Head of School

Dr. Jim Newman

Words from Dr. Jim Newman

Harrisburg Academy is a wonderful arena for learning, and I am so proud to have the privilege to lead this 235-year-old institution.

The Academy’s numerous unique advantages inspire children in a fundamentally different way to grow, think critically, and treat one another in a caring manner.  Our faculty provides dynamic, collaborative learning opportunities that promote discovery, creativity, and innovation, while providing the one-on-one attention necessary to ensure the success of each student.

At the center of the Academy experience is its parent-school partnership.  We partner consistently with every family in our diverse and globalized Academy community.  The student outcomes we measure demonstrate the success of our approach.  Our students learn and grow as we ignite a passion for learning that enables each of them to reach his or her full potential, develop a strong sense of integrity, and seek to better our local and global communities. 

Perhaps the greatest testament to our parent-school partnership is our alumni.  They are living proof of the power of the educational journey that is Harrisburg Academy and its countless advantages experienced through their connection with our school.  Although our alumni have since left our campus, they carry the spirit of the Academy and its essence at their core, across the globe, in all they do.  Our graduates are remarkable people, in part, because of the Academy’s role in their growth.

I invite you to discover the unique advantage that is Harrisburg Academy.  Walk through our doorway into an extraordinary world of learning for your own children.  We can’t wait to see where their educational journeys take them.


Dr. Jim Newman, Ph.D., has served as Harrisburg Academy's head of school since 2003.  During his tenure, Jim has developed strong and effective partnerships with the Board of Trustees, faculty, parents, students, and local business leaders.  Under his leadership, the Academy has become a learning community bonded by its support for high-quality teaching and learning, and dedicated to preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century.  Jim’s global vision has helped make Harrisburg Academy a globally focused school and one with a school-wide curriculum that underscores global understanding -- including the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma program for Upper School students.  Jim has instituted a strong faculty professional development program and most recently, a focus on experiential learning as promoted by the new Centers for Experiential Learning & Innovation.

Before joining the Academy, Jim was an associate dean at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.  He held similar administrative positions at the University of Rochester for 12 years.  He has several years of classroom experience teaching grade 1-12 classes, as well as teaching at the University of Rochester and Hobart & William Smith Colleges.  Within the independent and private school community, specifically, Jim has served as a trustee of The Harley School in Rochester and is a graduate of Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania.  Currently, Jim is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools's Commission for Accreditation.

Jim earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester in 1988, a master's degree in education/curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin in 1975, and a bachelor's degree in history, magna cum laude, from Bowdoin College in 1972. 

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