Greetings SAES family,
Over the years, many wise people have encouraged me to seek out opportunities to “try something new” and, similarly, to find ways to “learn something new” in every circumstance or experience. Interestingly, I have found that the very act of “trying something new” often provides fertile ground for “learning something new” about myself and/or others. (These lessons have been echoed many times by several important people in my life, but they originated with my dad - who is a great example of the core leadership trait of “confident humility” as described by noted Wharton professor and author Adam Grant.)
Recognizing the wisdom of these ideas, I actually tried something new recently, and in the process I learned (or re-learned) a couple of things about myself. After channeling my inner Lloyd Dobler and completing my first ever cardio-kickboxing class (Kickboxing - sport of the Future?), I paused to reflect on lessons learned and realized that I am not especially proficient at either “cardio” or “kickboxing.” Through this exhausting lesson in physical humility, I also re-learned, for the ump-teenth time, the importance of intentionally and continuously prioritizing balance and self-care.
As you prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the “new” school year, I encourage you all to seek, discover, and embrace opportunities to be found in “the new” and to take the time to reflect on your circumstances and experiences so that you might also “learn something new” about yourself and/or others in the process. Although I would not necessarily recommend cardio-kickboxing for everyone, I would encourage you all to not only seek, embrace, and celebrate new opportunities for growth and development in the year ahead, but to also remember the importance of prioritizing balance and intentional self-care in your life.
Finally, as all we seek the blessing and opportunity of the new, let us also be reminded of the words of Christ as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Executive Director, SAES
PS: Please know that the entire Board and SAES leadership team of Pat Blevins, Mary Katherine Duffy, Chris Carter and I are very much looking forward to getting to know each of you and your schools better, encouraging and supporting you all in your educational ministries, and celebrating all the things that make your schools special.
Although words cannot adequately capture the depth of our gratitude, a huge thank you goes out to our departing Interim Executive Director, Andrew Wooden, and our departing Director of Accreditation, Jeanie Stark. Thank you both for your outstanding service to Episcopal Schools across the Southwest!