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Five years of hard work paid off in just three days for North Hardin Christian School.
The institution received accreditation Wednesday from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The accreditation lasts five years and may be renewed after re-evaluation by association officials.
Anthony Hardin, NHCS pastor and principal, said it represents the highest academic standard as far as accreditations go.
“An accreditation is a serious evaluation of every facet of the school,” Hardin said. “It is intended to make you better. When you apply for accreditation there are different agencies. The thing that’s a big deal to us is that while we have been an accredited school, this time we applied for the highest academic (accreditation) that is available.”
The process included a three-day evaluation during which representatives from SACS visited the school and assessed it based on predetermined criteria. The evaluation ended Wednesday with an exit meeting during which the representatives explained their opinion of the school, gave recommendations and announced their congratulations.
Hardin said SACS was impressed with the operation of the institution and said the tools and technology being used was first-rate.
While a common misconception may be that the quality of Christian education is not as good as that of public education, Hardin said, that is not the case at NHCS.
“We believe that God should be first but we don’t want to give the impression that academics are taking a back seat,” Hardin said. “To the student, I think the accreditation speaks to their achievement. They’ve been working very hard and so now, on their graduation, they will graduate from a school that is identified with a very high academic standing.”
With the new accreditation, new graduates of North Hardin Christian School will have SACS’ seal on their diplomas. This will prove their qualifications for attending colleges and universities after high school. The school also receives a plaque to display the achievement and can use the new status for recruitment and promotional purposes.
NHCS has 480 students enrolled. The school projects its enrollment to be 500 or more in the next year.
“We raised the bar as we sought the highest academic standard possible,” Hardin said.
Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.