Founding Head of Sant Bani School, Kent
Bicknell, has written an in-depth account of the school’s early years. Stepping Stones: The First
Five Years of Sant Bani School (1973-1978) examines
the school’s spiritual and educational roots and narrates its rapid growth into
a dynamic educational day program in central New Hampshire.
Along with a
description of the relation of the school to the Sant Bani Ashram, Kent
provides a link to the educational theories of the 19th century
Transcendentalists, Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts.
Contemporary newspaper articles and photographs from these years help bring the
story to life.
It is available
from Amazon, in Kindle or
of Selected Reviews
“Stepping Stones is so
engaging I finished it in one sitting. In this valuable and fascinating book
Kent Bicknell provides a snapshot of what the school and the times were like in
the early years. The book illustrates the diverse strands that went into
building the foundation of the school, which continues today.” - Russell Perkins, an independent
scholar who has written a number of books, holds an MTS from Harvard University
and taught at Sant Bani School for many years.
“Stepping Stones offers
both the early history of a unique and noteworthy school and valuable insights
in what carefully constructed education for the mind, body, and spirit can look
like… What fascinates me is the way in which SBS anticipated both what brain
science now tells us about how we learn best and what schools everywhere are
embracing in the name of 21st century education.” - Michael Brosnan is an experienced
author and editor, with a particular focus on education. From 1997 to 2017, he
was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Independent
School magazine, flagship
of the National Association of Independent Schools.
“This is a
heart-warming and inspirational tour
de force of a dream becoming a reality. The Nobel Prize
winning poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) wrote, ‘You cannot cross
the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.’ Likewise you cannot start
a school simply by hanging up your shingle and hoping someone shows up. The
Bicknells and others connected to Sant Bani Ashram did not stand and stare;
they set out to cross the sea. It may not always have been smooth sailing, but,
as this book clearly shows, from its beginning Sant Bani School has always had
a clear direction in which to sail and fierce champions to guide it on the
way.” - Rev. John R.
Fortin, O.S.B., Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College who
served for several years as superintendent of Catholic schools in NH.