Dear Members of the SAES Community,

In conversations with many SAES heads, I have been hearing the good ways you have been navigating and even thriving through the “100 Days of May.” In fact, one of you remarked, “Are there only 100?” Congratulations on the good work you have done in your communities this year. We are fortunate that our Episcopal schools have strong and healthy missions, and that we have good and helpful values that enable us to remind those whom we serve to seek and strive to be our best selves. As we find ourselves in graduation season, it is a good time to reflect on our schools’ aspirations, and in doing so find reward.

Jeanie Stark and I recently completed our last accreditation visit of the year, and we discussed how blessed we are with the way our schools welcome our teams into their communities, and I hope that you all feel supported by SAES as we help you become the best school you aspire to be. We are grateful for the way our teams and schools collaborated and imagined futures together. We are especially grateful to our visiting team leaders and members who volunteered their time and energy to make the accreditation campus visits so successful. 

Last week, I was helping Jeanie complete a variety of annual reports, and I was amazed to realize that I have visited 25 school campuses this year - not counting the dozens of virtual sessions I have had with you all since last July. I am personally and professionally grateful for the time I have spent with you this year.

Last week took me to our offices in Canyon,Texas where Pat Blevins and I began to close out this current fiscal year and continued to plan for 2022-2023. Recent conversations with Scootie Clark, Rob Devlin, Pat Blevins, and me are boding well for the year ahead with Rob at the helm.

Finally, I want to thank Mary Katherine Duffy for an outstanding job leading our professional development programs this year. As I review the professional development offerings this past year I am amazed at the breadth and depth. We are all looking forward to being together face to face on Thursday, June 23 for our In-Person Early Learning Conference in Houston. Thank you to St. Francis Episcopal School for hosting.

We at SAES, like you all, have much to do before June 30, but I would like to say, as we close out May, that I am truly grateful to you all, for your engagement with Jeanie, Mary Katherine, Pat, and me this year. We are proud of our member schools and know that we are better together.

With gratitude,

Andrew Wooden

Interim Executive Director

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

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