TES outgoing Principal Juan Henderson reflects on time in Troy

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 13, 2013

Juan Henderson

Juan Henderson

Juan Henderson is leaving his home in Troy for the second time.

Henderson recently resigned as principal of Troy Elementary School after his wife received a “wonderful opportunity” that the family couldn’t pass up.

“When opportunities and doors come open, you have to step out there on faith and take advantage of those opportunities that have been provided,” Henderson said. “It’s better to live and have tried it than to second guess yourself.”

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The Henderson family will be moving to Chicago where Dr. Dana Henderson, a veterinarian, will take over as Regional Medical Director for the Midwest Region of Banfield, a veterinary clinic found in PetSmart locations.

Henderson said he has started to look for opportunities as an education administrator in the Chicago area, but he is leaving Troy proud of the work that has been accomplished at TES during his time at the school.

“I think we’ve been able to definitely make an impact,” Henderson said, noting the school has implemented a pre-K program and made AYP goals during his time at TES. “We are doing more to challenge students and we are seeing results.”

Henderson explained that he believes the school’s policy of involving parents and community members at the school is one reason for success.

“We’ve been able to utilize our community resources to help children,” Henderson said. “We have been able to provide extra assistance and opportunities to students.”

Henderson is a graduate of both Charles Henderson High School and Troy University. He began his career as a teacher’s aide at TES and worked his way up to an administrative position by 1997. Henderson and his family then ventured to Las Vegas where he was an administrator in the Cook County School District. While there, he even helped start the first charter school in North Las Vegas.

A couple of years ago, the Henderson family had the chance to move back home. Dana received a promotion available in the area with Banfield and Juan was able to return to TES as principal.

“It was great to come back home,” Henderson said. “We were excited to bring our two girls home and raise them here.”

But now there is a new excitement for the family – the adventure of a big city and all that means.

“It’s about growth,” Henderson said. “We’ve not experienced the weather there or the lifestyle. It will be a change and maybe a challenge, but we are looking forward to it.”

Henderson finishes his work at TES on June 30 and then he and Chandler, 8, and Darian, 5, will join Dana in the Chicago area mid-July.

“It’s a little sad, yes,” Henderson said. “But I feel that I am leaving with the school in a good position. I think we have been successful because the teachers are dedicated to the students, and they are not always given the recognition they deserve for their sacrifices, but they do so much to make the children successful.”

Henderson said he thanks the teachers, the Troy City Schools Board of Education and Superintendent Lee Hicks for his time spent with the school system and all of their support.