Patrick Henry High School, 1980
Ferrum Junior College, 1982 AA
Emory & Henry College, 1985 BA
Radford University, 1998 MS in Educational Leadership
Teacher for 16 years
School administrator for 15 years
Athletic Director 2 years
Married to wife Jill Henderson
Grown daughter Marisa Henderson
Declining enrollment would be at the top. We as a school system receive funding from the state for each student we have enrolled. If we lose students we lose state monies.
WCPS has great teachers who work hard and take pride in going above and beyond to educate our students. Reduced funding impacts program offering; we as a school system need to find a way to increase salaries for our employees so we can hire the best. SOL scores in WCPS are some of the best in the region and across the state but there is a need for salary increases. Employee morale is always a concern; giving an increase in salaries would help with morale in the school system.
There is no need to build new schools. Over the past 10 years schools have been renovated. We just need to continue to maintain and update our schools as funds exit.
Students who attend WCPS need and receive a well rounded education focusing on the core academics, Career and Technical education, and elective offerings. Our schools need to expose our students to skills needed for the changing job market. Also, all of our students need skills in technology, communication, and the ability to work together in society. We need to continue to teach our students about issues of the day, such as internet safety, drug education, and employability skills.
Rural Retreat High School, Emory & Henry College, B.S.
I am completing my first term on the School Board. It has been a privilege to serve the Jefferson District and one I hope to continue.
My wife Erin teaches at the CTE Center and my daughters Lillie & Ellie attend AHS & AES.
I believe the most pressing issue facing Washington County Public Schools is lack of adequate funding and the uncertainty of funding. Like other localities in southwest Virginia, Washington County Public Schools are facing a decrease in the number of students which leads to a decrease in state funding that is further compounded by reductions of local contributions from the Board of Supervisors. Lack of timely appropriations by the Board of Supervisors have caused uncertainty within the school community as well as an incredible amount of wasted time on the part of our administrators when their efforts should be focused on providing an outstanding education to our students. Washington County Public Schools have also gone four consecutive years with $0 budgeted for capital improvements. An increase in local funding would allow the School Board to make positive compensation increases for all of our employees without having to reduce programs currently being offered.
I am proud to say that budgeted reductions in the local contributions to Washington County Public Schools have not lead to a decrease in student learning or achievement. This is due entirely to the incredible professionals that serve our community! While total employee morale is not as high as I would desire, our employees do an amazing job on a daily basis of providing a world class education for our students. Our employees continually go above and beyond to ensure our students are not deprived of educational opportunities despite the cuts in local funding or meaningful compensation increases.
I’m not sure any of our schools need to be expanded or replaced within the next decade. I do believe the School Board should consider adjusting the current attendance zones of our schools. I believe Washington County’s population is very different from when the current attendance zones were created. I believe adjusting these zones would allow better utilization of all of our facilities which could keep us from having to expand or replace any of our current buildings.
I believe hiring and retaining highly motivated employees is the most important quality in creating well-educated graduates. Washington County Public Schools is in the people development business and machines cannot achieve the desired results. Hiring outstanding individuals to educate and interact with our students is the only way our students can achieve an authentic learning experience which prepares them for their future endeavors wherever they may lead.