Dear Members of the SAES Community,


This is the last issue of “SAES NOTES” of our 2021-2022 academic year. Pat, Jeanie, Mary Katherine, and I want to thank you for your leadership during a challenging year. You guided your communities well, and we know that we have all dealt with division at our schools, communities, our country, and our world. At a recent Standards Committee meeting, we discussed the tension many of us experience between wanting our communities to be places where “the arc of the moral universe…bends toward justice,” all the while knowing that these conversations often lead us to the third rail. We later heard at Evening Prayer “The Social Order Prayer", #28, that offers us direction and purpose:


In Times of Conflict

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us,

in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront

one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work

together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus

Christ our Lord. Amen.

BCP p, 824


Our Book of Common Prayer is a source of strength and central to our Episcopal Identity. We offer our thanksgivings for the joyous ways you have lead your schools to a good and meaningful year end. I have heard from many of you who report enthusiastic and joyful graduations and other year-end celebrations. We wish you time away from your responsibilities and that you take time this summer in the spirit of the Sabbath. Enjoy the gift of time. Heschel commented famously in his book, The Sabbath, “Time is perpetual innovation, a synonym for continuous creation. Time is God’s gift to the world of space.” I hope you will find time for yourself and for those you love in hopes of restoration and encountering the sacred—the holy. Our faith gives us hope and a belief that we will have a hand in helping future generations fulfill their potential and do good in the world. As my New Testament professor used to say at the end of every class, “think of these things.”


We hope that as you contemplate the coming year you imagine your school communities to be places of peace and understanding in the service of children. As we discussed at the Standards Committee meeting our need to support faculty and staff to enable the conditions for healthy learning and growth, we listened to a “crowd sourced poem in praise of teachers” that NPR's poet in residence, Kwame Alexander, created by connecting lines from submissions to create a community poem. The project began before the tragedy in Uvalde, but the poem reckons with such nightmares. Below is the beginning of the poem, and a link follows that will take you to the complete text. I think it reaffirms why we work in schools.



'Who Will Clean Out The Desks'


Teachers make a dent.

A soft curve in the gray matter

A crevice where light shines in

a seed to germinate.

They open eyes

kick open Imagination

Make us see

encourage change of mind

and change of heart

NOT to force the walking of a single path

But the revelation of many.

Teachers make and shape

They weave through the constraints on their vision

creating and molding the students.

Teachers celebrate

Teachers conquer hate and foster expectation

teachers make light go

where darkness has resided

(Here is the link to the entire poem:


In closing, it has been an honor for me to serve SAES this year, and I am grateful to you all. I have great confidence and optimism for SAES in the coming years and am thrilled that Rob Devlin will take the helm in July. Finally, I look forward to seeing many of you at the Early Learning Conference in Houston on June 23.




2022 In-Person Early Learning Conference

June 23, 2022

St. Frances Episcopal School

Houston, TX

8:30 am - 3:30 pm CST


Member Schools: $150.00 per person

Non-Member Schools: $165.00 per person

(Lunch Included)

6 CPU Hours

Join us as we gather in person for the first time in almost three years to learn and grow together as early learning professionals! The SAES Early Learning conference will be a one-day conference where you will learn hands-on techniques for making your classroom the most “child centered” that it can be. The faculty at St. Francis will be presenting a variety of early learning topics including:

Learning Through Play: Preparing Young Learners for the Future

Michelle Staller, MEd: (Primary II, fours and fives, teacher)

This session will explore the types and stages of play, as well as the importance of play in developing executive functioning skills. We will look into why play is important to young learners’ cognitive and social-emotional development and will answer the question, “How can I create playful practices and environments in which young children can thrive?”


Drama and Early Childhood Education: Bringing out the star in Every Child

Brittny Bush: (Primary School Drama Teacher)

This session will offer a glimpse into the benefits of drama in early childhood education. Through creative play with books and songs, children expand their vocabularies while also exploring their emotions and building confidence.


Young Explorers and Investigators: Using the Project Approach in Early Childhood Education

Maggy Britton, MEd: (Pre-primary, twos and threes, teacher)

The Project Approach is a research-based method that engages children and promotes curiosity and problem-solving. This session will teach you the stages of the approach through the specific lens of early childhood and will describe how to guide students through the process of supporting children and their many interests.


Leading with Love

Kenyetta Wynn, EdD: (Head of Primary School)

(Administrator Session) 

With so many challenges facing today’s administrators, how can we remain empowered and excited about the work we do each day. Join this session to discuss how to remain invigorated while continuing to lead with love.


Intentionally Nurturing Children’s Spirits

Kenyetta Wynn, EdD: (Head of Primary School and DEI Coordinator)

Young children have experienced so many changes in the past two years. Through the use of literature and carefully created spaces, early childhood educators can intentionally provide loving, supportive learning environments that nurture children’s spirits.


From Trash to Treasure: Using Loose Parts to Inspire Children’s Critical and Creative Thinking

Andrea Scriber (Primary I, threes and fours teacher)

In this session, you will learn how what appears to be trash may actually be a treasure for a young child. Offering loose parts for children to use in your classroom promotes critical thinking and encourages children to use their imaginations to solve problems and add adventure to children’s play.


Daily News and Story Writing (School Literacy and Culture - Rice University)

Vanessa Vierra (Assistant Director, Bilingual Early Literacy, School Literacy & Culture)

Rice University, Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

The National Institute for Literacy tells us that oral language development provides “a critical foundation for reading, writing and spelling” and is in fact the “engine of learning and thinking.” This session will provide teachers with research into practice ideas for extending everyday conversations with children and show how quality teacher/child interactions build relationships, promote speaking and listening skills, vocabulary development, and higher-level thinking.

Hotel Information:

Fairfield Inn & Suites Memorial City Area

11080 Katy Freeway

Houston, TX 77043


Discounted Room Rates:

King Room: $110.00

Double Room: $115.00

  • Breakfast included in room rate
  • Free Parking


Register Now

Featured Sponsor

Excellence in Education Leadership

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