Signature Services Offered for Independent School Research


In celebration of my mentor, Don Gowan, and the anniversary of his 50th Kent reunion, we are offering a dramatic reduction on prices on certain services. The anniversary was in June, so we know it's late. But the timing makes sense for admissions offices and their current challenges.

Gowan Group identifies challenges, offering a different perspective for a school's Administrative Team. Our objective viewpoints, as well as our daily research in current educational trends, deliver results. Each consultant is an idea starter, a problem solver, and a thought leader. Our Team's extensive educational experience helps independent schools reposition, or reinvent itself. Each signature service is offered in two distinct ways: a comprehensive and an abbreviated approach. 

promotional offer: Local-seo

Local Seo Competitor School Social Media Research
2,000.00 5,000.00


Purchasing Gowan Group's signature Local SEO Social Media Research service is an opportunity to outsource time-consuming research. In one week, your school will be able to...

  • Look into Gowan Group's digital process.
  • Access our personalized software with your login, and a password protected account.
  • Have a detailed and comprehensive Activity Report, written by Gowan Group's digital strategists.
  • Understand what your common audience liked and did not like about competitor school's digital marketing initiatives. 
  • Turn competitor school's marketing mistakes into your school's marketing success.
  • Strategically place your school on social platforms in which your content will be appealing to your audience, and thrive.


Competitive Analysis and Image Report
3,000.00 7,000.00

Competitive Analysis / Image Report

Gowan Group will visit your campus for a full day of study. In a weeks time, we will perform a detailed competitive analysis and produce an image report. The findings of both will offer critical data for you to differentiate and brand your school. It will ultimately result in more applications of mission-driven students in your admissions funnel. 

1. Internal Research: We will determine your school's strengths, and the areas of improvement, offering insight to institutional branding. 

2. Whole Day Campus Visit: Gowan Group's delivery of top consulting services stems from the time commitment we dedicate to understanding your school's ethos. While spending one day at your school, we strengthen our ability to provide first-rate reporting, by meeting your Administration and touring your campus.

3. Competitor School Visit: We will visit your competition, your cross-over schools, to determine your competitive edge. This will be coupled with an image report for your campus. We all know that prospective parents and students often make decisions based on "feel." Gowan Group will identify the key factors, from an outsider's perspective, that will improve your competitive edge.

4. Competition & Image Report: An in-depth report offering our data analysis, competition report and image report. Our insightful recommendations will guide you in increasing applications to your funnel. 


  • A stronger competitive edge.
  • A more welcoming admissions presentation.
  • Pointed recommendations for your school to fulfill.
  • Your admissions office will enjoy more mission appropriate applications and a stronger yield. 

For more information about gowan group's consulting services for independent schools:

Gowan Group Advances Villa Maria School's Leadership

Gowan Group is pleased to announce the successful completion of two Administrative Searches for Villa Maria School!

Diane McManus has been named Head of School elect. Stephen Bennhoff is the newly selected Assistant Head of School for External Relations. Gowan Group coordinated both searches from conception to completion, and accomplished each within a compressed six-month period. Gowan Group is proud to have worked with Villa Maria School's Board of Trustees, as well as their Head of School Search Committee to reach a positive conclusion to each search.

Our Process: Beginning a Head of School Search 

Gowan Group Consultants began the process of finding candidates for Villa Maria School in December, 2015. A formal announcement from Barbara Ryan, Chairperson of Board of Trustees, was sent to the school community in January, 2016.

A Head of School Search Link on the school's website provided updates throughout Gowan Group's research, interviews, focus groups, and communication.

The Head of School Search Link included the following:

Chris Pryor, Gowan Group's President & Founder, and I are proud of these outstanding selections for these challenging positions. Villa Maria is positioned to advance its standing in the Special Education sector given the exceptional professionals assuming new leadership positions.

About: New Heads of School

Head of School, Diane McManus

Ms. McManus is a longtime State of New York educator and administrator.  She is a certified special education teacher and school management executive. She comes to Villa Maria from Good Counsel Academy where she served as Assistant Principal. Diane has degrees from Lehman College (B.A. in English) and Iona College (M.Ed. English Education).  She looks forward to carrying on the fine work of Sister Carol Ann who so compassionately and expertly has run Villa Maria for decades. Diane lives in Purchase, NY with her husband and children.

Assistant Head of School, Stephen Bennhoff

Mr. Bennhoff is the former Head of School at Pine Point in Connecticut, an independent day school serving PS through 9th grade. An experienced teacher and coach, Stephen most recently served as Director of Enrollment Management at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport, RI. Michael graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Art History. He earned as Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1999. In addition to Michael's professional accomplishments, he is an avid sailor and outdoorsman, and, an accomplished musician. He and his son look forward to their move to Fairfield County this summer.

Written by David Beecher, Managing Director, Gowan Group. To learn more about Gowan Group's Head of School Searches, e-mail Chris Pryor.

Approach Branding like it’s a 500- Word Theme

Fred McGaughan, Gowan Group 1/6/15

As an English major and former teacher, now a branding professional, I’m struck by the similarities between savvy strategic branding and positioning and the old 500-word theme. In middle school, high school, or college, you may have found expository writing to be a chore, but love it or hate it, the 500-word theme remains a wonderful model for strategic thinking. And the application of that disciplined approach to writing holds some uncanny similarities to your branding.

Think about it: In sophomore year, you had just read The Great Gatsby, and you had a 500-word theme due in one week. A daunting proposition for any student, right? But your English teacher had spent most of the first marking period stressing that a step-by-step strategy would lead you to a. Do some close re-reading b. Brainstorm with impunity to get all your ideas down on paper c. Organize your thoughts to look for trends and “Ah-Hah!” topics d. Decide on a thesis statement that is important, compelling, and original e. Stick to that message with two or three topic sentences and f. Support each topic sentence with two or three supporting statements or quotations. Voila! Now you had a message of interest for your reader, an outline--a path to follow as you polished up your phrasing, sought your “grabber” opening line, and developed a conclusion. With this disciplined approach, in a short two and one half pages you had something clear, original, intriguing, and memorable to say.

It’s easy to see the similarities between this disciplined approach to theme writing and your branding and marketing. There are so many moving parts and so many things to say, but you don’t want to move forward without a. Conducting research to test your assumptions of who you are and what you do best (close reading) b. Gathering leadership and key stakeholders to hold candid, free-ranging discussions about current and emerging issues (brainstorming) c. Analyzing the plethora of information (organizing and looking for trends) d. Creating important, original, and sticky mission and vision statements (thesis) e. Affirming those statements with at least two or three of your signature program elements (topic sentences) and f. Drilling down with specific examples that irrefutably buttress your claims (supporting evidence).

Huzzah! By taking this disciplined approach to your branding, you and your “reading” audience now have a much better understanding of your brand. You’ll still need that “grabber” (tag line) and a compelling conclusion (delivery on your promises), but your teacher (Board Chair, President, Head) just might just upgrade you from a C+ to an A by the end of the term (praise and raise).

To learn more about Fred, our Managing Director, please visit our site at www.thegowangroup.com.