SAIS Distinguished Service Award
Established 2012 in Memory of Dale Regan
This award is given by the SAIS Board of Trustees to a head of school or senior administrator in recognition of a long and distinguished career in independent education, of which 25 years or more was spent in service to one school, as well as service to SAIS. The award is typically given at the end of one’s career. Recipients will be recognized at the SAIS Annual Conference.
The creation of this award in 2012 was inspired by the life and work of Dale Regan, who devoted 34 years of her life to the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, and who, posthumously, was the award’s first recipient.
Episcopal School of Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL
Dale Regan began teaching English literature at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, FL, in 1978. She became an administrator in 1983 and served as department chair, curriculum director, academic dean, communications director, and assistant head. She was named head of school in 2007, the first woman to hold the title since the school first opened its doors in 1968. She quickly embarked on a $4 million campus construction effort that led to two new buildings on the campus. She was a Jacksonville native who attained degrees at Florida State University and the University of North Florida. Dale kept river rocks in a basket in her office, encouraging faculty to take one to keep as they pondered difficult decisions. She also used them in chapel, building complex rock piles to show students how important steadiness was in achieving goals. At her memorial service, students passed out hundreds of river rocks they'd decorated bearing messages like love, courage, and faith.
|J. Robert Chambers
Athens Academy - Athens, GA
Bob Chambers served as head of Athens Academy for 30 years, from 1983 to 2013. Pior to that, Mr. Chambers was the assistant head of Pace Academy, where he began his career in 1963 as a science teacher and athletic coach. Mr. Chambers has served on the boards of GISA, SAIS, NAIS, and the Georgia High School Association, among others, and he also chaired the SAIS Accreditation Committee. He has Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Georgia.
|J. Peter Jernberg
Jackson Academy - Jackson, MS
Peter Jernberg retired from his role as president of Jackson Academy in 2014, after 47 years of service. His career began in 1967 at Indianola Academy where he served as history teacher, coach, and academic dean before being appointed head in 1979. In 1988, Mr. Jernberg was named head of Jackson Academy. He has served in a variety of leadership roles for MAIS, SAIS, SACS, and AdvancED, including as chair of the SAIS board and vice-chair of the SACS board. He has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Delta State University.
|William W. Jablon
Maclay School - Tallahassee, FL
Bill Jablon retired from Maclay School in 2014 after 45 years, 38 of those years as head. He began his career in 1969 as an English teacher at Maclay. In 1976 he was appointed head and since then the campus has grown from 130 students on 44 acres to 936 students on 100 acres. Mr. Jablon, who holds degrees from Boston College and Florida State University, served as board chair of both SAIS and the Florida Council of Independent Schools and also as a board member of NAIS (1990-1994).
Magnolia Heights School - Senatobia, MS
Dr. Marvin W. Lishman has served as Head of Magnolia Heights School in Senatobia, MS, since 1981, where he has guided the school’s growth to its current enrollment of over 700 students. Dr. Lishman holds an undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from Delta State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision from University of Mississippi. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Mississippi College and Delta State. Dr. Lishman has served on numerous committees and in leadership roles for SAIS, SACS, MAIS, and AdvanceEd. He has served on the SAIS Board of Trustees since 2009, and currently serves as Secretary of the Executive Committee.
Charlotte Latin School - Charlotte, NC
Dr. Edward (Ned) J. Fox, Jr., devoted 52 years to the field of K-12 independent education. He served as Head of Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC, from 1976-2001, and prior to that was Upper School Head at Collegiate School in Richmond, VA, and on staff at numerous other independent schools. He has also served as interim head at six independent schools from North Carolina to Texas to Arkansas to New Mexico.
Fox graduated from Woodberry Forest School in Woodbery Forest, VA. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in history from Rice University, his M.A.T. in English from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ed.D. in School Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He has taught seminars on independent school administration at colleges around the country, including Vanderbilt University, as well as founding the SAIS Administrative Institute in 1983 and the SAIS Institute for New Teachers in 1985.
Fox has served in leadership positions for SAIS, NAIS, NCAIS, SACS and many other civic and charitable organizations, including service on the national board of the Cum Laude Society. During his career, he participated in over 70 SACS accreditation visits and led the development of the accreditation program for SAIS.
A resolution adopted by the Collegiate School Board of Trustees in 1976 upon Fox’s departure reads, “Ned Fox is a gentleman, at home with all manner of people, equally at ease at a play, in a library, a museum, or the cheering section of a sports arena. With his sense of humor and ready repartee, he is the center of most school groups. He is not an ivory tower scholar, but respects learning as a basis for quality instruction. In establishing curriculum and programming, he has always been creative and innovative.”
He is an avid scholar of both movies and books. His favorite movie is Sahara (the Humphrey Bogart version) and his favorite book is Moby Dick.