Best wishes for a wonderful summer!  This is our last issue of the school year.  Publication will resume in the fall.
A Note from the President
Dr. Steve Robinson
As you are preparing your final remarks to students, whether graduating and moving on to middle school, high school, college, or whatever the next chapter holds for them, I encourage you to consider offering a different meaning for the term "final exam." At this point, the typical senior has taken nearly 40 final exams, between academic subjects, college entry tests, college equivalency tests, standardized assessments, etc., and generally has exam fatigue. Students will remember the content and the questions on the tests about as long as the faculty member who has to grade them will (i.e. not very long). But the real final exam is not what is given in the classroom; it is the test of a life, given over the expanse of a life well lived. The questions are framed around each decision made and the final essay asks that they tell their own story. In sacred and secular texts of many faiths and cultures and individuals, it is not difficult to find a simple message that provides an insight into the way that final test might be graded. I will offer you three from those who probably passed the test: 
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by, "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in." (Mother Teresa) 
Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. (Martin Luther King, Jr.) 
The best way to find yourself is in the service of others. (Gandhi) 
The responsibility for the future sits squarely on the shoulders of our children; I believe students from independent schools are well equipped to bear the weight. We have developed them holistically, focusing not just on academics, but also on character, spirit, body, and a value for service to their community and to the world. The real final exam is the one that they will always have with them and a life of service yields the sweetest rewards. 
As you finalize your summer plans, please consider reflecting on your past year with us by attending one of the many professional development programs offered by SAIS. Whether you are looking to sharpen your skills, rekindle your passion, or grow your network, we have a program to fit your needs. Check out our events page and be sure to read our latest Fast Stats on trends in professional development budgets in independent schools across the country.
Dr. Steve Robinson
Call for Board Nominations

SAIS Board of Trustees | nominations due May 19

Nominations for the SAIS Board of Trustees are now being accepted. To nominate yourself or someone else, please review this information about board service. Nominations are due by May 19.

The board is responsible for the supervision, control and direction of the association. According to the bylaws, trustees must be heads of SAIS member schools. The board seeks to represent geographic diversity as well as diversity of school mission. View the current board of trustees.

The SAIS Committee on Trustees will process the nominations and review the nominees. The slate will be presented for approval by the membership at the SAIS annual business meeting, which takes place at the SAIS Annual Conference, October 18-20 in Atlanta. New trustees will begin their terms on January 1, 2015.  Submit a nomination for the SAIS Board of Trustees

Social media continues to change the way we communicate and connect with the world around us, and increasingly it is working its way into one of the most critical, gut-wrenching, and laborious tasks high school students will face: choosing and gaining admission into college. 
On the high school level college counseling departments often have their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts where they can push out information, reminders, dates, news, and post pictures or videos from college tours. Counselors are writing blogs about choosing a college, and also recommending students to investigate schools of interest online. Students can interact with a prospective college via its Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog. Many colleges host Twitter chats throughout the year to connect with prospective students. They create Facebook pages for prospective students so they can interact with other applicants, as well as admissions representatives. Once accepted, students gain access to a private Facebook page for their graduating class. And this past August, LinkedIn expanded its offerings for students, a move that some in the industry believe will revolutionize both the way people use LinkedIn and how students choose colleges, identify majors, find internships, and in general progress through their careers. >>Read more HERE
Professional Development Budgets
by Jeff Mitchell, Head of Tuscaloosa Academy, Tuscaloosa, AL
In this FastStats, the 10-year trend for professional development budget allocations in NAIS and SAIS schools is analyzed. The following questions will be addressed: 
  1. Are there differences between NAIS and SAIS schools regarding amounts allocated for professional development? 
  2. Has the amount allocated for professional development changed over the past 10 years? 
  3. How do the professional development allocations in NAIS and SAIS schools compare with allocations for other expenses?  
>>Read more HERE
The Think Tank


It began as an experiment, a voluntary meeting of educators. There was no set agenda, no expected outcome, no mandatory notes, and no deliverables. The group would simply meet to ask questions and consider possibilities. It would be an environment where people from different disciplines and departments could feel safe to explore ideas. And so, the Think Tank was born at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh, NC.  
Shortly after being appointed Head of Saint Mary's School in 2012, Dr. Monica Gillespie began to envision a way that the faculty and staff could participate in appreciative inquiry together. She had witnessed the power of such groups at other schools, and sent out an invitation to anyone who wanted to join Saint Mary's first Think Tank. Thirteen people from different departments, some new to Saint Mary's and others longtime employees, responded.  >>Read more HERE
Book Review
The Power of Habit
Habits have been an important topic among philosophers, doctors, psychologists, scientists, and experts since time began. This is because at the core of habits lie questions integral to human life. Why do I do what I do? How can I improve my life? What motivates me? Are we the sum of our actions? Are our actions our destiny? A 2006 study from Duke University found that more than 40 percent of the actions people perform daily were not actual decisions but habits. Habits are powerful. In 1892, Dr. William James, known as the "Father of American Psychology" summed it up this way, "All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits."
It is this important topic that is dissected, discussed, and addressed in Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Duhigg, is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The New York Times, a graduate from Yale University and Harvard Business School, and a frequent guest on National Public Radio's "This American Life" and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer." Drawing on hundreds of academic studies and interviews, Duhigg unwraps how habits are made and remade, as well as how habits impact our lives and our world, and finally, how we can harness the power of habits for good.  >>Read more HERE 
President's Note
SAIS Board Nominations
LinkedIn to College
Fast Stats
The Think Tank
Book Review
Annual Conference Breakout Sessions

Newsletter Archive 

President's Page 

Contact SAIS Staff 


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2014 SAIS Institute for Heads
Room block expires May 29

All heads of school are invited to join SAIS in Asheville, NC, for the
2014 Institute for Heads featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson. It will take place June 24-27 at the
Omni Grove Park Inn.
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
Summer Institutes

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

Annual Conference 
October 18-20
Atlanta, GA - Crowne Plaza Ravinia
Also mark your calendar for the 2015 & 2016 conferences:
October 17-19, 2015
October 22-24, 2016
Blogs of Note 

Dr. Virginia Palmer-Fuechsel,
German Teacher at The New School of Northern Virginia, in Fairfax, VA, shares how she developed a friendship with a German school on Facebook, which turned into a nine-day trip face-to-face with new buddies in Munster, Hamburg, and Cologne, Germany.

Jean Bonnyman, Learning Specialist for the Upper School at Darlington School in Rome, GA, discusses the faculty's summer reading book
Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Upon the retirement of Latin Teacher
Cathie Dunar, senior Perry Scalfano from Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, shares how she taught him to be a scholar.

David Cutler, History Teacher at Palmer Trinity School in Miami, FL, discusses what education will look like in 2034 with Curtis Bank, author of
The World is Open: How Technology is Revolutionizing Education.

2014 SAIS Annual Conference 
We're excited to announce that the keynote speakers for the 
2014 SAIS Annual Conference
will be David and Michael Hanson, alums of Pace Academy in Atlanta. David paddled solo down the length of the Chattahoochee River in 2009. That journey planted the seed for their current documentary film "Who Owns Water," in which David, with brother Michael, returns to the Chattahoochee-Flint-Apalachicola Rivers to document the water crisis. See the trailer here.