Harding Academy: A Short History

Harding Academy was founded in 1971 by a group of dedicated parents seeking to establish an independent school that would “provide a quality education intended to prepare its students for further study in institutions of higher learning…with appropriate time and emphasis devoted to the moral, social, and physical development of all students.”

They asked Mrs. Leora McPherson, a well-known educator in the area, to be the first head of school and bought a church at the corner of Windsor Drive and Harding Place, where Harding Academy stands today.

The school opened with grades 4–8; the following year, grades 1–3 were added. Kindergarten was added in 1982, and PreK in 2015.

By the end of Harding’s tenth year, significant renovations were complete in the main building. A permanent kindergarten building opened in the 1983–84 school year. In 1992–93, the school added a three-story science and classroom wing, providing a new home for first through fifth grades and reading, computer, and science labs.

The seven-acre Highway 70 Athletic Complex was completed in late-2008, for use by the school’s many sports teams. In 2011, the school officially opened Kever Park directly across from the main campus. The park is used daily to support school wide engagement in all disciplines.

Since 1971, Harding Academy’s student population has grown, but we remain committed to low faculty-student ratios that encourage personalized attention and instruction. We have stayed true to the founders’ intent to provide an outstanding PreK–8 education with a gifted and caring faculty, a rigorous curriculum, and diverse extracurricular offerings that encourage exploration, discovery, and growth—as an individual and member of a broader community.

List of 6 items.

  • 1971

  • 1972

    Harding Academy opens with 15 faculty and 195 students between grades 4 to 8
  • 1982

    Kindergarten added
  • 2008

    7-acre Hwy 70 Athletic Complex opens
  • 2015

    Pre-Kindergarten added
  • 2016

    David Skeen installed as seventh Head of School
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit