Announcing the Harding Academy Head of School Transition Committee

Dear Harding Academy Community:
What an exciting season this is on Windsor Drive. Flowers are in bloom, spring break is near, and we congratulate our 8th graders as they finalize their high school admissions decisions. 

This spring, we also embrace the opportunity to celebrate Dave Skeen and the legacy he leaves us while welcoming Mike Walker, our incoming Head of School, as he and his wife, Wendy, immerse themselves into our community.
Mike Walker begins as Head of School at Harding Academy July 1st, and the necessary steps to ensure a successful transition of leadership have already begun. Dave and Mike are in regular communication in support of operational continuity. Throughout the spring, Mike will engage in conversations with members of the Harding Academy leadership team and faculty to ensure an efficient programmatic start and deepen his awareness of our culture and context. Representatives of every Board committee are presently meeting with Mike to discuss goals and priorities aligned with our strategic plan and Building the Future capital campaign.
The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees has named a transition committee that will support Mike, Dave, our faculty, our staff, our students, our families, and our community partners during this time of leadership change. 
Members of Head of School Transition Committee are:

  • Erin Anderson – Assistant to the Head of School
  • Shaila Bannock – President-Elect, Harding Parents Association
  • Joren Erickson – 1st grade faculty
  • Ben Heavrin (Committee Co-Chair) – member, Board of Trustees
  • Jennifer Kyle – grandparent; parent of alumni; past Trustee
  • Ruthie Lowney – Director of Advancement and Marketing
  • Jake Madden – middle school math faculty
  • Patrick Schuermann (Committee Co-Chair) – member, Board of Trustees
  • Meredith Thompson – President, Board of Trustees
The Transition Committee’s charge includes the following:
  • Celebrating Dave Skeen and the Skeen family
  • Thoughtfully transferring operational and strategic information to Mike from Dave, the Board, Harding leadership, faculty, staff, and community stakeholders
  • Supporting Mike and Wendy as they relocate to Nashville
  • Providing relationship-building opportunities for Mike across our community
  • Onboarding Mike while simultaneously setting goals for his first year
  • Communicating details about the transition process to our community
We are confident that this transition will be a smooth and successful one – one that will enable us to build momentum for the year ahead and catalyze our growth. We acknowledge the support required from each of you to make this season the best it can be. Towards that end, we welcome your participation. Please reach out to the members of the Transition Committee directly with your feedback or provide your comments and suggestions at the following email address:
Be on the lookout for communications this spring on the ways we will celebrate Dave and the Skeen family. Please also watch for opportunities to join in welcoming Mike and Wendy to Harding throughout the upcoming year. For example, Mike will be holding Coffee Talks and hosting Office Hour Conversations throughout the summer and fall as a way to engage with all of us. In the near term, Mike will be on campus March 30th and 31st for leadership meetings. He and Wendy will return for the Harding Art Show. Please plan on attending May 4th - 6th! 
Thank you for your partnership and your support as we collectively work to ensure an effective and exciting transition process for our entire Harding Academy Community. 
Ben Heavrin
Patrick Schuermann
Co-chairs, Head of School Transition Committee
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit