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From the ED 12.3.15

Dear Colleagues,

A few weeks ago, I finished a long series of travel which involved attending and presenting at a good number of independent school conferences. I want to commend Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) for bringing together several wonderful speakers. Tony Wagner, author of a number of very important books about education including The Global Achievement Gap, Creating Innovators, and most recently Most Likely to Succeed, opened the conference with a wonderful talk about the challenges we face to change our current educational model. I have listed the books in order of publication and encourage you to read them in this order. The Global Achievement is now about 10 years old but still very important in describing the skills Mr. Wagner believes are critical for success in the 21st century. This chart is a great summary:


I do believe that these skills are essential for our children, but also for the adults in our schools. If the adults can develop these seven survival skills and demonstrate to their students the importance of these skills, I believe our schools will be successful.

Christian Long provided an inspiring talk the following morning. Christian is one of the founders of Wonder, By Design, a relatively new organization devoted to helping schools develop their spaces to encourage great learning. He left the audience wanting for more regarding what is possible.

Finally, a good friend and colleague, Nishant Mehta, Head of School, The Children’s School, Atlanta, GA spoke about the exciting work at his school. It is difficult not to be impressed with what Nishant has accomplished in his relatively short tenure at The Children’s School. I was left thinking about the school’s tagline (not mission) – “Play, Passion, Purpose” – and how easily these concepts can be applied to our work every day whether in a school or an association (serving schools). Wagner discusses the importance of play in Creating Innovators, and this seems to be an important and integral component in engaging children in their education, thus leading to their understanding of their passion, and their purpose.

Thank you to FCIS and these three inspirational, education leaders to remind us all why we do what we do each day – it is always about the children!

During the Thanksgiving holiday I was at home and able to enjoy a good amount of time with family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for today and every day. I am thankful for the love and support of my family. I am thankful that I am able to work with great people including staff, board, and all of you at the schools MISBO serves. I am thankful that I am able to do work that matters, and especially matters to children – helping them be prepared for their future.

I hope you all had a few moments over the holiday to consider what you are thankful for and to step away from the daily grind and consider the importance of the work that each of you do every day. Thank you for all that you do!


Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO
Follow on Twitter: @MISBOconnects   @Marcll
MISBO on LinkedIn


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