Letter from the President
Steve Robinson, Ph.D.
I recently finished an insightful book, Executive Presence, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. She is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, the author of 11 books, the co-director of the Women's Leadership Program at Columbia Business School, and the founder of the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI).
As you might conclude from its title, Executive Presence explores the mixture of characteristics that make a top executive; a mixture that Hewlett asserts is a combination of gravitas, communication skills, and appearance. Drawing on a two-year study conducted by CTI, she expounds on how to leverage these attributes to further one's career. It's a great read for new or aspiring leaders.
Hewlett also confronts and discusses an unfortunate part of EP, its close and enduring tie to gender, ethnicity, and race. Researchers continue to find that in the mind of most Americans, male and female, a leader is a middle-aged white male. Hewlett devotes a chapter, "Walking the Tight Rope," to the fine line women and minorities must walk in order to gain EP and access top leadership positions. Whether it's in gravitas, communication style, or appearance, these groups repeatedly find themselves in double binds, as they try to achieve just the right balance in order to be perceived as leaders.
The 2014 SAIS Annual Conference will take place October 18-20 and one session will be devoted to the role that gender plays in school leadership. Attempting to move the conversation from theory to policy, the speakers will discuss the progress they've made, and strategies for the future. Gender equality in the workplace, in the home, and in our schools is an important topic that needs to be moving forward instead of standing still. I hope to see you there.
Dr. Steve Robinson
2014 SAIS Annual Conference View Schedule | Register | Hotel
at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta, GA
*Deadline for earlybird registration and hotel cut-off: Sept 26
DON'T MISS THIS:
Be sure to register for the special dinner Celebrating Steve Robinson
on Saturday, Oct 18. Cocktails at 6:00 PM followed by dinner at 7:00 PM. Advance reservations required ($65 per person).
Independent Schools and Gender
by Dr. Jeffrey L. Mitchell
Head of School, Currey Ingram Academy, Brentwood, TN
This FastStats will address gender trends for students, teachers, and heads of school in both SAIS and NAIS over the past 20 years. As the data will show, slight shifts have occurred in all these realms, most notably among teachers and heads of school. Today women are filling a greater number of teacher positions and have made some gains in holding the role of head. However, the rate at which parity is being reached is slow, and if it continues could take 20 to 30 years. >>Read more.
October 18 | 10:00 AM-4:00 PM | Atlanta, GA
Featuring Rob Evans, Michael Thompson, and Steve Robinson
On Saturday, October 18, heads and board chairs will have the opportunity to attend the SAIS Board/Head Retreat
, led by noted school psychologists and consultants Rob Evans
and Michael Thompson
as well as SAIS President Steve Robinson.
Evans will kick-off the day at 10:00 AM with a joint session for heads and board chairs titled Governing in the New Age of Anxiety. After lunch, heads will spend the afternoon with Evans and Thompson. Board chairs will enjoy an afternoon session by Robinson, who says that a great board chair/head relationship should be approached with the same care and respect as a marriage. He suggests that board chairs and heads should focus on three key ingredients when building their relationship: maintaining a common purpose, excellent communication, and respect.
School Leadership and Gender
Gender equality in the workplace has increasingly been at the forefront of many discussions and studies. Despite women's gains in education achievements, women still struggle to gain access to the highest leadership positions in government and industry. Women attempting to climb the leadership ladder in independent schools have felt this disparity for some time. Many have either pursued roles in all-girls schools or have navigated a vocational labyrinth, seeking out mentors for advice and opportunities to become more visible and gain valuable leadership experience. Recently, a growing group of women in independent schools banded together to create a mentoring network and offer leadership development programs specifically for women. >>Read more.
2015 Calendar of Events
Mark your calendars now for 2015! SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders each summer. Pre-registration open now with no money due until spring. Reserve your seat today!
See the full SAIS calendar of events at www.sais.org/events.
We've rounded up four great books on the topics of women in leadership, gender identity, and women in government. From classic groundbreaking works to newer trends and topics, these are popular and relevant reads. >>Read more.
Retiring in 2015?
If you are a head of school who will be retiring at the end of the 2014-15 school year,
please let us know so we can induct you into the SAIS Legacy Club,
a group of retired heads of school who gather twice a year. The induction ceremony will take place at the dinner on Saturday, October 18, 2014, in conjunction with the SAIS Annual Conference and the dinner celebrating Steve Robinson. Please email email@example.com before September 26
to make sure we have you on the list (and please include a bio and photo).
Academic Planning for Online & Blended Learning
In-person kick-off session: October 20, from 1:00-5:00 PM
Presented by SAIS and the Online School for Girls
This blended course will help curricular leaders, department chairs, and senior administrators understand the academic implications, challenges, and advantages of online and blended learning for independent schools. During the course, participants will be exposed to national leaders and experts in online learning, including (and most importantly) experts within the independent school community.
This course is appropriate for schools that are beginning to incorporate online or blended learning into their curriculum, or that are contemplating doing so.
Following the in-person kick-off session on Monday, October 20, from 1:00-5:00 PM in Atlanta, participants will complete four weeks of online coursework (averaging four hours of work per week). The online coursework will be fully asynchronous, allowing participants to schedule their own involvement as their schedules dictate. The course will conclude on November 14. >>Info & registration.
SAIS Board of Trustees
Nominees for 2015
The SAIS Board of Trustees proposes the following slate of new trustees for service beginning January 1, 2015:
JAY UNDERWOOD, High Meadows School, Roswell, GA
SARAH WHITESIDE, The Altamont School, Birmingham, AL
The membership will have the opportunity to vote on these trustees at the SAIS Annual Business Meeting,
which takes place during the Annual Conference, on Sunday, October 19, at 12:00 PM. Register for the conference at www.sais.org/AC
Blogs of Note
Steve Roushakes, Assistant Head of The New School of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, VA, discusses the nature of critical thinking and how to encourage it in students.
Verify First, Tweet Second
Kenny Sholl, Associate Head of McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN, reminds his students not to tweet without thinking or post without verifying.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School at Durham Academy in Durham, NC, discusses the challenges girls face in today's society and the school's plan to hold a number of social and emotional learning activities on the topic of gender.
SAIS Survey Center
to see the stakeholder surveys available to your school community. SAIS has created a series of highly reliable and valid stakeholder surveys for 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, sample questions, timelines, and sample reports.
Got any great photos of your campus, students, or a special occasion at your school? Would you be willing to let SAIS use them on our website, in marketing materials, and in publications such as this? If so, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tweets of Note
"Remembering September 11th, Scotland's vote on independence, measuring grit in the classroom and more!"
Read more tweets here.
Benchmarking Data Collection
This year's benchmarking data collection is being conducted in conjunction with NAIS and DASL. This is important information and all SAIS schools (even those not members of NAIS) are invited and encouraged to participate. If your school has not already received login instructions and credentials, please visit http://dasl.nais.org.