Harding Academy announces James Gurchiek as superintendent, Bradley Francis high school principal

May 3, 2021 | Harding Academy |

Harding University President David Burks met with Harding Academy teachers and staff Friday to announce the hire of James Gurchiek as superintendent and Bradley Francis as high school principal. 

“The search committee and I have been very serious in our efforts to select the best people to lead Harding Academy,” said President Burks. “We prayed that God would answer our prayers, and I believe he has done just that. I have no doubt that we have found two people who will bring a Christ-centered approach and attitude to everything that they do.” 

James Gurchiek has more than 25 years experience working with Searcy Public Schools. Prior to accepting the role of superintendent, he served as the principal for McRae Elementary. Gurchiek serves on the Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, and as a Cognia State Council Member. 

“I am so thankful for this opportunity. I have been in the Academy auditorium with my kids many times over the years, never thinking that at some point I may be accepting the position as superintendent,” said Gurchiek. “The Academy’s vision is Christ-centered, and I want the teachers to know that’s my heart. When Christ came he didn’t come to rule, he didn’t come to be a king, he came to serve and that’s what I want to do for the Academy. I am humbled by their acceptance of me, and I pray that I do the things that God will lead me to do for the school.” 

Bradley Francis brings with him more than 20 years of teaching experience and 32 years of coaching. Prior to accepting the role as high school principal, he served as both teacher and head boys basketball coach at the Academy. Francis serves on the Arkansas High School Basketball Coaches Association and is a lifetime member of the Arkansas Activities Association. 

“I am excited about this new role and desire to serve the Academy in this way,” said Francis. “Recently we have gotten to see a lot of what Harding Academy is about. I am excited for many more days ahead, and I appreciate all that is done by so many at the Academy.” 

About Harding Academy

Harding Academy is a private Christian school operated by Harding University for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Harding Academy strives to be a Christ-centered school that cultivates a love for learning, while educating the heart and mind for eternity. Located in Searcy, Arkansas, the Academy is accredited by AdvanceEd (district specific), Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (ANSAA), and National Christian School Association (NCSA). For more information, visit harding.edu/academy.

About Harding University

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors; more than 50 graduate and professional programs including master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees, graduate certificates and endorsements; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit harding.edu.

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