From the Desk of the Head of School- March 25, 2022

Dear Harding Academy Learning Community,

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how much we will pack into this period between Spring Break and Graduation. It is a great celebration in so many ways. Underneath the closing of the year, we are in many ways ramping up our planning for next year and that always means we are saying goodbye to members of our community as we prepare to welcome new members soon. This year, of course, is no different. 

Retirement Looks Good on You!

Ray Berry
, 8th Grade English, will retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Ray has made an incredible impact on scores of students over her twenty years at Harding Academy. From her meticulous attention to grammar, to her undying love of nature and the leaves of the trees around on campus, to her incredibly high expectations of each and every one of her students, Ray represents all that is right about teachers. Her passion has become her students’ passion and she is responsible for kindling a love for English in many young children. It is our mission to inspire young people to be lifelong learners and Ray Berry has done this with each and every class she has ever taught. She will be missed. 

Isbel Salguiero
will be the new 8th Grade English teacher for the 2022-23 school year. Isbel will come to Harding Academy from The Biltmore School in Miami, FL where she served as a middle school English teacher, IB Coordinator and English Department Chair. Isbel has also served as Curriculum Coordinator at History Miami Museum and as a teacher in Miami-Dade County Schools. Isbel and her family are looking forward to making their home here in Nashville and at Harding Academy. 

Kent Ballow, 3rd Grade Homeroom, will retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Over nineteen years at Harding Academy, Kent has left an indelible mark on the school and in 3rd Grade. She has been instrumental in developing a robust 3rd Grade curriculum that challenged our students. Kent has also been instrumental in modeling the nurture we expect from our faculty with their students. As a parent of two Harding graduates herself, she has brought a unique perspective to how families navigate the ten most formative learning years of their lives. Furthermore, Kent has always been the first to acknowledge the great things she sees her colleagues doing around the school and relishes celebrating the accomplishments of students well past her Third Grade classroom. Finally, if you’ve never been the beneficiary of one of her homemade jams - you are definitely missing out. Kent’s nineteen years at Harding Academy have been incredible and we will miss her!

We have embarked on a national search for our new 3rd Grade Teacher

Carolee Kazmerowski
, Assistant to the Lower School Director, will retire from her position after nearly 24 years at the school. Ms. Carolee has been a fixture in the lower school. I won’t try and put a count on the number of loose teeth she has been directly responsible for keeping safe for the Tooth Fairy, or the number of hugs she has issued in consolation of our youngest students, or happy greetings she has issued in Early Care. Ms. Carolee truly loved each and every student who has walked the halls of Harding Academy and they have loved her back. This, of course, is what we are all about - creating a culture where our students feel seen, heard and that they belong. Ms. Carolee has been on the front lines of this culture work for twenty four years. However, while she is retiring from her current position, she will be back in a limited capacity next year as a part time substitute in the lower school and we are excited that she won’t be stepping away completely. 

This position will change as we move forward. We have launched a search for an Associate Lower School Director, a position that will work closely with Laura Underwood, Lower School Director, in guiding the overall operations of the division.  

Rebecca Igleheart, School Counselor, will retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Rebecca arrived on campus in August 2008 and fourteen years later, she has left an incredible legacy of care. Rebecca has connected with every student in some way - whether it be with her incredibly warm smile in the hallway as students head up to their classrooms in the morning, or as a comforting hug on a tough day. She has spent years helping our students and family develop habits and skills to navigate the ups and downs of childhood and early adulthood, as well as the roller coaster that is parenting. She has been equally impactful on her colleagues, who knew that Rebecca cared deeply for our wellness. As a school counselor she embodied our approach of challenge and nurture and we are the better for it. We wish Rebecca luck in her retirement and look forward to hearing her stories moving forward.  

We have just begun a national search for our next School Counselor focused on Grades PreK through 3rd and are excited to welcome a wonderful educator to campus next year. 

Dorian Miller
, Donor Relations and Records Manager, retired from Harding Academy in January after thirteen years at the school. The position has been revamped into the Donor Relations Manager and Parents' Association Liaison. 

Misty White
, P ‘20, ‘22, former HPA President and Art Show Chair, began in this role on March 7, 2022. We are excited to have Misty on board!

Moving Around

Bruce Melan
, Full Time Substitute, moved over from his coaching responsibilities and into the Full Time Substitute position in February and we are excited that he has been able to join the Harding Academy learning community full time. 

Searches in Progress

The Teaching Fellow position is designed as a year-long, immersive experience for recent graduates in the field of education or early career professionals who are looking to grow into a classroom teaching position, the Harding Academy Teaching Fellows program aims to provide a robust experience geared towards building capacity, confidence, and expertise in teaching. We are in the final stages of naming our 2022-23 Harding Academy Teaching Fellow. 

As you have seen from our recent announcement regarding our middle school schedule changes, we will be developing grade level teams in the middle school for the 2022-23 school year. As such, we have created two new full time teaching positions: 8th Grade Science and 7th Grade Social Studies. Both searches are national searches and we are excited to find these new teachers in the weeks to come. 

It is the season for celebration and preparation and we are excited about both in equal measure here on Windsor Drive. 

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