Dear Harding Academy Community,
This past weekend, we spent time together celebrating an important moment in our school’s history: fifty years as a learning community. You are all reading this because one way or the other we found ourselves a part of this school that is Harding Academy. For fifty years, families have identified with this place, these people, because somehow we all know our children will be so much better for it.
We are a K-8 school. We have - from Ms McPherson on - been very intentional about that. Ages 4-14 are the ten most formative learning years of a child’s life and the incredible faculty who have paved the way made that fundamental understanding a cornerstone of how we do what we do.
Along the way, it became clear that these are also the ten most formative parenting years of our lives. The balanced approach to challenge and nurture not only held true for our children in their academics and activities but for us as parents as well. Just as our children (and in some cases their children) formed lifelong friendships, so too have we.
I’m convinced it is this bond - germinated amongst the founders of our school and blossoming ever since - that we all find so special about this place.
This year, and Saturday evening in particular, is a celebration of that bond and the through-line of it from 1971 to this evening. We stand on the shoulders of our founders, of countless incredibly hardworking and talented faculty and staff, selfless and caring trustees, tireless auxiliary presidents, Harding Parents Association presidents, Art Show chairs and volunteers. We stand on the shoulders of student body presidents and team captains, of team managers and stage set designers, of budding scientists and writers. We stand on the shoulders of band directors, theatre directors, coaches and mentors, on the shoulders of trip leaders and advisors, nurses and counselors and friends. We stand on the shoulders of each and every member of our community whose contribution has meant we can be in a place like this at a time like now celebrating an amazing feat - fifty years of excellence in education in Nashville at Harding Academy.
As you might expect there are many people to thank for helping us get ready for a night like this. First, I’d like to thank our event chairs, Elisa Vazzana, Coady Rapp, Amanda Hardin, Louise Alexander, and our HPA president, Kristen Holscher. Second, I’d like to thank the incredible performers who shared their immense talent with us, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, Karen Fairchild, Ronnie Dunn and Ian Miller. Third, I’d like to thank the following individuals for making the evening so special for all involved, Hayden Fulmer, Rachel Pritchett, Grace Clayton, Katy’s Hallmark, Balloons and Confetti, and Amy and Kenneth Adams.
I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful school community. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.