A Sense of Purpose and A New NAIS President | Editorial | 4 Min Read

October 4, 2023

Shortly after announcing a new OESIS event, I couldn’t help but notice Debra Wilson’s inaugural Independent School Magazine article as the new NAIS President. Sanje’s initial announcement said, “The conference will go beyond curriculum and pedagogy, the central themes of OESIS conferences, and focus on culture and school purpose.” Debra writes, “Over the past three years I have noticed a remarkable shift in interest around purpose in our community.” After years of calling out NAIS for a lack of willingness to address the limitations of the current governance structure to effectuate strategic change, is it possible that OESIS is now more in alignment with NAIS goals? Is Debra Wilson a “person of courage,” somebody who is brave and tells the truth, suggesting that the school purpose conversation “will lead us to an independent school renaissance…?” What I know of Debra tells me that she will potentially be successful, even though she faces some difficult challenges. Let’s look more closely at the three key themes Debra identifies as being a part of the purpose conversation. I would describe them as opportunities, and as such, they could be very exciting. But as any leadership organization will tell…

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Joel Backon

Joel Backon has been the Editor of Intrepid Ed News since its inception in January 2021, responsible for all educator content on the website. He joined the OESIS Network, owner of Intrepid, in 2019 as Vice President. Joel spent much of his career at Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) where for 27 years he held founding roles in Information and Academic Technology, as well as being a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, coach, dorm head, and student adviser. Prior to Choate, Joel spent 15 years in the printing and publishing industry educating printers on how to maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses. He has crusaded to achieve consensus on the question of why we educate kids in an effort to meet the learning needs of every student.