From the Desk of the Head of School- August 5, 2022

Dear Harding Academy Learning Community,

Last I communicated, we were celebrating the Class of 2022 and their legacy at Harding Academy. Soon, we will welcome the Class of 2023 as our new school leaders and embark on another educational journey on Windsor Drive. We are excited to see you all soon. There will be a lot of information coming your way over these next twelve days leading to the first full day of school on Wednesday, August 17, but I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to new members of our faculty and staff who will be starting alongside the 83 new students on campus. 

  • Earlier this summer, Jen Belcher decided to take on a new role at a start-up company, and while we wish her luck, we are excited to announce that Carly Barringer, our Teaching Fellow from 2021-22 will be taking over as our 5th Grade Writing & Grammar teacher. Last year Carly spent most of her time working with the 4th and 5th grade teams in co-teaching situations, as well as developing curriculum and instruction for a variety of small group opportunities. Carly holds a BA in Education from The University of Mississippi with a certification in K-6th Elementary Education with a concentration in  English and Social Studies. 

  • As you will remember, we have added two positions in the middle school in order to create grade level teams in our CORE courses. This is in preparation for our new middle school schedule which will go into effect in the 2023-24 school year. You can read more from our announcement HERE

    • Shelley Jenkins will be our new 8th Grade Science teacher. She comes to Harding from Thurman Francis Arts Academy where she has been teaching science since 2011. Shelley was curriculum lead and creator for 6th and 7th grade, acted as teacher mentor, and sponsored or coached a multitude of teams/clubs including dance, cheerleading, science, cross-country, and yearbook. Shelley holds a BA in Health Science and a MA in Teaching from Lee University. 

    • Kenneth Stephens will be our new 7th Grade Social Studies teacher. Kenneth comes to us from Hall-Jackson Montessori, where he has been teaching 4th and 5th grade for the last two years. Prior to Hall-Jackson, Kenneth was a 6th grade teacher at Christ the King. Kenneth earned a BS in Middle Grades Education from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and a MA in Educational Leadership from Trevecca University. 

  • 1st Grade teacher Natalie Sharpstone gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on July 14 and will start the school year on maternity leave. We are excited to welcome Sara Danielson as our 1st Grade long term substitute teacher. Sara has recently moved to Nashville from Santa Barbara, California where she taught 1st Grade. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts for Education, Psychology from Pepperdine University. When Natalie returns, Sara will stay on as a long term substitute focused in the lower school. 

  • Lauren Wheelock will take over as our new 4th/5th Grade Learning Effectiveness Teacher. Lauren comes to us from St. Bernard Academy where she was a 4th and 5th grade teacher focused on English Language Arts and Social Studies. Prior to that she was a 4th Grade teacher at Waverly Belmont and a 5th Grade English Language Arts teacher at Concord Elementary School in Paducah, Kentucky. Lauren holds a BA in Education from the University of Alabama. 

  • Ashanti Charles, our PreK Teacher, has moved to Utah with her new husband for his work. We are excited to announce that Bruce Melan has taken the PreK Teacher position. Bruce came on full time last year as our full time substitute teacher after spending the previous two years coachingGotcha football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse here at Harding Academy. He has a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee. 

  • Finally, on May 20, 2022, I introduced a number of new faculty and you can find those descriptions on our website under News. They are: 
    • Isbel Salgueiro, 8th Grade English
    • Haley Wagner, 3rd Grade teacher
    • Michelle Bradshaw, Teaching Fellow
    • Mary Catherine Davidson, Middle School Math
    • Jordan Yates, PreK through 3rd Grade Counselor
    • Polly Johnson, Associate Lower School Director

Please stay tuned for information coming from the school around the start of our new school year, but in the meantime, please soak up all the summer fun you can.
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit