The Founding Head of Sant Bani School, Dr. Kent Bicknell, received a lifetime achievement award “for Pioneering Work in Educational Alternatives” from the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) at a conference held in Portland, Oregon, in June. Invited to give a TED-type presentation, Bicknell delivered, “Meandering Brooks: Henry Thoreau and Asian Spiritual Teachings in Support of Progressive Education,” an area of independent scholarship he has published articles on, and connected to the educational philosophy of Sant Bani School. His recent book, Stepping Stones: The First Five Years of Sant Bani School (1973-1978), was very well-received at the conference.
Bicknell helped found Sant Bani School in 1973, serving as its Head until 2017. From the initial six students spanning grades 1-7 in the first year, the school grew rapidly and operated as a K-12 for many years. Now a PK-8 school with over 160 students enrolled, Sant Bani’s focus has always been to provide a high-level, comprehensive educational experience while also recognizing the value of the spirit and the unique gifts each member of the school community brings.