From the Desk of of the Head of School- August 17, 2018
Welcome back! We are incredibly excited to have everyone on campus for the start of the 2018-19 school year. Yesterday, we started the school year with 501 students from PreK through 8th grade, and of those, ninety-five were new to Harding Academy. I think it is important to acknowledge that each year about 20% of the student body is new to our learning community.
Each year, as we welcome these new students, we put the rarely quoted second paragraph of our mission into practice: “...Central to this mission is the Harding community, an inclusive group of individually valued students, engaged parents, and talented, passionate educators and staff.” As I’ve toured the classrooms these past two days it has been affirming to see each of our new students welcomed with open arms. I’ve received high fives and hugs from a number of these students and the smiles on their faces are a manifestation of our welcoming community.
Another example of our mission at work is having our 8th graders at hook up on Thursday morning welcoming our newest members to school and shepherding them to their classrooms. Next week, our middle school students will head out on their overnight retreats and the 8th grade will work together to come up with their class motto, which sets the tone for how they will lead the school. Each year, this motto has acknowledged the central tenet of Harding Academy I reference here: inclusivity.
With such a dynamic group of young people comprising the Class of 2019, I have no doubt they will lead the school in warmly welcoming all students into the Harding family.
Enjoy the weekend and rest up for the first full week!