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SAAS: Message from Head of School, Rob Phillips

Dear SAAS Community,

As a kid, I was usually found in one of two places: hiding away somewhere reading adventure stories, or exploring the woods near my home. Adventure, exploration, and “life as a story” are touchstones that continue to resonate with me today, especially as we embark on the 2023-2024 school year.

The SAAS story started as a unique adventure. On October 12th, 1983, 70 students first walked into the school that was then named Seattle Academy, and that today we know as SAAS. A small group of parents, who would become the founding board leadership, had decided in August of that year to launch a school despite the long list of risks and obstacles. Despite the many reasons not to go for it, they jumped into the challenge with determination, creativity and a shared sense of purpose.

Why? Because they firmly believed, in the words of the writer Jim Collins, in their unique opportunity to “create something that didn’t yet exist, but should.”

Year one of the SAAS story was one of discovery, optimism and growth. It required an audacious vision complemented by a commitment to action, and it instilled into the school’s DNA an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. That mindset in turn produces a recognition of the interrelationship between challenge and opportunity, resilience and agility, possibility and promise.

What does that enterprising spirit and mindset look like at SAAS today? In the words of Associate Head of School Giselle Furlonge,

“It looks like a community at full stretch, where we listen and learn in equal measure, and where academic and community excellence thrives in an ecosystem of informed action.”

The SAAS story, past and present, is one in which our students and teachers join forces to transform potential into reality. It’s a story of an eager determination to be a part of the adventure where together we’re “creating something that doesn’t yet exist, but should.”

We’re grateful for your part in the adventure that is the SAAS story and are so excited to see what’s ahead for SAAS this year, and for years to come.

I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks at back-to-school nights and gatherings, activities at SAAS and major community events. The faculty and staff have been hard at work this summer preparing for the start of the school year, and we’re eager to get the year going, to reconnect with students and parents we haven’t seen since the spring and to meet and welcome those of you who are new to SAAS. 

Rob Phillips
Head of School