Message from the Superintendent,
Dr. Thomas L. Richey
We in the Henderson County School District have the privilege of doing for our students and others what they cannot do for themselves… and provide them with quality learning and a culture of high expectations for their education. Each of us who is privileged to work in this school district understands that our educational system must provide a full range of educational opportunities for all students which will strengthen our local communities, provide the general society with highly skilled, competitive workers and increase the quality of life for all. Above all, we must improve opportunities for each student with a relevant, rigorous and quality education. We must do our part to abate the slide into a two-tiered society whose have-nots are needlessly shoved into lives without hope or meaning.
We in the school district recognize that without the commitment of parents, guardians, and the communities we serve, quality education cannot exist for all of our students. The importance of having parents and other stakeholders involved in providing a solid, value driven education is the great balance they provide. Without the commitment of others, implementation of what is best for our students gets bogged down because change is always difficult.
This district is also deeply concerned about student achievement and demanding classroom expectations. We recognize and support the critical need for high student achievement and rigorous academic work based on national standards. Because of this belief and commitment, the school board has adopted a goal which states, “by June 2015, all Henderson County school graduates will demonstrate readiness for post-secondary educational experiences as demonstrated by achieving proficiency as follows: (1) Achieve ACT benchmarks for college success scores in each of the tested content areas, or (2) Achieve proficiency as demonstrated on one or more of the nationally certified career cluster certification exams.”
All of us in the school district believe in the concept that “the family is critical to success in school.” We have found over time that the “curriculum of the home” is twice as predictive of academic learning as the family socioeconomic status. This curriculum involves parent/child conversations about everyday events, encouragement and discussion of reading, limiting television viewing, monitoring peer friends and activities, setting goals, rewarding the behavior chosen, interest in the child’s academic progress on a regular basis, establishing a stable value system, and unremitting efforts for personal accountability.
We also recognize the continuous mantle of accountability that falls on all who teach and lead our schools and district. I believe the personnel of this school district operate from a strong awareness of self, a core set of values, behavior aligned with those values, personal integrity and positive character as role models for your children, and most importantly, credibility as caring professionals who serve others with dignity and respect. I assure you that education in the Henderson County Schools will continue to meet expectations because it comes from the heart, not just the head.
It would be fatal to assume that our school district and community would not change in the face of changes impacting our state and the world around us, by accepting the belief that only a portion of our students succeed. We want to resonate with the belief and commitment that if a child attends the Henderson County School District, he or she could not do better anywhere else.
Dr. Thomas Richey