William Slater will conclude his tenure as headmaster of Hendersonville Christian Academy at the end of this school year. He has accepted a position on the newest campus in Sumner County, Welch College.
Slater has served at HCA 21 years. He and his family relocated to Tennessee from Florida to accept the position as head of school. According to Slater, several changes have taken place at HCA over the course of two decades.
"When we came to HCA in 1996 the school only served students through eighth grade," he recollected. "One of my first goals was to add a high school. We added a grade per year and graduated our first class of seniors in 2001." The school previously operated a high school, but enrollment in upper grades was halted in the early nineties, Slater explained.
According to Slater, the most important changes are academic improvements. "Though the school started in 1977, the school had never gone through the accreditation process. Early on, I challenged our team to seek accreditation. We were first accredited a year or two after I came to HCA." Slater went on to explain the school is now dually accredited by the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools and AdvancED (formerly SACS).
"Our faculty is focused on academic rigor," Slater commented. "Our students' ACT test averages continually increase year-by-year." A plaque hangs in the high school hallway with the names of seniors who have scored above 30 on the annual college entrance exam. "It is very gratifying to see our kids enjoy success in college and beyond because of the instruction they receive from our teachers," Slater shared.
"Another significant addition to our school was starting a football program," Slater added. "I will never forget the first Friday night under the lights in the fall of 2005. Being a part of bringing football to HCA was a real milestone." The Crusaders earned three state football championships in 2009, 2010, and 2011. "In addition to adding football, joining TSSAA in all other sports was a major step forward for our school. Being a part of TSSAA for the past three years has been beneficial for our student athletes," Slater said.
"One thing that hasn't changed is our commitment to Christian values," Slater interjected. "Our core values are the same today as they were forty years ago when the school was founded.
A new headmaster has been signed for the upcoming year, but school officials are waiting to make a public announcement about Slater's successor.