care (what self-care?) to a school that feels like it’s constantly getting away from them.

A Brief History of My Career in Early Childhood Education

Toddler Teacher for

8 years

Assistant Director for

2 years

Director for

1 year

Executive Manager for

1 year

Coaching Leaders in ECE for

15 years

I've been working with directors and owners to build schools of excellence for over 15 years.

As you build an amazing school for yourself, your teachers, and most importantly, the children, my team and I will be there through it to guide you, mentor you, and yes, hold you accountable too!

Because to truly impact our kids and the next generation, we need to be better leaders.

And I can’t wait to help you do that inside the Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ.

You May Have Seen, Read, and Heard Chanie On …

The Schools of Excellence Podcast

Hosted by Chanie and trusted by directors and owners who want to build leadership, communication, systems, and culture without subscribing to a “do more” approach!



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Tough love time: You can’t do it ALL.You just can’t.

“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”

You’ve probably realized this as well … but chances are, you’ve reached the ceiling of what you can accomplish alone.

You pour your heart and soul into your work, but sometimes it feels like it’s just not enough.

You look around and even though you may have more staff  … you feel more overwhelmed than ever — like a wrung-out towel.

It’s like your center is always in survival mode.

You’re constantly juggling competing demands, dealing with parents and teachers, handling the financials and business aspects, navigating team and leadership issues, and struggling to keep everything running smoothly.

But the demands on you multiply by the millisecond.

Even when you go home … your center follows you — the messages never stop, the demands never cease,  the work never ends.

While you’re caring for the kids at your school … your own family is missing out on being with YOU.

Odds are you’ve heard the “You don’t have a shut-off!”complaint more than once! *ouch*

Yes, it’s a tough road and one that leaves you filled with self-doubt and feeling exhausted and burned out.

You can be focused and intentional about your growth — implement systems that support your work, and acquire skills that help you take your team to the finish line instead of falling apart.

You can renew your passion and your confidence in your mission and the important work you’re doing.

Most importantly … you can know exactly what to do so you can get your LIFE back without feeling guilty or like you’re doing something wrong!

You get to decide that enough is enough and that change is needed.

You get to accelerate the growth you want in a way that’s perfect for you.

You get to commit and be the leader of YOURSELF.

“I am amazed sometimes when I open my mouth and a very professional, well thought out, strong instruction or advice comes out! Not a day has gone by that I am not thankful for Chanie’s help! It has been life-changing for me!”

Missy Griffin, Director, The Growing Room Preschool

“I must give credit and a very big shout out to a woman who has dramatically helped me transform [my school] and myself, professionally and personally, in just a few months.

The value, strategies, guidance, and support I have received from Chanie Wilschanski and the Inner Circle have helped me in becoming the most effective leader who has created, maintained, and continues to grow a healthy culture with the best team of teachers any director could wish for.”

Melissa Agnes Vasquez, Director, New Wonders Learning Center

“I have 100% retention even in this environment! We had to teach completely virtual and through the frameworks and systems that I’ve learned in this program. I have been able to retain all my staff.”

Deb Anaya, Director, San Francisco, California

The director’s inner circle & owner’s HQ

Created by Chanie Wilschanski, the Pyramid of Excellence ™ is a proprietary framework that helps overwhelmed and burned out Directors and Owners move from “survival” mode to building a legacy.

Every stage of the Pyramid and your season of life requires specific systems, habits, and behaviors.

Knowing what these systems, habits, and behaviors are is what gives you the clarity you need to move to the next stage.

The Pyramid of Excellence™ gives you a clear path so you can see where you’re at and where you need to go.

Here’s how you’ll use the Pyramid of Excellence™
to build your legacy

24/7 access to the tools, templates, and training you need to
motivate your staff, free up your time, and serve the kids you love



In this aptly named section, you’ll create the bedrock for your school of excellence and discover:

  • The 6 limiting beliefs that may be keeping you from showing up the way you truly want
  • The secret to keeping distractions away from your door so you can work uninterrupted!
  • How to use TWO underrated “tools” that can help you retain more teachers and decrease turnover
  • The THREE time management strategies to (almost!) magically clear up your calendar and reduce overwhelm



In this phase, you’ll discover strategies to move out of survival phase. You’ll do this by:

  • Focusing on your mental and emotional wellness and making sure your own bucket is full
  • Developing a clear plan (complete with questions to ask!) to handle one-on-ones and daily huddles
  • Taming your inbox so it doesn’t turn into an eat-all-your-time monster
  • Understanding HOW to develop a school theme so you can use it to drive decisions, staff meetings, and more
  • Setting up foolproof systems for hiring and onboarding, daily communication, and staff substitution
  • Mastering calendar management so you can reduce overwhelm and increase efficiency!



This is the phase when you need a re-haul or are looking at a first-time takeover of roles and responsibilities in the center. This is when you’ll learn how to:

  • Plan and lead effective meetings (complete with a 7-step checklist and a 4-by-4 framework!) based on your archetype
  • Develop strong leadership habits so you can run your day instead of it running YOU
  • Acquire crucial skills (and tools, like the Parent Meeting Playbook) to have those tough conversations without anxiety and panic
  • Build resiliency and overcome that pesky perfectionist mindset



In this phase, you and your staff become more integrated as a team and the focus is on building relationships to sustain your great culture. How do you do this?

  • Priority identification and management skills because everything is not an emergency
  • A clear framework for strategic decision making so you can move forward confidently without feeling stuck
  • The 5 phases of teacher development so you can coach, observe, and mentor your teachers to reach the goals you have for them
  • Systems and strategies for parent attraction, retention, care, conferences and MORE!

PLUS you get ALL the templates, tools, and checklists
you could ever need so you can have all the systems to turn
those “dreams” into realities!

“Before joining the Inner Circle we had organized chaos — things always got done when they needed to but I had no real set schedule for how I spent ‘my time’ getting things done.

I knew this was the next best step for me, but I was hesitant to join and use the budget towards my training instead of the staff — I took the leap and haven’t looked back!

What surprised me is how SIMPLE and EASY Chanie makes it to follow steps, take action and get things done!

The Inner Circle has provided me with a roadmap with specific direction to help me reach my personal destination.”

Brenda Gill, Director
Gillam Preschool & Child Centre in Gillam, Manitoba
Apply Now

Specialized coaching and a cohesive community support you every step of the way!

These weekly calls are the perfect way to work on your mindset with Chanie’s support.

The goal of these bite-sized calls (15-20 minutes only!) is to give you laser-focused mindset coaching

Working on mindset isn’t a one-and-done and we want you to make the shifts you need without letting stuff simmer for too long!

Monthly Calls with Chanie

Join Chanie every month on these group calls (separate calls for Owner’s HQ and Director’s Inner Circle) to get personalized coaching so you can continue to make the strides you need and keep up the momentum without feeling overwhelmed.

Navigate Your Journey Calls

In these calls, you’ll get 1:1 support from our Community and Program Coordinator to figure out your next steps in the membership and move along swiftly and easily.

Weekly Office Hours with Schools of Excellence Coaches

Anytime you’re feeling stuck with time, staffing, or any of the day-to-day distractions of running centers, show up for these weekly calls and get direct support from Michelina and the team so you can remove roadblocks and continue to build your school of excellence.

Quarterly Priorities Reset Calls

Every 90 days we meet as a group to review and plan the next quarter.

Shining a spotlight on what needs to be done means you don’t let distractions stand in your way and at the same time, you can look back and applaud yourself for all the progress!

Community is at the heart of everything we do at Schools of Excellence.

Our Facebook Group is an active platform for you to connect with other members, ask questions, read conversations, collaborate, discover, and view membership announcements and reminders.

From small wins to big, burning questions to meeting mega milestones … you can share them ALL!

The “community” element also shows up in our Insider Roundtables where we encourage members to share what’s working for them and how they made it happen!

From Handbook Creation to Parent Care to best practices for Team Raises and so much more, you’ll have the opportunity to see exactly how your fellow Directors and Owners are building a strong culture and creating schools of excellence!

“The community of directors has been life-changing, knowing that there is always someone here to talk to, to reach out to, to ask advice or feedback. I’m truly never alone.”

Lisa Manges, Director California

Meet the Schools of Excellence Team

Your membership to Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ also gives you access to the Schools of Excellence team of coaches and mentors.

It truly takes a village and we’re here to be a part of yours!

Michelina DiPasquale

Head of Memberships for Schools of Excellence

She creates movement in the membership while filtering everything through the lens of Excellence.

Michelina is dedicated to helping you on your journey to Excellence and will be the one you’ll meet on your Navigate Your Journey calls as well as your Weekly Office Hours.

Ask her about her adorable pup, Remy, when you see her!

Schools of Excellence Advisory Board

You’ll have your very own Advisory Board when you join us. Why? Because none of us are an expert on everything. This is why we bring in the best so you can learn directly from them.

You’ll get the latest techniques and strategies on topics like financial literacy, trauma-informed leadership, hiring and systems, and more from handpicked experts who make up our Advisory Boards.

We form our Advisory Boards based on the most pressing needs and goals for our Directors and Owners. That’s why our Advisory Boards change every year and don’t include run-of-the-mill topics or speakers you hear everywhere else!

Presenting this year’s Advisory Board for both Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ

Director’s Inner Circle
advisory board

Beth Cannon

Beth Cannon Speaks
Hiring & Systems

Nick Williams

Creations Marketing
Marketing & Enrollment

Dr. Jordan Wiggins

Trauma Informed

Cris Myers

Onboarding Practices &

Jennifer Bulmer

Childcare By Design
Designing SOPs and Systems

Owners HQ
advisory board

Kathe Petchel

Hinge Advisors
Financial Literacy

Beth Cannon

Beth Cannon Speaks
Hiring & Systems

Nick Williams

Creations Marketing
Marketing & Enrollment

Dr. Jordan Wiggins

Trauma Informed

Emily Doyle

Run Like Clockwork

Cris Myers

Onboarding Practices &

Sharon Hopson

La Bella Vita Montesorri School
Roles, Responsibilities & Company Policies

Jennifer Bulmer

Childcare By Design
Designing SOPs and Systems

Expert Mental Health Support from BetterHelp

Burnout, anxiety, people pleasing, guilt … you learn to navigate all of this inside Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ but sometimes, you may need an expert therapist’s support.

At Schools of Excellence, we’re committed to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of our leaders … which is why we’ve partnered with BetterHelp — the world’s largest online counseling provider.

The result of this partnership?

You (and your leadership teams and staff) receive one FREE month of counseling as well as 15% off future counseling sessions.

We hear you! Which is why the content is self-paced. There’s NO rush. As far as time commitments go, we encourage you to set aside ONE HOUR a week for this.

60 minutes a week is all you need to get the most out of your membership. The reason we have different coaching modalities, as well as approaches to community, is that we KNOW you’re busy.

At the same time, we don’t want you to wade through content on your own without support because you miss one call!

You can choose to attend the calls you want to (and listen to recordings for the others!) and know that you have the support you need WHEN you need it!

We hear you! Let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math!

Each time your center loses a teacher to another school or another profession altogether … you bleed money.

Now imagine … how much can you save EACH year if you’re able to retain just ONE more teacher? How much can you save the next year or the year after?

Sharon Hopson’s school culture changed for the better in incredible ways when she joined the Director’s Inner Circle.

The proof?

One of her staff was headhunted and offered $2 more per hour.

The teacher stayed with Sharon, and even that one teacher staying in her school MORE than paid for Sharon’s investment in the Inner Circle.

A recent study showed that teachers leaving the profession costs the nation $2 billion each year.

When you add in the cost of replacing teachers who move to other schools, it rises to $4.9 billion.

In fact, research shows “that urban districts can, on average, spend more than $20,000 on each new hire, including school and district expenses related to separation, recruitment, hiring, and training.” (source: Learning Policy Institute)

That’s a cost to your school of $20,000 per teacher you have to replace!

Pause a minute to just think about …

  • How many teachers have left your school in the past 3 years?
  • How much could you have saved by retaining those teachers?
  • How much could you save next year, and the year after, by improving your staff retention?

That’s not all...

When you think about ALL the time you’re spending managing never-ending micro-emergencies … you’ll see exactly where to find the time to focus on building a school of excellence.

Directors spend 3 hours a day, 15 hours a week, 65 hours a month, or 690 hours a year(!!) managing interruptions.

Director salaries are between $40,000-$100,000 a year.
Include all the benefits and it’s somewhere between $50-$75 an hour

Let’s calculate what those 15 hours a week of interruptions cost you.

15×50= $1,125 a week
690×50= $52,750 a year!

Which is why the real questions you need to ask yourself are …

→ What’s the cost of not coming home on time for the next three months?

→ What’s the cost of not knowing how to remove these interruptions?

→ What’s the cost of forgoing your kids’ games and family vacations?

→ What’s the cost of not knowing how to retain your staff?

→ What’s the cost of continuing to lose sleep and money?

“I know the importance of being immersed in this group, it grounds me and holds me accountable for what I want to achieve.”

Miken Oliver

“My teachers started to come more often to me, they freely express their opinion, and ideas when they were typically silent beforehand. The biggest win for me is that this program has helped me build a strong team.”

Inna Izman, Director
Mazel Day School

“Through Schools of Excellence, I built up a culture, I built up a center, I built up myself.”

Courtney Greiner
Mini Mos Child Care

Wondering if in-person events or in-school training programs can give you the same experience?

Other programs with similar “promises”

Generic curriculum and training with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Lack of hands-on support which means you don’t get customized feedback.

Large group sizes so you’re lost in the crowd and have no real connection with other members.

Next to no accountability mechanisms which means you may get some great ideas but zero implementation.

Push the “big goals” and “do more” approach that quite frankly is a recipe for surefire burnout!

The Schools of Excellence Advantage

A thoughtfully designed high-level, high-touch curriculum that gives you the growth you need on your terms. Your Navigate Your Journey calls give you the 1:1 support you need so you can focus on the content YOU need.

You’re supported directly by a team of coaches, including Chanie, and an advisory panel.

Small, intimate group which means you form lasting connections with your fellow directors and owners. ALSO… our Insider Shares give you a direct view of what your fellow directors and owners are implementing in their centers!

Personalized check-ins every two weeks. PLUS you have a schedule of weekly, monthly, and quarterly calls too so you can stay on track and implement without getting overwhelmed!

We focus on YOUR holistic growth and on giving you the time, freedom, and space you need so you can yes, set up better systems and build great culture but also start focusing on your legacy!

Curious about… what happens after you apply?

We review your application and invite you to book a time to chat 1-on-1 with Chanie.

On this call you’ll see the roadmap and understand how the membership will benefit your center and you!

If there’s alignment, we move ahead with the enrollment process.

If the membership isn’t the best option for you, Chanie’ll let you know on the call itself and suggest alternatives too!

Apply Now

For way too long, early education leaders have bought into the myth that they need to always be “on” all.the.time. They need to be perfect and make everyone happy.

Leaders have mistakenly believed that “good” leadership means working non-stop and that they need to do everything because how else will people believe that they’re the CEO?


Leaders have been “taught” that the way to get to the top is to just do MORE — make more money, open more centers, more, more, more!

It’s time for ALL of this to change.

Because when culture changes, everything changes!

The ripple effect of this change starts with YOU.

Apply Now

Still unsure if this membership would work for your center?

Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ are for Leaders Who Are Ready to:

  • Quit feeling like they need to do everything and be everything in order to keep the center running
  • Stop fighting fires, working late nights, and making “overwhelmed and frazzled” their status quo
  • Step into being the leaders they’re meant to be — confident, clear-headed, committed
  • Surround themselves with a community that “gets” them and helps them feel seen, heard, and understood
  • Build a culture where retention isn’t a challenge and motivation isn’t missing
  • Leave work at school so your family can have ALL of you. Going for walks with your partner after dinner? Done deal!
Apply Now

Not sure if this is what your centers (and you!) need?
Let’s chat!

I don’t think I can afford the program. Should I still apply?

We totally understand and acknowledge that these programs are an investment. But like every investment, they come with rich returns.

The skills, strategies, and systems you master inside Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ will directly help you reclaim time and improve retention.

You’ve already seen the numbers and data above. Take time to think about how much you can save by retaining your teachers, as Sharon Hopson did, OR by saving at least 15 hours a week.

But don’t just listen to what we have to say.

Listen to Barbara instead who was also hesitant about the financial investment.

“My biggest hesitation in joining was the financial investment, however, I viewed it as an investment in myself so I can create better schools and teachers.

Currently, I am more proactive. I am more engaged with my staff and encourage and empower them. I do not try to “solve” the issue for them but, I am asking questions to help them solve the issues for themselves.

They love the ownership this gives them and without a doubt, they are happier!

What surprised me was how quickly I am able to implement what I have learned and how much more confident I am in my leadership abilities.” — Barbara Labotka, Director, Cardinal Bernardin Early Childhood Center

I’m already juggling a billion plates. How can I make time for a program like this?

We hear you! That is EXACTLY why both Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ are self-paced and you can go at a speed that’s perfect for you.

We only ask you to give us about 60 minutes a week.

That 60 minutes will help you free up anywhere between 3-15 hours.

Imagine that!

I’ve tried other programs in the past and they haven’t worked for me. How do I know this will be any different?

So, first of all, I’m sorry to hear about other programs not being effective.

That is exactly why we invite you to apply.

Once you apply, you’re invited to book a time to chat with Chanie. On that call, Chanie walks you through the process and roadmap we use inside Director’s Inner Circle and Owner’s HQ.

Not only that, our focus on culture and leadership sets us apart from everyone else who pushes the “success means going after huge goals” approach.

PLUS (and THIS is HUGE!) most programs don’t work because they’re either too generic and don’t give a custom-tailored approach like Schools of Excellence does or because they’re so many people in there that you’re lost in the crowd.

You’ll see the difference with Schools of Excellence right from the onboarding process where we take the time to truly understand YOUR vision, your unique challenges, and your goals.

We’ll want to know what’s your current retention rate, what you want it to be, how much time you want to spend with your family, what are your travel goals … yes, we dig deep and we get to know YOU as a person.

We don’t stop there!

You’ll get regular check-ins from us every two weeks so we can help you succeed the way YOU want to!

AND this level of attention is where most other programs fall short. They don’t invest as much time, attention, and effort into tailoring the approach and methodology for you.

Do you have a refund policy? What if I join and decide it’s not for me?

We don’t have a refund policy. Why? Because we have a strong application process in place. And why Chanie personally meets with you to review whether or not you’d benefit from this.

When we meet, Chanie will walk you through the roadmap we have and help you assess whether or not this membership is the best option for your centers. In addition, if it’s not the best time for you to join, we’d let you know on the call itself.

I'm looking for coaching for myself AND my leadership team. Can you help?

Yes! Many of our clients bring multiple members of their team and it is a smart move since you can then see the impact faster too! Go ahead and apply! You can discuss the details about this with Chanie when you meet.

I love the sound of this but I’m not the one making the financial decisions. Should I come to the call with the decision maker or should they apply instead?

Great question! Ideally, you should come to the call with the decision-maker so you can make a confident decision without having to waste any more time going back and forth. Because let’s be honest … the sooner you join, the faster you can fix the challenges that are burning holes in your productivity and profitability.

I have more questions. Who can I reach out to?

Sure! You can reach out to us at and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions!

Sure! You can go ahead and apply. Chanie will meet with you personally and will be happy to answer all your questions.

Apply Now

“It’s August and unlike other school directors, I’m not feeling frazzled and overwhelmed to get the year started! Instead, I feel in control because with Chanie’s help, I’ve set up the right systems & strategies and I’m ready!”

Rivka Wineberg
Chabad of Long Island

You don’t need to spend YEARS trying to change culture and lead with confidence

In just the first 60 days with us, you’ll have drastically reduced those costly interruptions, tamed your inbox and reclaimed your time, creating your ideal week and also … LIVING it!

No more gathering great ideas on paper but not being able to implement them!

In the next 90 days after that, you’ll develop the leadership habits you need to have difficult conversations, retain parents and staff, know how to delegate confidently and effectively.

The beauty of this focused growth is …

… as you gain control over your time and resources, new doors will open.

You’ll have the freedom and flexibility to explore other opportunities, to dive into ventures that ignite your passion and further build your wealth.

You will step into the role of a true visionary, not only within the walls of your school, but also in all areas of your life – crafting your exit plan, building your legacy, and creating an impact that lasts way beyond your lifetime.

You’ll have the clarity and the freedom to start thinking about the future because you aren’t bogged down by the day-to-day running of your centers!

We create what we need for ourselves.
We step into our best selves when we have the self-awareness to ask quality questions.

With that, let me ask you …


Apply Now

“I feel a renewed passion and confidence in my mission and what I’m doing. It’s made an incredible impact on how I can look forward to the future of our center.”

Jessica Kelley, Owner
Red Barn Child Care Center & Preschool