Branding: It's Not Just For Cattle 
*2015 SAIS Annual Conference Preview*

At a time when independent schools compete with each other for a relatively small number of qualified students, school leaders must work even harder to distinguish their institutions from others. Why should parents select your school for their child, and what makes your school different from all the others (other than perhaps the cost or location)? Is your mission clear to them? Are your unique qualities evident? Do parents have a clear idea of what to expect from your school? That is your identity. That is your brand. That is you. >>Read more.  >>Register for the 2015 SAIS Annual Conference.
So What Happens When ... 
You Do Hurt Them?
by Leah Slawson
English Teacher, Trinity Presbyterian School, Montgomery, AL

"So what happens when ..." This was the subject line of an email I received a few days after I wrote my last blog post, in which I wrote about the power of words. I'm a wordsmith, a writer, and an English teacher. Every job I've ever had paid me to use words and I know their power. That's their attraction for me, the mysterious, surprising capacity of the endless combinations and context in which they dwell. They can bless and curse; they expand life or diminish it. They wound and heal; they love and hate. They encourage or they demoralize. When you love and own and practice words the way I do, there is tremendous potential for good or evil. >>Read more.
Retiring in 2016?A blue nametag sticker with the words Hello I Am Retired to illustrate that you are done with your career and are living off a pension or 401k or other retirement savings

If you are a head of school who will be retiring at the end of the 2015-16 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 an invitation-only dinner on Saturday, October 17, in conjunction with the SAIS Annual Conference. Please email [email protected] before September 18 to make sure we have you on the list (and please include a bio and photo).
Welcoming Christina!

SAIS is pleased to announce and welcome Manager of Content and Member Engagement, Christina Mimms. She received a B.A. in communications from Loyola University of New Orleans and also holds a certificate of nonprofit marketing from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. She served as director of communications at St. Martin's Episcopal School for 14 years, has presented at several conferences for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and has won several professional awards. Christina graduated from St. John's Parish Day School and Tampa Preparatory School, both in Tampa, FL. Contact Christina at (404) 883-5369 or [email protected].
Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee
Reviewed by Donna LambertiHistory Teacher, UMS-Wright Preparatory School, Mobile, AL

The biggest challenge I have when I write anything, whether a book review like this or a short story or an academic paper, is the revising and rewriting of my original draft. Once I have taken the time to put my words down on paper, it is not easy for me to see those words in new and better formations. I suspect that this is one of the things with which writers of all ages and abilities struggle. Convincing a writer that her first idea really may not be her best idea and further convincing that writer to put the time in to rewrite and revise and rewrite some more is not easy. If Harper Lee's newly published work Go Set a Watchman tells us anything, however, it tells us that such convincing and such rewriting is worth it all and more. >>Read more.
2015 SAIS Annual Conference 
October 17-19
Crowne Plaza Ravinia | 4355 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd | Atlanta, GA 30346

Saturday, October 17
  • 10:00-4:00 PM - Board/Head Retreat (separate registration required at
  • 1:00-5:00 PM - Chair Training Workshop
  • 4:00-7:00 PM - Registration Desk Open
  • 5:30-7:00 PM - Opening Reception - sponsored by FLIK
Sunday, October 18
  • 9:00-10:00 AM - Breakfast Buffet + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 10:00-11:30 AM - Breakout Sessions
    • FEATURED TRACK: #EduTrendingNow - sponsored by SCHOOL ADMIN
    • The Amazing Minds You're Missing Out On: A Crash Course in Differentiation, Neuroscience, & Cerebrodiversity
    • Leadership & the Uses of Market Research
    • Leveraging New Media Trends to Engage Constituents
    • Highlights from the SAIS Steve Robinson Collaboration Grants
  • 11:30-12:00 PM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 12:00-1:45 PM - Lunch + Annual Business Meeting
  • 2:00-3:30 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • FEATURED TRACK: #EduTrendingNow - sponsored by SCHOOL ADMIN
    • Leadership Team Development & the Birkman Method
    • Six Game Changers for Your Marketing Strategy
    • The Broader Systemic Implications of the 21st Century School
    • Innovation's Strategic Convergence: Planning, Program, Messaging
    • A Crash Course in Major Gift Fundraising
  • 3:30-4:00 PM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open - sponsored by MARKEL
  • 4:00-5:30 PM - General Session - John Chubb - sponsored by CARNEY, SANDOE & ASSOCIATES
  • 5:30-7:00 PM - Reception + Exhibit Booths Open
Monday, October 19
  • 7:30-9:00 AM - Breakfast Buffet + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 7:45-8:45 AM - Breakout Sessions "Meet & Eat"
    • Lost in Connection: The Impact of Technology on Childhood, Family Life, & Education
    • Collaborative & Innovative Learning Spaces
    • Current & Coming Legal Topics
    • Boosting Enrollment Through Inbound Marketing
    • Brand Diaries: The Making of a Mount Vernon Mom
    • Hot Legal Topics
    • Building an Ethical Community in Your School
    • Roundtable - Middle School Heads
    • Making Effective Technology Decisions
  • 9:00-10:30 AM - General Session - Rick Wormeli - Cultivating Personal Creativity -sponsored by TADS
  • 10:30-11:00 AM - Break + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 11:00-12:00 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • Mary Had a Little iPad: Rebooting K-8 Education in the Digital Age
    • SSATB Research Trends & Highlights
    • Current & Coming Legal Topics
    • Governance & School Sustainability
    • Schools Must Think & Act Like a Brand
    • Independent Schools in the New Economy: Re-Imagining Sustainability
    • Leading with Trust
    • Practical Cognitive Science Principles for Differentiated Instruction with Rick Wormeli
    • Hot Legal Topics
  • 12:00-12:45 PM - Lunch + Exhibit Booths Open
  • 1:00-1:45 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • The Big Disconnect: Your Students in Class & Your Students Online (Grades 9-12)
    • SSATB Research Trends & Highlights
    • Smartphones, Tablets, & Laptops, Oh My!
    • The Advancement Team - Self Knowledge & Team Building
    • The Technology Director on the Academic Team?!
    • Take Action & Create Positive Change
    • Roundtable - Small Schools
    • Can You Be a Successful Head of School?
  • 1:45-2:00 PM - Break
  • 2:00-2:45 PM - Breakout Sessions
    • Got Grit: The Call to Educate Smart, Savvy, & Socially Intelligent Students in the Digital Age (all ages)
    • Using Google Apps for Education to Create a Collaborative School Culture
    • The Independent Schools' Survival Guide for Building Programs
    • What to do When Your School is Thrust in a Scandal
    • Roundtable - Special Needs Schools
    • Roundtable - Lower School Heads
    • Roundtable - Upper School Heads
  • 3:00 PM - Conference Adjourns 
Featured speakers include:
Rick Wormeli, John Chubb, Ian Symmonds, Catherine Steiner-Adair
                Rick Wormeli                         Catherine Steiner-Adair                     Ian Symmonds
             Monday Keynote                       Monday Featured Track              Sunday Featured Track

 $425 (until September 25)

The registration fee includes all sessions plus these meals:

Saturday reception / Sunday breakfast, lunch, reception / Monday breakfast & lunch

Don't forget to reserve your hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia online or by phone at (800) 554-0055.  The SAIS rate is $129 and the cut-off date is September 25We expect the block to sell out, so please make your reservation as early as possible.  Please note that SAIS does not use a housing bureau; you should make your reservation directly with the hotel.

Sponsors & Exhibitors:

So What Happens When ...
Retiring in 2016?
Welcoming Christina!
Book Review
2015 SAIS Annual Conference
Board/Head Retreat
Blogs of Note
Tweets of Note
Your Photos Wanted!
On-Site Board Workshops
2015 SAIS
 Board/Head Retreat

This retreat offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen the communication and partnership between the head and the board. 

It will take place at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia on October 17 from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM immediately prior to the 2015 SAIS Annual Conference.  Participation is limited to heads of school and board members.
The retreat will be led by Pat Bassett, President of Heads Up Educational ConsultingHe is a former teacher, college professor, head of school, and president of two independent school associations. He received his B.A. in English from Williams College and his M.A. in film studies from Northwestern University. He is a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and has served on numerous boards.
More information at  
Blogs of Note

Steven Jackson, head of Sumner Academy in Gallatin, TN, writes about the importance of reading to children. 

Michael Ehrhardt, head of Cary Academy in Cary, NC, muses on the death of LOL, the rise of the emoji, and other thoughts for the start of the new school year. 

Ann Klotz, head of Laurel School in Shaker Heights, OH, shares leadership tips based on her 30 years of experience. 

Jay Rainey, head of Randolph School in Huntsville, AL, discusses technological unemployment

Tweets of Note

New school year is off & running, cool STEM projects, not your ordinary trash bin, & more!

Just Say Cheese: 
Your Photos Wanted!

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 high-resolution files to [email protected].
On-Site Board Workshops

SAIS President Dr. Kirk Walker and Vice President Damian Kavanagh are available to visit your campus and conduct on-site governance workshops. 

Trusteeship for Independent Schools

New Trustee Orientation

Becoming an Outstanding Board

The Changing Landscape of Independent School Governance