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Pressly Award

The William L. Pressly Research Award enables the Southern Association of Independent Schools to provide, to a selected member school teacher or administrator, an award of $5,000 or more for the purpose of significant research on teaching, administration, or governance topics related to independent schools in the South.

2008-09 Pressly Award Recepients

The SAIS Pressly Research Award for the 2008-09 academic year was divided and offered as a partial scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis to participants of the SAIS-NAIS Winter Retreat.  The Winter Retreat was held at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta in January of 2009.  The Pressly Award provided partial scholarships to 15 Winter Retreat participants from 12 schools. 

2006-07 Pressly Award Recepients

The SAIS Pressly Research Award Committee has selected two winners for the 2006-07 academic year:

  • Patrick Cuneo, Athens Academy: Recruiting Male & Minority Teachers
  • Kevin Reel, The Westminster Schools: Easily Adopted Cost-Efficient Sustainable Practices for Independent Schools

The William L. Pressly Research Award serves three important purposes:

To provide the means for SAIS to ensure that a portion of its invested reserves are returned to member schools, to benefit the teachers and administrators of Southern independent schools.

To encourage research on topics and issues vital to excellence in independent education. Guidelines of the William L. Pressly Research Award:

1. All policies and procedures related to the award will be developed by the Pressly Research Award Committee, as appointed by the President. The committee is also responsible for selection of award recipient.
2. Each applicant must be a full-time administrator or faculty member at an SAIS member school during the entire academic year for which the award will be given.
3. Applications must be sent via e-mail to by 5:00PM EST January 20, 2006, to be accepted for review.
4. The Executive Committee of the SAIS Board will approve the award recipient selected by the award committee and will set the amount of the award, based on interest income from the SAIS investment account using funds available from the preceding fiscal year, subject to Board approval. The amount is estimated to be at least $5,000.
5. The award must be used during the July 1 June 30 year following the spring announcement.
6. Proposals will be judged on the following criteria:
CLARITY: Is it clear, thorough, and well-thought out?
RELEVANCY: Does it address relevant issues for independent schools? Is it related to improvement of student learning? Does it have implications for professional growth?
APPLICABILITY: Will the research be applicable to a wide independent schools audience? Will the research provide results that will help the decision makers in our schools?

7. To recognize the outstanding contributions of Dr. Pressly as an independent school educator for many years of service as teacher, scholar, and headmaster at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia. His contributions to the theory and practice of exemplary school leadership continue to guide other regional independent schools.


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