Over the weekend of October 21-24, I had the privilege to represent Advent Episcopal School at the Southern Association of Independent Schools convention. I was elected to be a Board of Trustees member of SAIS. “The mission of SAIS is to strengthen member schools by providing high quality accreditation processes, comprehensive professional growth opportunities, and visionary leadership development programs.”  The membership represents over 70,000 employees, over 300,000 students, and has a combined budget of $3.5 billion in 14 states and 4 countries making it the largest regional educational association in the country. I am looking forward to representing Advent and being a part of the extraordinary example of excellence for independent education this organization provides. The success of the school is rooted in shared principals with SAIS: mission and student-centered schools.

Recently as part of Advent’s accreditation process, we utilized the SAIS survey model which will help us strengthen our partnership with parents, alumni, and former parents in educating Advent children. This tool will help Advent answer key questions about ourselves. What makes Advent unique? Does our mission paint a picture of what goes on in our school?  Does our mission stand alone and speak for itself? Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this survey and in the coming months we will share pertinent results as a part of the continuous improvement process modeled and advocated by SAIS.

Our teachers will do accreditation visits on the campuses of some of the best schools in our country. This participation in the accreditation process will help Advent advance. Ideas from other schools will enrich our quest for excellence as we are always trying to find ways to model best practices.

In addition to accreditation, SAIS also informs member schools of educational, financial, and demographic trends to help schools prepare for the challenges the future may hold and offers tremendous professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff. It helps us appreciate the special nature of a school like ours. We cherish our independence, yet value the interdependence membership provides.

In the future when Advent families hear the term SAIS hopefully we will think of words like excellence, collegiality, teamwork, vision, and the commonality of goals. So many parents at Advent and other SAIS schools throughout this country sacrifice to provide their children with the best opportunity for a purpose filled life. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you on your family’s lifelong educational journey.  Go Panthers!

Palmer Kennedy