Nothing by Accident: School Calendars Rule the Day
By Christina Mimms, SAIS
Life offers few guarantees, but in school life, count on the bell ringing and students showing up to learn every day. The school calendar plays a crucial role in day-to-day operations, and determining vacations and other major events requires a group effort from school leaders. Find out how some SAIS schools master their calendar process each year and make decisions to serve the greater good in their communities.  >>Read more.  
Students Change the World, One Bicycle at a Time 
By Chris Tate,  dean of middle school at Porter-Gaud School, Charleston, SC
Driving home from school one afternoon in 2014, I passed by a gently used mountain bike put out on the street, destined for the landfill. I slowed down and thought to myself, "What a throwaway society we live in, and isn't it a shame that someone is literally throwing away this bike?" So I did what any good garbage picker does: I grabbed the bike and threw it in my car. I knew that I could at least donate it to Goodwill or something. By the time I made it back to my house, I had picked up two more bikes. I knew there must be a group out there where I could donate these bikes, so I got online and that's where I found Bicycles for Humanity.
>>Read more.
An Everyone Culture 
By Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Reviewed by  Lee Hark associate head of school, Durham Academy, Durham, NC

I am embarrassed to admit that for months this book battled for my attention on my digital nightstand with another book, but I turned to my assignment, in part because I kept receiving karmic suggestions to get going. On a recent visit to the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, for instance, I saw it perched on the bookshelf of Bob Ryshke, director of Westminster's Center for Teaching. Bob is someone I like and respect a great deal, and when I mentioned I was reading it, too, he recommended the book enthusiastically. As it turns out, An Everyone Culture is a provocative and thought-provoking book about creating cultures of aggressively intentional personal and organizational development that I suspect would give most seasoned teachers and administrators pause.     >>Read more.
Welcome, Sheri!
In June, SAIS will welcome a new staff member: Sheri Burkeen will serve in a newly created position as director of professional development and will oversee all the content at SAIS conferences, workshops, webinars, and other professional development programs. Sheri holds a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Memphis and a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Alabama. Over the past 20 years, she has served in both public and private institutions and both co-ed and single-sex schools, teaching at the early childhood, lower, and middle school levels. Sheri has experience as a classroom teacher and technology coordinator with Woodland Presbyterian School and Lausanne Collegiate School, both in Memphis. She most recently served as the curriculum development coordinator with St. Mary's Episcopal School for Girls, also in Memphis.
2017 SAIS Summer PD Events: Which One is Right For You?

Still looking for a professional development program for the summer?
Sign up for one of SAIS's many institutes and gain new ideas for your career! Whether you are a teacher, an experienced administrator, an aspiring head, an assistant to the head, or the head of school, SAIS is here to support you in your development. >>Read more on the SAIS Events Page. 

INT box SAIS is launching a new program this summer: the Institute for New Teachers - Public to Private. It will be held July 13-14 in Atlanta and is designed for experienced teachers who are moving from the public school system into our wonderful world of independent schools. If you have new hires for the 2017-18 school year, consider sending them to this unique and important professional development program. It will focus on the culture, communications, HR, legal, and other aspects of an independent school that differ from public schools. Registration is open at

SAIS also will host the Institute for New Teachers in three cities - Atlanta (July 10-12), Charlotte (July 18-20), and Nashville (July 25-27). Designed for teachers new to teaching, speakers will walk participants through all aspects of teaching.  In addition to the educational component, there is also an experiential one - each participant presents a videotaped lesson that is critiqued by peers and the experienced faculty. Past participants have rated this as one of their best learning and growing experiences. Register at

Heads of school, don't miss the SAIS Institute for Heads, June 27-30, 2017 at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, FL. This engaging, energizing, and nurturing retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing school heads. Featuring Rob Evans and Michael Thompson, heads can dig into the topics that only other heads of school can understand. As part of the Institute for Heads, heads and their spouses may attend optional sessions that look at the personal side of leadership: the challenges of being the "first couple," the particular burdens for spouses, partners, and children of heads, and more. Select spouses also may participate in a panel discussion with Q&A time. The Institute for Heads as been described as "three days of a good conference and three days of good therapy." >>Read more. >>Register here. 

Call for SAIS Board of Trustee Nominations

Nominations for the SAIS Board of Trustees are now being accepted. To nominate yourself or someone else, please  review this information about board service . Please submit your nomination by  May 12   here .

The SAIS Board of Trustees is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of the association. Per the bylaws, trustees must be heads of SAIS member schools. Review the current board of trustees  here.

The SAIS Committee on Trustees will process the nominations and review the nominees. The slate will be presented for approval by the membership at the SAIS annual business meeting, which takes place at the SAIS Annual Conference, October 22-24, 2017, in Atlanta. New trustees will begin their terms on January 1, 2018. 

NAIS Call for Proposals

NAIS is seeking proposals for workshops and presentations at its 2018 Annual Conference, to be held in Atlanta, March 7-8, 2018. Guidelines for proposals can be found here. The deadline for submissions is June 9, 2017. 

The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Events may refer to news
2017 Calendar of Events

SAIS offers a variety of affordable, accessible, and relevant professional development programs for independent school leaders.

June 19-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 19-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 20-21 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 21-23 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 21-23 | Emory Conference Center | Atlanta, GA
June 27-30 | Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa | Palm Beach, FL
July | Charlotte, NC | Nashville, TN | Atlanta, GA
July 13-14 | Atlanta, GA
October 22 | Crowne Plaza Ravinia | Atlanta, GA
October 22-24 | Crowne Plaza Ravinia | Atlanta, GA  

See the full SAIS calendar of events at


Bicycles for Humanity
Book Review
Welcome, Sheri!
SAIS Summer Programs
Call for Nominations
2017 SAIS Events
Tweets of Note
SAIS Featured School
Saint Paul's

Saint Paul's - Clearwater's Independent School, which educates infants through 8 th  grade, has been proudly educating leaders in the Clearwater community for over 47 years. The intention of its founders was to combine superior academics with Episcopal values of respect, honesty, integrity, and inclusiveness.
>>Read more.

Would you like to be an SAIS Featured School? Contact
Blogs of Note

Tim Tinnesz, head of St. Timothy's School in Raleigh, NC, writes about blame vs. responsibility.

When Does a Retreat Help Your School Advance?
Jeffrey Shields, president and CEO of NBOA, recommends an off-site gathering for leaders. 

Student author Jonah Stillman uses his devices for good. 

Jennifer Knauss-Hauck, 1st grade teacher at Montgomery School in Chester Springs, PA, advocates reading to kids from day one. 

Tweets of Note

Celebrating Earth Day, spring events, and more!   
>>Read tweets here.
Looking for additional

Check out the SAIS Virtual Bulletin Board for programs hosted by schools and related organizations.  

On-Site Board Workshops
SAIS President Dr. Kirk Walker is available to visit your campus and conduct on-site governance workshops.
  • Trusteeship for Independent Schools
  • New Trustee Orientation
  • Becoming an Outstanding Board
  • The Changing Landscape of Independent School Governance