Member Views

Running a small school means that my week may be filled with sudden emergency transportation for a field trip, or a quiet moment of writing interrupted by a child at my office door, or a call from MEMIC or a Board member, and then a trip to the bank for a line of credit draw followed by grabbing something at the market for lunch on the run…and that’s when an AHA! happens. This deadline was...
  By Rebecca Clapp
No more than two weeks passed after my position as head of Vermont Academy began on July 1, 2017 before Peter Saliba gave me a call and said “How about if we meet at Burdick’s for lunch?”  When I inadvertently pulled into his intended parking spot, he was quick to joke about it.  Meeting this energetic and insightful head of Tilton School who is also the informal social organizer for...
  By Jennifer Zaccara
Late winter always seems to be the hardest time for schools. While the snow piles up around our campuses, our desires to be strategically focused and mindful are often cast aside to confront the tyranny of the urgent. We are especially vulnerable to Murphy’s Law in these fleeting moments of winter, which is why it is so important that we think strategically and be critically reflective when our...
  By Phil Peck
For twenty-four years, I practiced the Headmaster’s profession. Like navigation, basketball, fly-fishing, playing the piano and identifying wild species, only practice truly educates. To understand what the music demands - and your potential and limitation to achieve it - you must move your own fingers on the keys. After I’d been on the job for nearly two decades, a sympathetic parent said, “I...
  By Jay Stroud
I was recently at a discussion at my local public library when I recalled an interaction at my daughter Kaia’s former school.  She was 4 years old when she brought home a self-portrait project that was done during class.  The art media utilized was recycled folders, yarn for hair, and crayons for color.   The presentation of the project yielded the same quizzical look and...
  By Michael Buensuceso, MSW
Pressure is mounting on our independent schools, particularly those in northern New England. Demographic changes and slow economic development are making it increasingly difficult to enroll mission-appropriate students. Our schools are working to authentically convey a “value proposition” message. In addition to enrollment challenges, our need to secure resources to support students and...
  By Mike Schafer, Head of School, Kimball Union Academy
Like dress code, faculty meeting discussion about cell phone policy is at best a tired, if not avoided, topic. Old news. At the same time, the science of what we really know about cognitive function and screen time is in its infancy. I remain an optimist on most generational topics including the impact of cell phones – once again the kids will probably be ok! However, research continues to...
  By Ed Cooper, Head of School, Wolfeboro Camp School
“Be the change you want to see in the world” -Mahatma Ghandi As summer slips through our fingers and cool nights signal the start of school, educators start to anticipate the return of the students that attend our independent schools. While the check list runs the gamut from program updates, faculty team building, and swapping out new shower curtains, the most important job is to set an...
  By Laura Gauld
I finally understand what the adage above truly means, and it only took me 25 years of school to get there! I just completed my first year of headship, and it was a wild and wonderful experience. In July of 2016, after 24 years spent working in a variety of roles at the secondary level of three different independent schools, I assumed the role of Head of School at a K-8 coeducational day...
  By Fanning Hearon
August, 1995.  I approached the start of the school year with more than my usual degree of excitement and anxiety.  I stood in my mother’s sewing room on the second floor of my childhood home in Paris, Maine, gripping the phone as I dialed the number for Phillips Exeter Academy.  In two short weeks, I was due to return for my senior year.  I was a student in good standing, a...
  By Alex Myers

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