At the end of April, the 2022-2023 cohort of the SAES New Heads University gathered together under the embrace of the stately oaks on the lovely grounds of the Bishop Jones Diocesean Center in San Antonio to reflect on lessons learned and share in the joy and mutual support of fellowship.  Special thanks to Mary Katherine Duffy, Director of Professional Learning for SAES, The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas, and The Rev. Dr. Benjamin H. Nelson III, lead Chaplain at TMI Episcopal, who led our group into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the transformational healing practices of Sabbath.  

At the beginning of his teaching session, Fr. Ben referenced the notion of “God-winks,” or the seemingly random encounters or signposts that God places in our lives to reveal some important truths.  Then, near the end of his remarks, God winked at me when Fr. Ben shared some wisdom from a poet/farmer/philosopher by the name of Wendell Berry.  Not-so-coincidentally, I realized, I had encountered Mr. Berry’s thoughts and poetry from two other disparate sources in the preceding 30 days (through the D365 devotional and from a podcast featuring Nick Offerman from Parks and Rec.)  

Apparently, from three sources over the span of three weeks, God was encouraging me to think deeply about how to “practice resurrection” in my own life.  In the final line of Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front,” the reader is ultimately called to “practice resurrection” after rejecting the shiny hollow promises of this world in favor of pursuing God, building community, and focusing on what truly matters.  

Through this call to  “practice resurrection,”  we are reminded that we are to be daily witnesses to the resurrection of Christ – living reminders of the power of God’s redeeming love in the world.  “Practicing resurrection” is at the heart of what we are called to do each day as Episcopal school educators – to obey Christ’s command to love God and to love others.  “Practicing Resurrection” is what we promise to do, “with God’s help,” when we respond to the calls of the Baptismal covenant to “proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ,” and “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself”  and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” 

SAES Teaching and Learning Institute

When? June 22-23, 2023

Where? St. George Episcopal School, San Antonio, TX

Audience? PK2 - Grade 5 Faculty and Administrators

Michelle Kinder

Keynote Speaker

Michelle Kinder is a Leadership Coach and a Licensed Professional Counselor. In her business, Embody EQ, she helps leaders doing good in the world embody their emotional intelligence and prioritize the mental health of their teams. She is a fellow of the OpEd Project and has articles featured in over a dozen publications including TIME, Washington Post, Texas Tribune, Ms. Magazine, The Hill, Dallas Morning News, Mindful Magazine, Huffington Post and PBS’ Next Avenue. She is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership, navigating stress and trauma, embodying emotional intelligence, and prioritizing the mental health of teams. She is also the co-author of WHOLE: What Teachers Need to Help Students Thrive and is a published poet. Michelle was raised in Guatemala as the fifth of six children and currently lives in Dallas with her husband, daughters, and pups.

“The perfect combination of passion, knowledge, poise, authenticity, warmth, and humor, Michelle Kinder holds her audiences in the palm of her hand. Each time I hear her speak, I feel moved, challenged, and spellbound. She’s masterful, relatable, and relevant.”

~Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., co-author of The Whole-Brain Child, No Drama Discipline, & The Yes Brain


Upcoming Webinars

School Website Workshop: How To Avoid Common Mistakes and Improve Your Website Performance and SEO

May 9, 2023

10:00 am CST

Join Tara Claey, Design TLC, to learn how to check your website's performance using free tools...Learn More

How Innovative Schools Are Addressing Social Media, Current Events, and Tech 

May 10, 2023

2:00 pm CST

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Curated Resources for Continued Thinking and Learning

The Duct Tape of Leadership

The Four Motions of Leadership are things leaders can DO in any situation to make progress faster, farther, with less chaos. They’re like duct tape: versatile, reliable, and tenacious in the face of resistance.    

Farther, Faster, and Far Less Drama: How to Reduce Stress and Make Extraordinary Progress Wherever You Lead

Janice and Jason Fraser have been using their method for decades to help all kinds of people—including Navy SEALs, startup CEOs, and Fortune 100 executives—make progress in both their professional and personal lives by solving hard problems with grace.  The approach is simple but powerful, calling on readers to:

  • orient honestly
  • value outcomes
  • leverage brains
  • make durable decisions

Why Bullying Is Too Narrow a Lens for Addressing Conflict in Middle School

Everyday conflict can get in the way of academics in the middle grades. Kids need to learn the essential social competencies that will allow them to get back to productive learning. “Through conflict, kids learn how to take responsibility for their actions and how to pick ‘right-fit’ friends. It’s how they acquire social skills such as generosity, reciprocity, and active listening. It’s how they learn how to pick their battles, set good boundaries, apologize, and figure out when to forgive and let things go.”

A “Technoskeptical” Framework for Teachers and Students

Smartphones and laptops provide students with access to communication and information, but they also contribute to distraction, social conflict, bullying, body image issues, and many other problems. How should educators respond when problems like these inevitably arise?

School Playbook: Guide to Handling Student Data and Protecting Their Privacy

Complex. Data-packed. Ever-evolving. Social media isn’t just a bank of our personal interests, tracked behaviors, and passwords – it’s also a portal to strangers, hackers, and insecure networks. With 95% of teens having access to digital devices – and major hacks like the recent one with LastPass occurring regularly – cybersecurity has never been more important for students, families, and educators. This School Playbook examines the laws and guidelines for schools to follow in order to protect student privacy. 

Do Americans Really Care For Each Other? What Unites Us—And What Divides Us

Americans still fundamentally care for each other despite political differences, but persistent biases of many kinds may be preventing many Americans from caring for those who are different from them—and may impede a path to unity. This report seeks to answer key questions about the extent to which Americans care for each other and what might spur more Americans to value and invest in others, particularly those who are different from them in terms of ethnicity, race, religion, and political orientation.


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