A former assistant superintendent for the Camdenton School District has been named to the top position for the Waynesville School District.
Brian Henry will become superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District effective July 1. The Waynesville Board of Education announced the decision on Friday after an extensive search and interview process.
Henry joined the Waynesville district at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year as an assistant superintendent.
"The board felt unequivocally that Dr. Henry is the strongest candidate to lead our district at this time," says Dr. LeRoy Fulmer, president of the school board. "He is an excellent communicator and his extensive background in curriculum development and student achievement aligns perfectly with the state's emphasis on higher standards and expectations. Student achievement is our business and he has kids at heart."
Henry, 44, currently serves as Waynesville's assistant superintendent of instructional services and oversees curriculum for the district's 6,000 students, professional development for teachers, the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process and Missouri State Learning Standards.
"I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to serving as superintendent of this outstanding district," Henry said. "The Waynesville R-VI School District has the unique advantages of fiscal stability, positive governance, quality teachers and the willingness to adopt progressive reforms to improve student learning. These critical attributes are often difficult to find and are rarely present in one school district. Given their presence, it is my personal goal to continue to improve student performance and to create the most highly effective school system in the conference and state.
"Many challenges lie ahead for schools across the state of Missouri. Increased accountability and new methods of evaluating schools will result in higher standards for schools to meet," Henry said. "I am confident that through the talents of our students, the strength of our faculty and leadership, and the tremendous support we receive from our community, we will continue our tradition of excellence in the Waynesville R-VI School District."
As assistant superintendent, Henry has led the district's transition to standards-based grading in grades 3 through 5, facilitated district literacy team meetings to address text complexity, implemented a more extensive use of instructional coaches, reorganized the district's English as a Second Language Department and is transitioning the district to a new, federally tiered monitoring and accountability process.
Henry, his wife, Dr. Kristina Henry, and their four daughters will be moving into the district prior to July 1.
"Even before I applied for the superintendent's position, we had been preparing to sell our home in Camdenton and move into the Waynesville district," Henry says. "We are excited to make Waynesville our home and become more involved in our community."
A native of the Kansas City, Mo., area, Henry played football as an education major at Missouri Valley College before earning a master's degree in education from Baker University and a doctor of education from the University of Kansas in 2004.
He was a social studies educator for eight years in the Pleasant Hill School District and Oak Grove School District in the Kansas City area. He spent two years as a middle school principal and two years as an assistant middle school principal in the Oak Grove School district and two years as assistant high school principal in the Park Hill South School district.
From 2005 to 2009, Henry worked in the Camdenton School District as the high school principal. From 2009 to 2013, he was the assistant superintendent of the district. During his 22-year career in education, he also worked at Park Hill South High School in Riverside and Oak Grove Middle School in Oak Grove. A social studies teacher, he has also taught collegiate-level courses as an adjunct professor.
Henry will fill the role of superintendent after the retirement of Dr. Judene Blackburn, who has served as the district's superintendent for the past eight years and for three years prior as the assistant superintendent of business operations.
"Dr. Blackburn has brought this district a long way and we are so grateful for her dynamic, forward-thinking leadership these past eight years," Fulmer said.
Blackburn will spend the next several months helping transition Henry into the role and providing a foundation for continued success.
"I am excited for our students, the district, the school board and Brian and his family," Blackburn says. "Having worked with him these past few months, I am confident Brian will lead this district to even greater heights."