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Searcy Schools: Investing in the Community

3 min read

Searcy Public School District

Fresh off the buzz of opening the multipurpose Lion Arena last year, the Searcy Public School District is positioning the community for future success on several fronts.

The high school arena is considered a game changer – at nearly 100,000-square feet and capacity for 3,400 – that opens up opportunities to host large basketball and volleyball tournaments.

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Built for a reported $26 million and designed by Cromwell Architects Engineers, the arena seats 2,800 spectators and can fit another 600 students and faculty with floor seating. Features include a golf practice room, hospitality room with a kitchen, cheer/dance room, and  a modern weight room with programmable lighting and sound system.

The designers say certain features recognize the school’s rich history while leaning into its future – such as prominent graphics of the school logo and mascot, large-scale sculptural logos, honor walls celebrating sporting and academic achievements, and historical photo montages.

Two recent accomplishments add to Searcy schools’ winning ways. The Lady Lions are fresh off winning a state championship in wrestling. And the Searcy band squad took home several awards in the 2023 MidSouth Marching Classic in Jonesboro, including the 1st Division Band award and second-place overall.

Another highlight for the district is the Searcy High’s Lion TV, which has over 2.3 million subscribers on its YouTube channel. The student-run channel features livestreams of athletic events, as well as student-produced shows with features, weather and student spotlights. Showing that school officials are thinking about education differently, a nonprofit initiative called EAST supports student-driven community service using teamwork and technology. It all fits together for an immersive student experience for the growth and development of the Searcy community.


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A Leader in Robotics

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For a city of its size, Searcy is a leader in the state of Arkansas with its robotics programs in the schools.

Between seven and nine robotic events of different scope take place each year, and Searcy most notably hosts the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition with around 30 teams participating from seven states.

The city boasts five school-based robotics teams:

  • Crosspointe Preparatory School
  • Harding Junior High School
  • Harding Academy High School Team
  • Searcy High School
  • Southwest Middle School

The robotics programs and STEM education efforts in the city have not escaped the attention of the business community. Many local businesses such as Bryce Corporation, Matthews International and Danfoss rely on automation and robotics, and these efforts help supply a skilled future workforce.


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Harding Academy

At the private pre-K through 12th-grade Harding Academy, students each year are developed through new academic challenges, multiple service projects, and extracurricular activities.

Harding Academy theatre production (Provided)

Partnering with parents since 1924, officials say the Harding student experience is designed to provide a faith-based education that extends beyond academics through spiritual development, sportsmanship, fine arts and technology. Accredited by the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Agency and the National Christian School Association, school programs grow and prepare students academically, while faculty and staff say they encourage them to express their talents and gifts, and to learn to love others in a Christian educational environment.

With an emphasis on spiritual formation, through Bible classes and the student association, students are involved with service projects throughout the year. Administrators say the goal is to prepare them to make a difference in the world. That could be through involvement in fine arts, athletics or science, technology, engineering and mathematics coursework.

School officials say it culminates in fostering resilience in the face of challenges and inspiring a commitment to shape the future in Searcy and beyond. Harding Academy currently enrolls 701 students pre-K through 12th-grade.


Other schools in the area:

Riverview School District – Public
Serves: K – 6 (two elementary campuses: Judsonia and Kensett)
7-12 (junior high/high school: Searcy)
Enrollment: 1,200 students

CrossPointe Preparatory – Private
Serves: PreK – 12
Enrollment: 119

Liberty Christian School – Private
Serves: PreK – 6
Enrollment: 75

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