Dear SAES Community,
As we look forward to Thanksgiving break, I want to express my thanks and gratitude for all who made our 2021 Biennial Conference such a success. First, our congratulations again to our six award winners:
The Connie Wootton Excellence in Teaching Awards:
Early Learning Category
Jennifer Collins, St. Martin's Episcopal School, Metairie, LA
Rosalyn Won, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA
Middle / Upper Category
Katrina Pogue, Trinity Episcopal School, Victoria, TX
Special Focus Category
Kimberly Vetter, St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal School, Houston, TX
The Ken Bastian Service Award
Trinity Episcopal School, Victoria, TX
The Elizabeth "Budge" Holloman Award
The Rev. David Madison, D. Min, Executive Director-Elect, NAES
It was a great honor for Scootie and me to bestow the honors. Another deep and sincere thank you to our sponsors. Our sponsors helped make possible our keynote speakers and the excellent virtual conference platform. We also thank all the speakers and presenters who gave us so much valuable content to enjoy both during the conference and for the weeks that followed. The presence and dedication of the SAES Board of Directors was striking, and we are so grateful for the volunteerism that was most evident throughout the conference and beyond. Most of all, thank you to Pat Blevins, Mary Katherine Duffy, and Jeanie Stark whose creativity and dedication over the past year brought this conference into being and made the event such a wonderful success and experience for our participants.
We at SAES have not slowed our pace since the conference. Jeanie Stark and our visiting teams are serving our member schools through accreditation. Last week, Mary Katherine organized and led another strong New Head’s University at St. George School in San Antonio. Thank you to Rob Devlin and his school for hosting. The SAES professional development Newsletter is filled with upcoming workshops and webinars. Pat Blevins has provided the Board with a brimming board packet for this week’s meeting. I am in awe of what our staff continues to accomplish.
In closing, I want to say what an honor it has been visiting member schools’ campuses this fall, and especially last week. At each school I visited I saw the highest academic standards—students and teachers engaged in good, smart, and thoughtful ways. I witnessed students, parents, trustees, and faculty and staff collaborating in caring ways through community. And, what I liked best was the way that Episcopal Identity was manifested in all areas of school life. Visiting your schools makes me grateful for the work we do at SAES and grateful for our membership. What a fitting way to go into our last school week before Thanksgiving.
I wish you the best for Thanksgiving,
Interim Executive Director