New technologies and methods of using technology in the classroom dominated many sessions at SXSWedu. Kicking the conference off, Amplify released a new Android tablet by Intel Education aimed at public schools, with updates since its first release in 2013. The new version is more rugged to withstand the rigors of the classroom. The tablet also has an open platform that teachers can control, preloaded curriculum that aligns with the common core, and access to a gallery of learning games. 
Amidst a wealth of tech-focused sessions, a handful touched on the state of the liberal arts. Catherine Crago is the founder of Diversity Interactive, a company that provides corporations with strategic planning based on global trends, population growth, and demographic changes. She joined other experts in a session "The Liberal Arts Matter in a STEM World." Crago said the humanities teach invaluable people skills, as well as history and context, competencies required of anyone looking to lead others or solve the problems of the coming age. Also, Clay Spinuzzi, a rhetoric and writing professor at The University of Texas at Austin, said the liberal arts are all about people and how we interact and work as individuals, but also in groups and organizations.  >>Read more HERE

Graduate Programs Rising


Megan Howard Nellen knew she wanted to be involved with school leadership. She had been teaching in the classroom for seven years, and in her position at the Trinity School in Atlanta, was given more access to leadership positions. In 2009, she decided to pursue a master's degree. She chose the master's in independent school leadership at The Klingenstein Center at The Teachers College at Columbia University. The school offers two tracks, an intensive 9-month track that requires the student be on campus in New York City or one that spans two summers. Single and with the financial resources, Nellen chose the 9-month program, and began a journey she would later refer to as "transformational." 


Independent school leaders interested in graduate programs have a growing number of choices. Prior to the last few years, only a handful of universities and colleges offered such targeted programs, most notably The Klingenstein Center at The Teachers College at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University's School of Education. This last fall 2013, two Georgia colleges, Mercer College and Kennesaw State University launched master's programs aimed at independent and charter school leaders. And in January, Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development announced plans to offer a M.Ed. in independent school leadership.  >>Read more HERE

Fast Stats
Leadership and the Background of SAIS Heads
by Jeff Mitchell, Head of Tuscaloosa Academy
In this issue of FastStats (originally published in October 2012), an overview of the educational background of 264 current SAIS heads is presented. In addition, how the educational background of SAIS heads has evolved in the past four decades and what impact that has had on leadership in SAIS schools is explored. 
First, Figure 1 displays the percentage of current SAIS heads by years of administrative experience. You can deduce, for example, that about 20 years of experience is the median for SAIS heads and that 15% of SAIS heads have 10 years or less experience as an administrator and 21% have over 30 years of experience. It would seem that there is a healthy balance of experience among the current SAIS heads.  >>Read more HERE



Data Collection

For the past two years SAIS has collected benchmarking data in conjunction with MISBO and our data partner IDP. For 2014, NAIS has significantly revamped their data collection process and renamed it DASL. Additionally, they have made great strides to partner with associations. For this year's data collection, we are migrating to DASL for all SAIS members (even for those schools that are not also NAIS members). More information coming soon.

2014 SAIS Annual Conference

The SAIS Annual Conference, October 18-20 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, is an event open to all independent school leaders -- heads, assistant heads, division leaders, academic deans, business and operations professionals, technology gurus, etc. While we are not partnering with MISBO as we did last year, the SAIS Annual Conference remains the largest regional opportunity for school leaders to gather for outstanding networking and innovative professional development. Registration opens in June at

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Episcopal Day School (Augusta) Head Ned Murray presents a TEDx talk, "Education Revolution," summarizing changes in the world and higher education and their implications to early education, most especially the vital importance of non-cognitive skills. 
>>Check it out HERE
Graduate Programs
Fast Stats
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March 27-28
Finance Institute 
Atlanta, GA
For heads & administrators who don't have a background in business or finance - learn to speak your CFO's language!  Facilitated by Barb Egan and Marifred Cilella.
April 6-7
Heads Leadership Retreat 
Francis Marion Hotel - Charleston
Growing Leaders in Your School
featuring Ian Symmonds


June 15-17
Institute for Senior Administrators 
Emory Conference Center - Atlanta
featuring Keith Evans & David Mahler
June 18-20
Administrative Leadership Institute 
Emory Conference Center - Atlanta
featuring Rob Evans & Michael Thompson
June 24-27
Institute for Heads
Grove Park Inn - Asheville, NC
featuring Rob Evans & Michael Thompson

June 29-July 2
Institute for New Heads 
Atlanta, GA
featuring Jack Hall (Walker School), Billy Peebles (The Lovett School) & Scott Wilson (Baylor School)
Institute for New Teachers 
June 24-26 | Atlanta
July 16-18| Charlotte
July 22-24 | Memphis
July 28-30 | Atlanta

October 18-20
Annual Conference 
Atlanta, GA - Crowne Plaza Ravinia

Blogs of Note 

Michael Ehrhardt, Head of Cary Academy in Cary, NC, shares stories from a recent four-day trip with the upper school's Outdoors Club.

Mason West, Director of Community Learning at Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, shares how its students are working with Butler High School students to propose a career exploration program to Huntsville's City Council. 

Grant Lichtman, Senior Fellow of the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence in Memphis, TN, shares a poignant post from his brother, a life long educator, which asks, "What is the goal of education?"

Megan Howard Nellen, Lower School Principal at The Walker School in Marietta, GA, reflects on the various stages in a child's learning process. 
2014 SAIS Annual Conference Breakout Session Proposals
Breakout session proposals for the 2014 SAIS Annual Conference are being accepted through April 11.  The conference will take place October 18-20 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.  >>Submit proposals HERE
SAIS Stakeholder Survey Center
  • Visit to see the stakeholder surveys available to you and your school community.    
  • SAIS has created a series of highly reliable and valid stakeholder surveys for you to use either in conjunction with a strategic visioning process or just to take the pulse of your community.   

  • Be sure to check out the video explanation, the sample questions, the timelines, and the sample reports.