Waynesville R-VI School District recently announced the hiring of new assistant superintendent Brian Henry. The Daily Guide caught up with Henry via email asking about his new opportunity in Waynesville, his goals as assistant superintendent, and why he made the move from Camdenton, Mo.:
Q: Talk about your background in public education.
Henry: My career in education began 21 years ago as a middle school social studies teacher and football and wrestling coach. I taught at Pleasant Hill, my alma mater Winnetonka High School and Oak Grove school districts, where I eventually became the middle school principal. After serving as the high school assistant principal at Park Hill South High, I became the high school principal in Camdenton, Mo., where I most recently was the deputy superintendent. As a district-level administrator for the past four years, I have focused on instructional services, including curriculum design, assessment, instructional improvement and school improvement initiatives. In addition to these responsibilities, I have supervised federal Title funds, guidance, media center and various other duties related to academic improvement.
Q: What made Waynesville the right fit for you?
Henry: I had the opportunity to participate in the AdvancED/North Central review for the Waynesville R-VI School District several years ago and was very impressed with the district's outstanding leaders and their commitment to academic success and innovation. In addition, I found the opportunity to work with military families and unique advantages of the strong relationship between the community, school district and Fort Leonard Wood to be a very positive aspect of the school district. The pride, support and strong tradition evident in the Waynesville community proved to be the deciding factor and I am very excited about this new chapter in my educational career.
Q: What sets you apart form other candidates? What do you bring to the table?
Henry: Dr. Blackburn, Dr. Gettys and the entire administrative team and school board members have done a tremendous job of charting a positive course for continual improvement in the Waynesville School District. My experiences in educational improvement, curriculum, assessment and instructional improvement will mesh well with the efforts already in place, and while learning the nuances of this system, I will be able to provide new insights into ongoing growth of the school district. I have extensive experience in professional learning communities and I am very excited to becoming involved with this process in the Waynesville R-VI School District.
Q: What are your goals in the Waynesville district?
Henry: My goal is to provide the best possible education to all students in the district and prepare them for success in a rapidly changing global society. I believe the processes in place in this district are directed toward finding success for students, and I hope to focus our efforts on those aspects of improvement that support our faculty in improving the learning environment for our students.
Q: How will you go about reaching these goals?
Henry: By working collaboratively with students, teachers, administrators and the community, I will identify those initiatives that are proven to increase student performance and stakeholder satisfaction and focus efforts on reforms that are most effective. I will continue to research effective strategies to improve the learning climate and monitor effectiveness of initiatives to eliminate what is not working and share strategies that are working within our district.
Q: Do you have a certain area of expertise?
Henry: Education, like our society at-large, is continually changing, which suggests the importance of educational leaders staying abreast of effective educational initiatives while attempting to integrate reforms without overwhelming the faculty and educational community. My experiences in school improvement, specifically in the area of professional learning communities, can contribute to the district's improvement process as well as assisting in an even greater focus on academic priorities that support student learning.
Q: What is your favorite part about coming to work everyday?
Henry: My favorite part of coming to work every day is knowing that our work contributes to helping students find success in life and enjoyment in school. The challenges of educational leadership are very rewarding and I look forward to working with this community.