The Jackson County Board of Education unanimously approved Josh Harding as the principal at North Jackson High School. Harding was the assistant principal at North Jackson for two years. He graduated from North Jackson in 2003, and his father, Ken, was the principal at North Jackson from 1989 until 2003.
“(North Jackson) is the only place that I’ve really ever wanted to work,” said Harding.
He said the feeling was surreal because he spent his entire childhood at the school. Harding said that he would go to work with his dad during the summer and buff floors or pick weeds out of flower beds. He spent nearly 20 years of his life at North Jackson, either working for free as a kid, as a student, or as a teacher.
“No one will ever care about North Jackson as much as I do,” said Harding. “I love this place. I love the community.”
Harding called the principal job at North Jackson High School his dream job. He said that he wanted to make his mark and be a positive influence in the community. Harding said that he will have to find his niche and what he can do best to help the school. Harding credited Rob Paradise, Shane Small and Sam Houston for being great administrators and great influences in his career. He said that he would be able to call them anytime if he needs help and advice.
“It makes the transition easier when you know that you have those people to lean on,” said Harding.
Harding said that his plan is to “hang on and finish out the rest of this year.” He said this is a bust time of the year with ACT testing, math tournament, AP exams, and graduation. Harding said that he is excited to get to work at North Jackson.
“I want to see us succeed in the classroom just like I want us to succeed on the field,” said Harding.
County School Superintendent Kevin Dukes had high praise for Harding.
“Josh Harding is an enthusiastic young leader that has been invested in North Jackson High School. He has a great relationship with the students and the community,” said Dukes. “North Jackson will thrive under his leadership.”