From the Desk of the Head of School- May 20, 2022

Dear Harding Academy Learning Community,

We just completed another fantastic Field Day. One in which students not only showed their athletic prowess, but solved puzzles, collaborated on various challenges, shared their musical talents, and cooled off with snowballs. Field Day also represents the stepping stone to the last week of the school year when we look forward to celebrating all the accomplishments of our students in 2021-22 and especially our Class of 2022. I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on some of our searches for next school year. 

  • 3rd Grade Homeroom: Haley Wagner will be our new 3rd grade teacher. Haley comes to us from Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford, DE. Prior to her time in Delaware, she was teaching on the 2nd Grade team at Kennedy Early Childhood Center in Nanticoke, PA as a Learning Support Teacher. Haley comes to Harding Academy with a B.A. in Special Education and Early Childhood Education from Bloomsburg University. 
  • Teaching Fellow: Michelle Bradshaw will be our Teaching Fellow for the 2022-23 school year. Michelle has been at the Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, CA as a Middle School Math Teaching Assistant. She comes to education after a number of years as an engineer at Intex Recreation Corporation and LSG Sky Chefs. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University and is finishing up a Master of Arts in Teaching, Mathematics Education from Western Governors University. 
  • Middle School Math: Mary Catherine Davidson will be our new middle school math teacher. Mary Catherine is a Harding graduate, Class of 2009. She has been teaching 6th grade math at Croft Middle Design Center since 2018, where she also coached volleyball, was the grade team lead, led the Mentor Program and served on a variety of committees. She graduated from Lipscomb University with a B.A. in Education and earned her Masters of Education from Vanderbilt University. We are so excited to welcome Mary Catherine back to Harding Academy as a faculty member. 
  • PreK through 3rd Grade Counselor: Jordan Yates will be our new PreK through 3rd Grade Counselor. Jordan has been the school counselor at Carter Lawrence Elementary since 2016 where she has been instrumental in supporting teachers and families in the social and emotional wellness of her students. She earned a B.A. in History with endorsements in Secondary Education and Psychology from the University of Iowa. She went on to Vanderbilt University where she earned her M.Ed. in Human Development Counseling and a certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors. We are very excited to have Jordan joining the Harding Academy learning community. 
  • Associate Lower School Director: Polly Johnson, a familiar face to most of us, will move from her current role as the 4th/5th Grade Learning Effectiveness Teacher into a new role at Harding Academy, the Associate Lower School Director, starting July 1. Polly earned the position after a search that began with more than fifty candidates from across the country and culminating in a final interview experience that had finalists meeting and discussing the role with representatives of all stakeholders at the school. Polly has been teaching at Harding Academy for twenty-four years, many of those years as a 5th grade homeroom teacher. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky and went on to Vanderbilt University, earning a Masters in Elementary Education. Recently she was nominated for and accepted to the TAIS-Vanderbilt New and Emerging Leaders Institute. We look forward to Polly’s work in this new lower school leadership role. 

We are excited to welcome our new community members, but we are also looking forward to celebrating those members of the Harding community who will retire at the end of this school year. On May 23 at 3:30 in the Henderson Theater we will celebrate the contributions of Carolee Kazmerowski, Kent Ballow, Ray Berry, and Rebecca Igleheart who have done so much to make this a school that inspires and nurtures. 

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