Letter from the President 
Steve Robinson, Ph.D.


Like many of you, I have watched with fascination as technology has had an exponential impact on our lives over the past two decades. Perhaps no place is the difference more apparent than in

social media, a label that was unknown until the late 1990s. I have monitored and researched social media sites since their inception and have wrestled with their impact on schools and education.

Every platform of social media provides a new place where human beings can conduct the same type of social behaviors they have engaged in throughout history. Compare passing notes to texting or sharing photos to posting on Instagram. As for marketing, what was once a grassroots campaign is now a viral video or has a Twitter hashtag. What has changed and what we should consider are these factors: the speed with which social media works, the magnitude of its reach, the permanence of its posts, and the lack of vetting. These factors are why digital citizenship has become such an important subject in our schools.

Social media can still be a valuable tool for schools. Whether we are telling stories and expressing a value proposition, engaging with the community, building a brand, or growing enrollment, there is a platform and method for each goal. The schools highlighted in this issue are leveraging social media for marketing in creative strategic ways and they are seeing results in both engagement and enrollment.

On another note, as we move into spring, many of you are making your summer professional development plans. SAIS has a range of opportunities for school leaders and we would love for you to participate. For more information, visit www.sais.org/events.



Dr. Steve Robinson

Schools Using Social Media in Savvy Ways 


When the marketing and communications staff at Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, began brainstorming how to revamp its viewbook in 2012, it had to return to ground zero, the school's value proposition. The viewbook, as opposed to a yearbook or an advertisement, was an artistic expression representing the life of the school. It was something that demonstrated not only what Randolph stood for, but why families chose the school and why students loved being there.  >>Read more. 

Heads Leadership Retreat 

 Early bird registration deadline is tomorrow, April 3.


The 2015 SAIS Heads Leadership Retreat will take place at the Union Station Hotel in Nashville on April 19-20. This annual event offers heads a chance to reflect on improving their leadership style and culture while networking with colleagues from around the region. While this retreat is designed primarily for heads of school, the audience for this year has been widened to include assistant, associate, and division heads.  
>>Register.   >>Event details. 
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others   
by Daniel Pink 
Reviewed by Susan Banke, Co-Founder, CoachED, Atlanta, GA

There is no shortage of negative stereotypes associated with sales. For some, it may be the sneaky car salesperson; for others, the never-ending solicitations and advertisements we receive by phone, email, or snail mail. These stereotypes are challenged in the book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink. Pink examines the motivations and dynamics behind sales. He believes we are all in sales and that we are obligated to deliver on what we are selling. If your customer agrees to buy, will his or her life improve? When the interaction is over, will the world be a better place?  >>Read more. 
Call for SAIS Board of Trustee Nominations

Nominations for the SAIS Board of Trustees are now being accepted. To nominate yourself or someone else, please review this information about board service. Please submit your nomination by May 18 here.

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 and a variety of other factors.  Review the current board of trustees here.

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 17-19 in Atlanta.  New trustees will begin their terms on January 1, 2016.   Submit a nomination for the SAIS Board of Trustees here.
My Social Media Resource List
by Brendan Schneider, Director of Admission & Financial Aid, Sewickley Academy, Pittsburgh, PA


The majority of online resources available to help the independent school marketing professional learn about inbound marketing and social media marketing are written for businesses. Below is a list of my favorite resources that I read or listen to on a weekly basis.  >>Read more. 

Virtual Tribute to SAIS President Steve Robinson

Help us send SAIS President Steve Robinson off to the Honduras with great memories of his tenure at SAIS! Leave him a note on a special bon voyage blog, which is being kept a secret until the Heads Leadership Retreat in Nashville later this month. We will be displaying some of the blog comments in a slide show at the HLR opening reception. The blog will remain open through June 30, but please send in your comments now so we can surprise him with them on April 19!  >>Visit the blog and leave your message. 

The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
2015 Calendar of Events
SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders.

See the full calendar of events at www.sais.org/events.

2015 SAIS Institute for Heads 


The 2015 SAIS Institute for Heads will take place on June 24-26 at Airle in Warrenton, VA, less than an hour from Dulles. This unique program combines the wit and wisdom of Michael Thompson andRob Evans and is designed specifically for independent school heads and spouses. This institute offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing school heads. Many participants attend year after year to enjoy the combination of learning and laughter, plus time for reflection, relaxation, and recreation - a perfect way to refresh for the year ahead.  >>Register.   >>Event details. 

SAIS Survey Center
Visit www.sais.org/surveys 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.  
Schools Using Social Media in Savvy Ways
Heads Leadership Retreat
Book Review
Board Nominations
My Social Media Resource List
Virtual Tribute to SAIS President Steve Robinson
2015 Calendar of Events
Institute for Heads
Trends in Education
Blogs of Note

Scott Phillipps, Head of Houston Academy in Dothan, AL, shares a stirring commentary regarding the impact of the Common Core standards.

A Poet's Perspective
Hannah Bonner, Humanities Teacher at Asheville School in Asheville, NC, shares her students' responses after working with visiting scholar Alan Shapiro, a National Book Award finalist, poet, and professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Al Shorey, Math Teacher at Darlington School in Rome, GA, shares how an encounter with a homeless veteran reminded him of the importance of resilience and persistence in life. 

Adam Moore, Head of Woodland Presbyterian School in Memphis, TN, reflects on the value of independence in making decisions about what is best for the school's teachers and students.

Trends in Education 

Catch up on education topics in the news. Here are some articles that have been circulating in the independent school world. 

Read more here. 

Tweets of Note