Lower School Blog

Greetings from the NAIS Annual Conference

Head of Lower School Paris McLean

This week, I traveled to Philadelphia where I was privileged to represent Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference. Each year the conference brings together independent educators from all corners of the country, and while each participant is unique in their being and each school they represent carries their own exceptional mission, we are all linked in the efforts of championing independent education. The theme for this year's conference, Your School, Your Legacy bravely examined the current landscape of independent schools and thoughtfully unpacked how our school communities can remain nimble, transformational, and responsive to our members; students, families, faculty, staff, alumni, and prospective families.

On Friday morning, NAIS President Donna Orem was addressing a crowd of over 5,000 attendees, where she spoke of mission and vision, two elements that are core to Princeton Academy. While Donna spoke, she was not addressing an individual institution's mission and vision, rather she thoughtfully outlined the NAIS mission and vision. Woven within the vision of NAIS is a line that truly stands out: "All learners find pathways to success." Immediately, I thought of your boys and rightfully I should; everything we do should be on behalf of them. But what Donna quickly asserted was that "all learners" means everyone within our schools; we are all learners, still shifting, growing, developing. 

My charge is that Princeton Academy continues to strive for excellence in all we do for our boys and that we continue to offer space and opportunity for the adults in our community to learn and meet with success in ways that fit for them. Learning is not singular and success should not be optional; together and in partnership, we can advance each other forward.