From the Desk of of the Head of School- May 18, 2018
As we enter our last week together, I wanted to take a moment to update you on some changes to our faculty and staff for the 2018-2019 school year.
Internal Moves and Job Changes
Betsy Pylkas has moved over to the Middle School as the Middle School Administrative Assistant. Betsy has brought so much passion to her various roles at Harding Academy and has such rich experience serving the school in so many different ways. While we miss her being everywhere and doing everything, we are excited that she can focus on this one role and share her welcoming and warm personality with middle school colleagues, students, and parents.
Betsy’s position as computer instructor has been rolled into Andrew Ballow’s new role as Technology Integration Specialist. In his new role, Andrew will work closely with Matt Powers, Laura Underwood, Jay Codispoti and teachers in training for integrating technology skills and tools into the curriculum by finding, recommending, and sometimes creating technology for classrooms and learning paths. He will also continue to support the school over the summer as we transition our laptops and iPads to the next school year.
Stephanie Bacon will be taking on an expanded role beginning this summer as the School Receptionist and Registrar. As Registrar, Stephanie will serve as the point person on CompassNet (CORE, OnCampus, and OnRecord), and support Division Directors, Assistants to the Division Directors, and faculty and staff on utilizing this resource to its fullest extent.
Kristen Dixon will take on a new role of Kindergarten Reading and Math Specialist next year, which expands our Learning Effectiveness Team to include representatives from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Courtney Mankin will move from the Library Assistant position to Kindergarten Assistant, so that we can continue to offer an incredibly high-touch and personal approach to teaching our Kindergarten students.
Searches and New Hires
Amy Gartenberg has been hired as a School Counselor. Amy will arrive in Nashville from Los Angeles in July after she finishes up her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science from Indiana University and a Teaching Certificate from the state of Indiana. Prior to pursuing her passion for counseling, Amy taught fourth and fifth grade at Westland Elementary in Los Angeles. Amy has served as Counseling Intern at Los Angeles High School of the Arts and Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School. We are excited to welcome Amy to the Harding Academy family.
Colleen Jones is our new Middle School Math teacher, taking over for Mary Prue Alley who will retire at the end of the school year. Colleen was the Assistant Middle School Director and Middle School Math Teacher at Currey Ingram. A native Nashvillian, Colleen graduated from Harpeth Hall and went onto Vanderbilt University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering. Her husband Warner attended Harding Academy and, along with their two children, live in Belle Meade Links.
We hired Lauren Prince as our new Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Having grown up in Memphis, Lauren went on to the University of Tennessee where she graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Political Science and minor in Business Administration. She comes to us from D1 Sports Training in Franklin where she was the Marketing and Sales Operations Manager. We are very excited to welcome her to Harding Academy.
Allison Bodzy has decided to spend more time at home with her family and will not be returning to Harding Academy. Allison has done a tremendous amount to serve the school as its first nurse, including drafting and updating critical protocols, providing student, faculty, and staff training, establishing the nurse’s office, and providing a comforting place for children. We are in the midst of a search and hope to identify someone very soon.
Rose Thompson, who has been at Harding for three years leading the advanced strings ensemble for K-8 students, and who instructed our first 5th Grade Strings course this year, has to leave to fulfill the final requirements for her Master’s Degree at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.
At Harding Academy, our faculty and staff are the key to making sure our students grow into the self-disciplined, responsible, caring citizens for which our mission calls. They are perceptive, intentional, and fully engaged. As our new faculty and staff arrive on campus and begin to immerse themselves in our culture, I am confident they will help us grow as a learning community as we will help them grow in the craft and calling of education.