Sant Bani Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

SANBORNTON – 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.

In addition to his 44 years as Head of Sant Bani School, Bicknell has served on the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education’s Non-Public School Advisory Council since 1975, on the Board of Trustees of the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England from 2005-2015, and as a commissioner with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges from 2003-2010. He has advised schools in Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Canada, Guatemala, India and the United States.

About Sant Bani School

Sant Bani, founded in 1973, is a vibrant independent PK-8 school located five minutes from Exit 22 on I-93. Students graduate with confidence and a passion for learning, prepared to succeed in high school.

About AERO

The Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) was founded in 1989 by Jerry Mintz. AERO is the primary hub of communications and support for educational alternatives around the world; its mission is to help create an education revolution to make learner-centered education available to everyone. Learn more at

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