Dear SAES Community,
I am at my two-week mark with SAES and I want to express my gratitude for being appointed your interim executive director. My first trip to the SAES office in Canyon to meet with David Madison, Rob Devlin, and Pat Blevins in late June was both productive and inspiring. David has formed a high functioning team of senior administrators who are experts in their disciplines. David also facilitated our first staff meeting for the six of us and launched us into the important work we share together. The preparation that David, Pat, Jeanie, and Mary Katherine have accomplished bodes well for the 2021-2022 academic year. I have been welcomed personally and professionally by so many SAES members and association leaders across the country, and we are collaborating on a variety of projects. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the team.
I was asked to share why I feel called to this position and I am happy to respond. My bio is posted on the SAES website, so I won’t go into my CV. I will say, however, that many of my happiest and most satisfied times have been leading and serving Episcopal schools, and my two stays at my divinity school helped bring out the best in me. This morning in church as I looked at the bulletin the closing words of the Baptismal Creed were in bold: “Respecting the dignity of every human being.” Those words I believe are the cornerstone of what we, who lead Episcopal schools, hold sacred. The Baptismal Creed is central to our schools’ Episcopal identity. Therefore, I am honored and humbled to commit myself to serving and supporting you, the school leaders of Episcopal schools in the region.
Although my home base will be in California, I am already enjoying my travel around the Southwest. I am looking forward to getting to know the SAES community better and serve as a supportive sounding board to any of you who would want a thought partner on an issue or a challenge. I do not pretend to be an expert, but in my 40 years of senior administrative posts at several independent schools I have benefited from extraordinary mentors along the way, and I hope that I can at least be a thoughtful partner to you if you want to talk. Over the weekend I was rereading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu and was struck by the following words, “How do you create more friends? Trust. How do you develop trust? It’s simple: You show your genuine sense of concern for their well-being.” That will be my mantra this year. I am here to support and serve you, so do not hesitate to reach out to me.
I am thrilled that our Biennial will be live (and streaming) in Houston on October 21-22, 2021 and I hope to meet many of you there. We are fortunate to have David Epstein as our keynote speaker. I am halfway through his New York Times bestseller, Range, and it rings true to me as a school leader. All of us need to be knowledgeable and competent in so many varied ways. We may each have an area that we have mastered, but we also need to be comfortable and competent in a wide variety of roles. Epstein’s thesis rings true for school leaders. Epstein reminds us in his recent Ted Talk that those who are super focused on narrow career training are not necessarily those who are going to be successful in adapting in a changing work world. Running a school in a pandemic has made that abundantly clear.
In closing, I want to again express my gratitude to David for continuing to volunteer time in on-boarding me and helping our team to establish a wonderfully collaborative working relationship based on mutual respect and regard. I also want to thank Rob and the SAES Board of Directors for their support and willingness to join me in advancing our core mission; To serve our schools and to be a resource for those charged with their leadership.”
I hope that you are able to get some time away from the challenges and stressors of the day to day of running your school, and that you find time for reflection, rest, and renewal.
Andrew Wooden 
Leadership & Governance

Thursday, July 29, 2021
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST

Registration Cost:
$175.00 per school

Don't miss this comprehensive session of board training for leaders of Episcopal schools. Three major topics will be explored: 1) Episcopal Identity, 2) Episcopal School Governance, and 3) Financial Health and Sustainability. This interactive session will include case studies and plenty of time for Q&A between participants and panelists. This session is ideal for both board veterans and new board members alike.

Best Practices for
Board Treasurers

August 4, 2021
12:00 noon CST

The relationship between the treasurer of the board and the Head of School is a critical one. Join us for this webinar that will specifically center a conversation around best practices and roles of the treasurer.

Welcome Andrew Wooden
Interim Executive Director

August 10, 2021
10:00 am CST

Join us for a Q&A Zoom call as we welcome our new Interim Executive Director, Andrew Wooden. You have questions? He's got answers!

Best Practices for
Board Presidents

August 19, 2021
2:00 pm CST

As the leader of the school board, you are uniquely positioned to set the school community up for success. This webinar will share some tips and strategies that will make the your school year the best it can be.

David Epstein
Keynote Speaker
OCTOBER 21-22, 2021
David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the bestseller The Sports Gene. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. His thesis explores how students prepared to be generalists as opposed to specialists are primed to excel.

In-Person / Virtual Registration Fee: $375.00
Why Specializing Early Doesn't Always
Mean Career Success
Ted Talk by David Epstein



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