Dr. David Fincher, the second President of Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC), has announced that at the close of this historic 50th anniversary year, he will be stepping away from the school presidency effective July 1, 2018.
Dr. Fincher has spent his entire career at GAC. He arrived at the school in 1972 as a 21 year-old teacher and has been instructing, leading, and encouraging ever since. On August 15, the GACS Board of Trustees Chair Fernando Nasmyth wrote to the school community to announce that after serving as President for two decades, Fincher will move into a Chancellor role at the close of the 2017-18 school year, overseeing specific projects for the Board, offering advisement, and advancing some key initiatives of the strategic plan.
Nasmyth expressed appreciation to Fincher for his visionary efforts, resulting in tremendous growth in enrollment and campus facilities. GAC has emerged as one of the first schools nationally to launch global missions, and an early adoption of 1-to-1 technology for students. During Fincher’s tenure, the school’s 88-acre campus has progressed to encompass more than 25 innovative learning centers, premier arts venues, and first-rate athletic facilities. Recent projects include major expansion of the visual and performing arts program across three venues and a complete renovation of the middle school and high school facilities to advance collaborative and project-based learning. GAC has also grown in long-term financial sustainability in Christian education, with growth of endowment and support from the community. The school is also deeply connected to the metro Atlanta community in dozens of service and partnership projects.
In a letter to the GAC family, Fincher expressed appreciation saying, “All my life, I have been grateful to God for the chance to share in both the teaching and vision-casting for what an amazing Christian school could be.”
Said Nasmyth, “More than two years ago, David encouraged the Board to prayerfully prepare for inevitable transition. The Board Search Committee set about the vital task of identifying Fincher’s successor in early 2016, with a commitment to a thorough and detailed process and nationwide search. We interviewed superb candidates: leaders in higher education, K-12 Christian schools, and the nonprofit and business sectors.”
Nasmyth reports the Board has selected GAC’s current Academic Vice President Scott Harsh to succeed Fincher. Harsh has served the school for 21 years as teacher, principal, and in other key leadership roles. “Scott has worked tirelessly for GAC’s mission and has been the force behind many of GAC’s innovative initiatives. His wife, Teresa, and their children are already loved throughout the GAC family. The Board found Scott’s godly spirit and humility powerful attributes: he is ready to listen, grow, and advance GAC at the threshold of her second 50 years.”
Harsh, 46, taught public school in Memphis before coming to GAC. He sits on the board of the National Christian School Association and is completing his doctorate in Organizational Theory from Abilene Christian University. He follows Fincher and GAC’s founding President, Jesse Long, who served in the role before the school opened its doors in 1967 until 1998.