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From the ED 7.7.16

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all enjoyed a long holiday weekend. The cycles of our schools continue. For most of us July marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, which means preparing for audits, along with all of the other summer work that must be accomplished. This is the same for MISBO  summer is different; not necessarily slower, but it does offer a change from the normal course of our school year. July 4, 2016 marked the 240th birthday of the United States of America. I had the opportunity last week to spend a day in Boston walking all of the Freedom Trail. While the US is relatively young, the history in Boston is amazing and a great reminder of the struggles that led to the creation of our nation.

I just read a Time magazine article entitled “The Bright Side” by David Von Drehle (more about David can be found here). David talks about the changes that were happening in our country at the beginning of the 20th century, including x-rays, automobiles, wireless communications, readily available electricity, and so much more. This was a time of great change in the way people lived, worked, traveled, etc. It was also a time of significant change for our educational institutions. It was the time of John Dewey, Maria Montessori, James Hawken and others who believed that as a society we needed new methods to educate our children. This is similar to what is happening today, both in terms of advances in technology and the need to carefully evaluate our educational practices. Children today need a different type of education than they did 100 years ago and perhaps even 10 years ago. Change is a constant. The pace of change is just accelerating.

During a recent conversation I had with Annette Diefenthaler, Portfolio Director, Education Studio, IDEO, we were discussing the educational transformation we are seeing in schools across the country. Annette commented that she believes that independent schools are well positioned to lead the change in education. Our schools are small (even the biggest) and should be able to be nimble, be innovative, experiment, and make decisions quickly. Our schools attract the best and brightest educators and we need to allow them to help lead the necessary changes. We also have resources that are not typically available for public schools and for many charter schools.

What is your school doing that’s new, creative, innovative for the new year? I would like to collect as many new ideas as possible and then share those with MISBO members. Please send me a note at

Designing Intelligent Schools is the theme for the 2016 MISBO Fall Conference to be held October 5-7, 2016 at the Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head Island, SC. We are experimenting with a new program this year with a one-day pre-conference – New Business Officer Workshop. We know that it can be just a bit challenging to start working at an independent school. Nearly every business officer at our schools come to their first school job from another profession. This one-day workshop led by a faculty of four MISBO Board Members is a terrific opportunity to learn from experienced professionals: business officers, an HR director and a Tech director. It is also a great opportunity to meet colleagues like you who are new to this profession. Then you will be able to attend the next two days of the fall conference meeting even more people and learning a variety of different and important topics that will impact your schools.

Thank you to the large number of you that sent me notes of support following the announcement by Julie Ray, MISBO Board Chair and me announcing my decision to look for the next chapter in my life. Many of you asked about my future plans. At this point, I do not have a plan. I believe that the appropriate opportunity will present itself in the right time. I have spent the past 15 years working with independent schools, first as a Business Manager, then at NBOA and now leading MISBO. This has been an extraordinary time of my life with great meaning and fulfillment. Starting in August MISBO Board Vice-Chair Philip Cork will organize the plan and process to hire a new Executive Director for MISBO. As I mentioned in the announcement, all is extremely well at MISBO, we continue to grow, serve more schools, provide more options through the Purchasing Consortium, bring you innovative and timely professional development opportunities and most importantly connect each of you with your colleagues. I look forward to this next year. We have much more to accomplish and I know that all of you will continue to benefit greatly from your membership with MISBO.


Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO

We power independent schools.™

From → MISBO

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