Letter from the President
Steve Robinson, Ph.D.

What a pleasure it was to attend another SAIS Annual Conference, seeing familiar faces, enjoying new and old friends, and hearing about the exciting things going on in our schools and in the independent school world. The SAIS Annual Conference is an incredible source of professional development equipping us for the future so we can better lead. It is also a welcomed time to connect and build new relationships that may later lead to unique collaborations. With the launch of our new collaboration grants, I hope you are inspired to pursue new ideas.

This conference was also bittersweet for me, as it was my last as President of SAIS. As I said during my speech, I am beyond grateful for the time I have spent at SAIS and the privilege it has been to encounter and support so many unique and excellent schools. Over the last seven years, I have been moved by your stories and enthused by the passion you bring to your jobs. I have shared in your triumphs and mourned your losses. What an incredible field we work in, and its merit is attested by the quality and commitment of its workers. It is that passion for shaping the lives of young people that has inspired me to return to the day-to-day school life as Superintendent of Schools for the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras. However it is not without the heaviness inherent in leaving what has been a remarkable place, the SAIS community.


Helen Keller wisely said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." The core strategy of SAIS is to "provide a system of resources to help independent schools attain a level of excellence they could not achieve through other means." Our strength is in our community and our collective efforts. I look forward to what those efforts produce in the years to come.


Dr. Steve Robinson

SAIS Annual Conference Highlights

The top trends and quandaries facing educators were front and center at the SAIS Annual Conference this past weekend. Over 300 educators from across the Southeast and Latin America attended the two-day event, making connections and attending sessions. The speakers challenged the attendees to reconsider the role of independent schools in the education sector, the public sector, and the greater world. The SAIS community also honored outgoing President Dr. Steve Robinson. For highlights, blogs, and videos from the event, visit us on Storify. >>Read more. 


>> A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our sponsors and exhibitors for their support!
SAIS Announces the Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grants

SAIS is now accepting applications for the Stephen P. Robinson Collaboration Grants. A total of $25,000 in grants will be awarded to SAIS member schools who propose unique collaborations with other schools, institutions of higher education, businesses, and/or non-profits. Proposals will be accepted between October 20 and December 31, 2014, and funds dispersed by February 1, 2015.  >>Read more or apply for a grant.
Search Committee Update

The SAIS Search Committee, in partnership with Brigham Hill Consultants, launched a national search in July 2014 for a new President for SAIS. The search process yielded many qualified candidates, four of whom were selected as finalists. The finalists were interviewed by the Search Committee on October 20-21, following the SAIS Annual Conference in Atlanta. The selection of the President requires full board approval, which will take place at the December 2014 meeting. >>Read more.
Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
by Stewart Friedman
Reviewed by Colin Creel, Head of School, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Peachtree Corners, GA 

If you want a leadership book that you can read, digest, and implement without much self-reflection, then stop reading now because this is not the book for you. As educators, we are always trying to achieve balance in our lives. Stewart Friedman's book, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, presents "a fresh approach for developing leadership and it offers a new method for integrating work, home, community, and self."  >>Read more.
Independent Schools & Students Leading the Way

We are in an interesting time in our nation's education history where we are emphasizing both the content of learning and the skills needed to thrive in an interconnected future. Nearly 30 years ago, Howard Gardner gave us the term "multiple intelligences" and championed the idea of modalities of learning: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial-visual, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, and existential intelligence. While Gardner names nine intelligences, he argued that, "each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences." >>Read more.
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
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 is now open with no money due until spring.  Reserve your seat today!

See the full SAIS calendar of events at

WANTED: Your School's Photos!
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 [email protected].
Annual Conference Highlights
Book Review
Planning Ahead: 2015 Calendar of Events
Survey Center
Benchmarking Data Collection
Blogs of Note

Vicki Davis, speaker, author, founder of The Cool Cat Teacher blog, and Technology Director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, GA, makes a compelling case for why some teachers should connect with students on social media. 
Making Strategy Social

Michael Ehrhardt, Head of Cary Academy in Cary, NC, invites the community to contribute "big opportunity" ideas for the future of the school via 140 characters on Twitter, #CABOS.

Nishant Mehta, Head of The Children's School, shares how the school created and operated an Innovator's Playground at Maker Faire Atlanta to spotlight maker learning with elementary school students.

Toy Savage, teacher, alum, and historian at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, discusses the meaning of its honor code, and how it benefits all members of the school.  

SAIS Survey Center
Visit 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.  
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