From the Desk of the Head of School- May 14, 2021

Dear Parents,

It has been quite a week. As I said last week, we will be communicating around changes for next year in the summer. We are excited that the opportunity for vaccinating adults and children ages 12 and up against COVID-19 have opened up and what that will mean for attaining “normal” again, but I wanted to reiterate that we will maintain our basic mitigation protocols, including masks, through the end of the year (8.5 days). Again, all signs point to next year being much more normal operationally and that is a really wonderful thing to be able to say!

As we look to next year, it is natural that we have some staffing announcements to make. 

  • Dr. Suzanne Nave: Suzanne has accepted the position of Director of Curriculum Design and Development for To Move Mountains.  This is a nonprofit organization that took her on as Chief Advisor for Curriculum Design (a consultant role) this year and allowed her the opportunity to co-design and collaboratively lead an educational conference in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan in January and to engage with the organization’s teachers in training who currently live in Uganda. We are excited for Suzanne to take this next step in her educational journey and wish her all the luck in the world. 
  • Natalie Marty: Natalie and her family will be moving back home to Tullahoma, TN this month. We are currently launching a search for her replacement in the role of Alumni Relations and Major Gifts Manager. We thank Natalie for her dedication to Harding Academy and wish her luck. 
  • Eddie Jones retired on April 16 after sixteen years at Harding. Eddie worked in our maintenance department as someone who could do anything and everything. During COVID-19 he adjusted his hours to manage his exposure, so we have not seen him on campus, but he will be greatly missed. 
  • Rachel Green has already begun her new role at her church as the Assistant Director of Youth Services, but will finish out her role here as Assistant Director of Pursuit through the end of the school year. We wish her well and she will be missed. 
  • Mike Dabrowiak who was our Director of Facilities and Transportation took on a similar role at Ensworth at the high school campus and left in December 2020.
Internal Moves and Job Changes
  • Polly Johnson: Polly will move into the role of the 4th and 5th grade Learning Effectiveness Teacher, which Suzanne is leaving. Polly has a deep familiarity with the role and a keen sense of the needs for the 4th and 5th grade teams which she has worked closely with for over twenty years here at Harding Academy. 
  • Mark Jones: Mark will move out of the PreK and take on a revised role as Director of Auxiliary Activities. In this new position, Mark will continue to direct Pursuit, but also take on all after school activities, as well as be the contact person for any community members who wish to use our facilities for events, etc. 
Searches and New Hires
  • 5th Grade Reading Teacher: Since Polly will move into the Learning Effectiveness role in 4th and 5th grades, we have launched a search for a 5th Grade Reading Teacher. If you know of anyone who is interested you can send them HERE to apply. 
  • Teacher Fellow: This past school year we created two Teacher Fellow positions to help us with our bimodal model of learning. This upcoming year, we will transform this position to be one that supports an early career educator in learning how to best support students, a classroom, and themselves as an educator. Under the guidance of Dr. Eric Fecht, Director of Teaching and Learning, this person will also engage in action research and have regular coaching and PD sessions.
  • Director of Facilities and Transportation: Kareem Thompson began in this role in April. Most recently Kareem was a Facility Manager for School Facility Management here in Nashville. Prior to his time there, he was the Move Manager, Project Assistant at Wayne State University. We are excited for Kareem to join our community and we are sure you will see him around campus next year. 
  • Director of Community Engagement: We have three finalists:
    • Jasmin Hopkins: Jasmin is currently a Second Grade teacher here at Harding Academy. Prior to joining us she served as the Dean of Culture, School Health & Safety Coordinator, and School/Community Liaison for LEAD Public Schools. She began her career in education in Metro Nashville Public Schools serving in multiple roles including classroom teacher, Grade Level Chairperson, Department Chairperson, and Middle School Behavior Interventionist. Jasmin holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Fisk University and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Fisk University. You can see her resume HERE
    • Jonathan Holmes: Jonathan has recently moved to Nashville from Chicago and is currently the Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Prior to joining the United Way, Jonathan was the Manager of the Race and Equity Initiative at the Chicago Urban League. He began his work in the community as a Policy Specialist for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Abilene Christian University and Master of Arts in Social Work from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at University of Chicago. You can see his resume HERE
    • Hadley Zeavin: Hadley is currently the Director of Service Learning and Experiential Education at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego. Prior to her time at La Jolla Country Day School, Hadley was the Assistant Director of Women’s Basketball Operations at the University of Virginia and Director of Women’s Basketball Operations at George Washington University. Hadley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Arts in Sports & Exercise Management from The Ohio State University and has completed coursework in the Department of Education Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. You can see her resume HERE

Have a great weekend!
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit