Mom first, counselor second: Herkisha “Kisha” Hardy

Alanna LaDeaux, Howler Staff Writer

Although Herkisha “Kisha” Hardy is one of the newest additions to the Wolfpack, being a wolf has always been in her blood.

“I’ve always been a wolf, even when I worked at Memorial,” Hardy said. 

 Even before Hardy worked at Santa Fe, she’d found a home within. Her sons Mbari, Micah and nephew that she raised, D’Andre Fisher, were all student-athletes for the football team, so she’d already experienced Santa Fe’s atmosphere and loved it.

“I loved it as a parent and now I love it as a staff member,” Hardy said.

Ever since Hardy was around the age of most of her students, she knew she wanted to be in the world of education. She expresses that school has always been a safe place for her, a place that never failed to be open. She only hopes that her office can be a sanctuary for kids, as it was for her all those years.

“School was always a safe place for me, home could be tough,” Hardy said. “…school was always safe. I could go to school. I knew I was gonna eat at school. I knew when it was cold the heat was gonna be on, I knew if it was hot the air was gonna be on… there came a time when I knew I wanted to create that for other kids.”

Though Hardy has always had a love for education and school, her love for her family has always been stronger. She has two sons, one daughter, a nephew she raised and a loving husband, Manny Hardy. 

“My greatest gift has been, I’m a mom,” Hardy said.

Previously this year, Manny had experienced some medical issues, and the lesson that Hardy learned from this experience is not one that you could be taught. 

“It helped me personally and professionally because more, now than ever, I realize some things are just not worth the energy,” Hardy said.“I wake up thinking today I’m gonna do what matters. People matter, caring about people matters, empathy matters, diversity matters, inclusion matters, love matters, hatefulness and all that other stuff like bad energy, that stuff doesn’t even matter. Do what matters”

Hardy wants to make sure that the students know this philosophy, and understand that she will always be there when they need her to be. As a counselor, especially in education, she and everyone working around her understand that kids nowadays go through and battle so much in their day-to-day lives she wants to help them see that there is light at the end of every tunnel. 

 “You have a group of people who love you, who care about you, who want to see you succeed and who do not take for granted how hard you’re working, how much you’re working, we see it,” Hardy said.

Growing up in an environment where she understands what it could be like to struggle, she wants the kids of Santa Fe to know that they are not alone and that she sees and understands them.

“I don’t want kids to feel invisible,” Hardy said.