Harding Academy (Searcy, Arkansas)

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Harding Academy
1529 East Park Avenue
Searcy, AR
Coordinates 35°14′45.9″N 91°43′12.3″W / 35.246083°N 91.720083°W / 35.246083; -91.720083Coordinates: 35°14′45.9″N 91°43′12.3″W / 35.246083°N 91.720083°W / 35.246083; -91.720083
Type Private
Motto "High Quality Academic Education in a Christian Environment."
Established 1924 (1924)
Headmaster Mr. James Simmons
Staff 61
Grades K-12
Number of students 687
Color(s) Red and White
Athletics conference Class 3A
Nickname Wildcats
Affiliations Church of Christ, Harding University

Harding Academy is a K-12 private school in Searcy, Arkansas. It is affiliated with Harding University. Like that institution, it is associated with the Churches of Christ and named in honor of an early minister of that fellowship, James A. Harding.

  • James Simmons is the current headmaster.
  • Dr. Darren Matthews is the High School Principal
  • Bode Teague is the Elementary Principal

Student life[edit]

Harding Academy is accredited by the National Christian School Association. Many students take Advanced Placement (AP) courses and successfully gain college credit while still enrolled in high school.

The Harding Academy choral program has received high rankings at competitions, performing concerts and going on tours periodically. Several members of the chorus have performed at Carnegie Hall. The choral director, Craig Jones, won the National Christian School Association Teacher of the Year award for 2010. [2]

Other activities include Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl (AGQBA), band, drum corps, National Beta Club, art club, history club, chess club, key club, and drama, along with 2 FLL (Mindsweepers and Outlaws) and 1 FRC Robotics program (Team 3937 Breakaway), that was named Rookie All-Star at the 2012 Louisiana Bayou Regional competition. Team Breakaway won the 2014 Arkansas and Louisiana Bayou Regional as well as the 2015 Louisiana Bayou Regional. The team's director received the Woodie Flowers Award at the 2016 Arkansas Regional. The Harding Academy Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) have competed locally, statewide, and on the national level. In 2007, student Conor Kirkman[1] won second place in the Arkansas state FBLA competition in the Technology Concepts category, and first place at the national FBLA competition in the same category.[2]

Every school day the students and faculty meet for chapel followed by a 45-minute bible study period that all students grades 7-12 attend. The school also participates in various community events including hosting the Wildcat Road Mile, Micah Rine 5k, and the Breakaway 10k.


Harding Academy's mascot is the wildcat, and the school colors are red and white.

For 2012–14, the Harding Academy Wildcats participate in the 3A Classification and 3A Region 2 Conference as sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association. Boys may participate in these sports:

  • Football: Harding Academy football won its first 3A Classification football state championship in 2012 with a 49–45 win over Glen Rose. They have previously won championships in 1976, 1977, 1983, and 2002.[3] The junior high football team had an undefeated season in 2007.[citation needed] They again had an undefeated season in 2012. In 2015, the Wildcats won their 6th State Championship.
  • Cross country running
  • Basketball: The boys basketball team won the 3A classification state basketball championship in 2013.
  • Tennis: The boys tennis teams have won three state championships (1974, 1984, 1986).
  • Baseball: After just a few seasons the baseball team won the Arkansas AAA State Championship in 2008, the first time the school has won a state title in baseball (Bagley). They then followed with another championship in 2013. [3]
  • Track
  • Archery

Girls may participate in these sports:

  • Volleyball: The volleyball team won a state volleyball championship in 2011.
  • Basketball
  • Track: Won three consecutive state championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013.[citation needed]
  • Cross country running: The girls cross country teams are 5-time state cross country champions (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2011).
  • Tennis: (state doubles winner and overall state runners-up in 2012) [4]
  • Softball:
  • Cheerleading


Harding Academy prides itself in offering a high quality education, by offering a wide variety of AP and Honors classes. The school also requires all students (grades 7-12) to take a Bible class; during these Bible classes the students are offered memorization work, and also a broader perspective on various topics of Christianity and the Bible. Harding Academy has continuously scored well above the state average on ACT scores. All classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art Smart Board technology, which enables teachers to offer a wide array of educational experiences. In 2016, Harding Academy launched a Google Chromebook program, to further increase technology in the classroom.

Students who maintain a 95% throughout the school year are honored at the annual Circle of Excellence ceremony.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Taken from the 2007 Arkansas FBLA results (see 'Technology Concepts') http://www.arfbla.org/Winners%20list.doc
  2. ^ Hambrick, Pat. "Best in the Nation." 14 July 2007 The Daily Citizen (Searcy). Online Edition. [1] accessed 15 July 2007.
  3. ^ "Playoffs 2012" (PDF). Arkansas Activities Association. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.thedailycitizen.com/articles/2012/11/02/sports/local_sports/doc509452f8547cb052528604.txt
  • Anon. "Jordan Simpson." The Daily Citizen (Searcy). Online Edition. Education Section. May 31, 2008. Accessed June 1, 2008. [4]
  • Bagley, Quinton. "WILDCATS WIN!" The Daily Citizen (Searcy). Online Edition. Sports Section. May 17, 2008. Accessed May 28, 2008. (Report about H.A. the State Championship in baseball, filed from Fayetteville, AR, where the state finals were held.)

External links[edit]