Member Views

We live in a world of diminished resources. In rural New England our student population is shrinking - rapidly. As a result, competition for students has risen dramatically, even within the public school sector. Our major donors are increasingly pressed by a larger and larger pool of worthy applicants for a finite sum of money. The response of many schools is to circle their proverbial wagons....
  By Michael Livingston
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
During the first Chapel of each semester, I encourage our school community to recommit ourselves to being people of education, enlightenment, and good character. I use a quote from Martin Luther: The prosperity of a country depends not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings; but it consists in the number of its...
  By Tom Lovett