School Leader - Renaissance Collegiate Academy

SCHOOL LEADER

Hugh J. Harmon, M.A.T., M.Lit.Ed., M.Th.

FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Hugh J. Harmon, M.A.T, M. Lit. Ed., M. Th., brings 21 years of experience in public education to the task of founding and establishing Renaissance Collegiate Academy. A line of poetry that epitomizes Mr. Harmon’s desire and foci in establishing this school of educational and academic excellence is from T.S. Eliot’s Little Giddings, it says, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” His 21 years in education started as a high school science teacher at his alma mater, Boys and Girls High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York.

Mr. Harmon from high school to middle and eventually to elementary where he has made his greatest impact. He recalls that back in 2006 while pursuing his first Masters’ Degree in Literacy Education and while working full-time as a 5th grade teacher he happened upon the formal definition of what he had been witnessing for almost ten years in classrooms-the African American male achievement gap. The gap suggests that black males and unfortunately as of late their female counterparts when given the same educational and economic resources as their peers of other races, were likely to fall short of their peers in virtually every measure of academic success.

That exploration into the bowels of public education

Mr. Harmon from high school to middle and eventually to elementary where he has made his greatest impact. He recalls that back in 2006 while pursuing his first Masters’ Degree in Literacy Education and while working full-time as a 5th grade teacher he happened upon the formal definition of what he had been witnessing for almost ten years in classrooms-the African American male achievement gap. The gap suggests that black males and unfortunately as of late their female counterparts when given the same educational and economic resources as their peers of other races, were likely to fall short of their peers in virtually every measure of academic success.

The statistics said that Black males were more likely to attend schools that are under-resourced, and that are performing poorly. From 2006 on his personal goal as an educator has been to research and develop practical, inspiration and viable strategies to get Black males on the pathway to college matriculation. The statistics additional say that Black males are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their white peers, therefore missing valuable instructional time. It’s been his personal crusade to develop disciplinary cultures in the school that he has served that are culturally sensitive both socially and academically and utilizing a restorative justice approach to keep black males productively engaged in the learning environment. That statistics also add that black males are 2.5 times less likely to be enrolled in gifted and talented programs even if their prior achievements reflect the ability to succeed. From 2006 to present he sought to immerse himself in gaining a gifted and talented endorsement addition his educator’s license so that he could be a black male representative trained to instruct students of color who demonstrated this aptitude.

Leveling The Educational Spectrum for collegiate conversion

It is with this background and these philosophical underpinnings that Hugh Harmon has founded and established Renaissance Collegiate Academy. It is to ensure that success academically is available and possible for all students regardless of race or socioeconomic status. At RCA, excellence is a requirement. He believes that educator quality and expertise in regard to content knowledge, pedagogy and cultural and social responsiveness to students is the number one factor in student success. He also holds to the tenet that family and community engagement is vital to the continuous support of academic achievement. In his 5 years out of the classroom as a direct instructional leader to that of a school administrator Hugh has spent most his time creating school cultures and climates that foster exemplary student work. He’s been proactive in considering the cultural and social needs of students and their families, and he has worked diligently to ensure that effective educational environments are those that are fostered in the context of an engaged teaching and learning community.

Community Leaders that engage our next generation

Outside of his educational responsibilities Hugh J. Harmon serves as the Founder and Senior Pastor of Love Fellowship Kingdom Restoration Tabernacle, Columbia, SC, fondly known as The Kingdom Church: LFKRT. This career educator, licensed school administrator and school leader also serves as an at-risk youth activist, publicist, publisher, author, motivational speaker, husband and a father of two. Pastor Harmon is a small business owner in the northeast community where he runs a short-run book publishing company, Kingdom Book & Gift LLC. He’s a parent of two charming, engaging and intelligent young ladies, one is 8th grader in Richland School District Two, and the other is a sophomore at University of NC at Greensboro. He is the spouse of a fellow educator Alison Harmon. He sits on a number of boards of directors—he is the current Chairman of the Renaissance Collegiate Academy-a K-8 college preparatory charter school, he is Board Member of the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Speak Up, Speak Now: Youth and Family Services Inc., and Family Promise of the Midlands Inc., among others.

CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, BROKEN JUST TO BE MADE NEW, and PROTECTING THE SEED.

Pastor Harmon has authored over 12 books with topics from educational reform to hope and inspiration in trying times. His titles include CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, BROKEN JUST TO BE MADE NEW, and PROTECTING THE SEED. His motto is that “great opportunities to transform the world are few and far between for the ordinary man, but small opportunities to contribute to extraordinary change and impact in the individual and a few are always before us.” Pastor Harmon spends his time mentoring young people, lecturing and training others on how to create impactful relationships with the next generation.

Hugh J. Harmon