Jess Richardson | Staff Writer
On the first day of school, students poured into the Hall of Excellence. Many stopped to take pictures with friends or nervously compared schedules, hoping to share a class with someone they knew. For over 600 freshman, the day was also spent learning to navigate the three floors. They weren’t alone. New principal Jeffry Henderson was also experiencing his first day of school at Center Grove.
“I’m super excited to be here and have the opportunity to serve as the educational leader of Center Grove High School,” Henderson said.
Before coming to Center Grove, Henderson was the principal at Bloomington North High School for 12 years.
“Coming from a district where there are two high schools in Bloomington to a district where there’s a single high school, it’s really nice to see the entire community rallied around one high school,” Henderson said. “The students, parents, and faculty members have all been incredibly welcoming, not only to myself but to my family as well.”
Henderson has one main priority at Center Grove: the students.
“My priority is to insure students that the focus is really on them,” Henderson said. “The school, in my opinion, belongs to kids; it doesn’t belong to adults. That doesn’t minimize the important role that we play as adults in their lives, but the decisions that we make are made with the best interest of students in mind.”
Henderson’s personal goal is to immerse himself in the community and to learn about the history and accomplishments of the school. To reach out to the community, Henderson has been trying to get to know students.
“I think to be an educator you’ve got to love kids,” Henderson said. “ [You have to] enjoy seeing the successes that they have in whatever avenues that they choose to pursue, whether they’re academic or extracurricular in nature.”
To accomplish his goals for this year, Henderson finds motivation by focusing of the students.
“I think really the motivation for me is insuring that we are providing the best opportunity for kids,” Henderson said. “I think the focus for me is ‘how can we do it better?’. No matter how good we are in anything we do, in any walk of our life, there’s always room for improvement.”
Photos by Rachel Kraus