Dr. James L. Henderson has several core beliefs:
• High expectations for all children
• Professional Learning Communities ensures academic success for students
• Parents and the entire community as partners ensure successful schools
• Nonacademic needs must also be met to ensure students’ academic success
• Education should prepare our youth for life and if a child fails, the system fails
Dr. Henderson is a creative, energetic, visionary, strategic and effective leader who has been dedicated to leveling the playing field for all children, teachers, parents and communities for twenty-five years – fifteen of which have been served at the senior cabinet level.
• Associate superintendent for academic support (27,000 students)
• Chief human resources officer (27,000 students)
• Chief of staff (deputy superintendent) (5,300 students)
• District (area) superintendent (210,000 students)
• Assistant superintendent for human resources (10,000 students)
• Executive director for human resources (27,000 students)
• Director for human resources (160,000 students)
Dr. Henderson has demonstrated skills in human resource management, fiscal management, curriculum and instruction and school/community partnerships. As district superintendent for the North/Acres Homes Charter District, his most notable accomplishments were improved student behavior and academic performance while closing the achievement gaps across Texas’ largest school system (210,000 students) – the Houston Independent School District. He oversaw nine schools with approximately 6,700 students and was fiscally judicious with nearly 25 million taxpayers-dollars. All schools met AYP and 75% of the schools met the top ratings of the state of Texas Accountability System – Exemplary or Recognized. Ultimately, the sub-districts in the Houston Independent School District were rezoned and the North/Acres Homes Charter District grew to 17 schools and nearly 21,000 students. Dr. Henderson has a results-oriented record of accomplishments using standards, improving academic achievement, working with diverse populations, increasing parental engagement, and providing a positive school climate. Most recently, Dr. Henderson worked on children’s behalf through a comprehensive re-engineering of a previous school district—netting the district $12 million in cost savings:
• Correction of the teachers’ salary scale
• Massive reduction-in-force
• Purchase of computer hardware through virtual desktop infrastructure—using thin clients
• Increase in e-rate funds
• Evaluated all instructional programs to ensure we were not duplicating instructional efforts
• Board of Education approved recommendation to vacate all non- teaching positions
• right-sized the organization through attrition, vacancies and the offerings of Early Separation Incentive Plans(ESIP)
Such efforts ensured proper allocation of fiscal resources for the academic achievement and behavior improvement of all students. Increases in academic achievement, coupled with decreases in negative student behaviors were possible because of the strong partnerships created between parents, teachers, staff, community, business community, social service agencies, faith-based communities, and elected, local and state officials.
Dr. Henderson expresses his belief in the potential of children and his aspirations for school improvement by inspiring those around him to THINK BIG, to strategize for success and to execute with excellence. His platform of personal ethics reveals itself in his professionally generous encouragement of staff education to fulfill their individual potential in order to improve the lives of children. Dr. Henderson has worked in several districts serving student populations ranging from 5,200 to 210,000 in both urban and suburban environments.
A native Mississippian and the fifteenth child in a family of 16 children, Dr. Henderson learned collaboration and diplomacy at home. He credits his parents and siblings for his educational success as he was the first of his siblings to receive a post- secondary education — earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Jackson State University, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A&M University of Texas and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from St. John’s University in Queens, New York. Dr. Henderson has been recognized as Teacher-of-the-Year for the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators, HISD’s Hamilton Middle School Teacher-of-the-Year, Houston Independent School District’s Teacher-of- the-Year Finalist, and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus Outstanding Texan Award in Education. Most recently, Dr. Henderson was selected among hundreds of applicants for the renowned American Association of School Administrators (AASA)) / Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy a year-long superintendent preparation program.
He is also a life-long member of the OMEGA PSI PHI Fraternity, Incorporated service organization. Dr. Henderson acclaims his wife, Victoria, a fellow educator, and their two college-age daughters, Jalyn and Jayme, for their ever-loving support and encouragement. His daughters—the hopes of his family—remind him daily of the promise of this generation of students who will soon lead our global society.