July 11, 2023

MDCA & Children’s Home Names James W. Carr as Interim President

2 min read| Published On: July 11th, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

MDCA & Children’s Home Names James W. Carr as Interim President

2 min read| Published On: July 11th, 2023|

Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home Names Interim President Board member James W. Carr to step in during search for new president 

Mount Dora, Florida: With the departure of Dr. Brian Mast to Nashville, Tennessee, Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home has named Dr. James W. Carr, of Searcy, Arkansas, interim president. Carr, who sits on the organization’s board of trustees, will begin his time at MDCA&CH Aug. 1.

A native Floridian, Carr brings with him decades of educational leadership in multiple arenas. He served 25 years as executive vice president and professor of business at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Prior to joining Harding, he served in various administrative positions at Florida State University and 12 years as regional director for the American College Testing Program. He is currently president and chairman of Highland Home Holdings, an Arkansas-based investment company. 

Carr has consulted with hundreds of institutions of higher education and received multiple national recognitions. In 2005, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to join the National Security Education Board. In 2018, he was nominated by current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He currently serves on the Arkansas Board of Higher Education and on the board of First Community Bank in Searcy, Arkansas. He also serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. He joined the MDCA&CH Board of Trustees in 2013. Carr and his wife, Susan, have three children and three grandchildren. 

“Mount Dora Christian Academy has a nearly 80-year heritage of promoting academic excellence, athletic excellence, and the love of freedom and liberty — all while honoring God,” says Carr. “This combination of values places MDCA among the finest preparatory schools in the southeast. As a board member, I am thankful for Dr. Mast’s leadership and wish him the very best in his new assignment. We, as a board, are certain that our search process will guide us to our next able leader.”

John Starling, MDCA&CH Board of Trustees Chair, believes Carr’s dedication to Christian education will guide the school through a successful transition. 

“What a blessing to have someone with Dr. Carr’s experience and love for our mission and organization fill in and serve in this way,” he says. “We ask everyone to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we look for our next president.”

About Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home: Established in 1945, MDCA currently serves more than 780 students from PK2 through grade 12, and MDCH serves more than 40 children and families. We believe in the power of a Christ-centered community to cultivate faith-driven world changers. Building on our legacy of faith and service, we educate, equip, and empower our community to love God and others, pursue excellence, and impact our world. The fulfillment of our mission can be seen in our 2023 graduates, who earned $4.8 million worth of scholarships and logged more than 8,500 hours of community service.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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