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The Center for Institutional Research in Independent Schools at Maret (CIRIS) provides resources and support for institutional research practitioners. Supported by a 2020 Educational Leadership Grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation and matching gifts from the Maret community, CIRIS hosts networking events, facilitates expertise-sharing between schools, publishes useful information, and provides direct professional development in core institutional research competencies through our website and annual Summer Fellows Lab.

The CIRIS Origin Story

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About our Executive Director

After finishing an undergraduate degree in International Economics at Georgetown University, Eric went on to graduate school in economics at the University of Chicago where he earned a master’s degree. While at the University of Chicago, Eric worked on the research team of Nobel Prize winner James Heckman, focusing on microeconomic models of educational attainment.

Over the last fifteen years, Eric has worked in a variety of capacities in independent schools including middle and upper school math teacher, upper school grade dean, and institutional researcher. He is currently the Director of Institutional Research at Maret School in Washington, DC, where he develops and implements data-driven models supporting enrollment management, faculty development, DEIJ initiatives, and student wellness.

About Maret School

One of the pillars of Maret's 2017 Strategic Directions document was "Measurement and Evaluation," outlining a set of priorities to drive the school's data collection and analysis program. To help realize these goals, Maret created a part time position for an institutional researcher, initially filled by long-time Maret teacher Eric Heilman. Over the next several years, Maret completed a thorough data inventory, articulated goals for core data collection programs, instituted standing surveys of students, parents/guardians, and alumni, and designed new metrics like Maret's Thrive Index system to assess institutional performance in meeting the goals laid out in the School's mission statement.
In 2018, Maret began reaching out to institutional research practitioners in schools across the country to form a network to share ideas and exchange technical expertise. As the network grew, Maret began to host Zoom sessions and to offer a summer professional development workshop for institutional researchers known as the Summer Fellows Lab.
In the fall of 2020, Maret won an Educational Leadership Grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation to support ongoing research initiatives within the school and to formalize the existing network into the Center for Institutional Research in Independent Schools (CIRIS).