School Board President to Retire

School Board President to Retire
Posted on 09/19/2023
Mr. Henry

Long-Serving Greenon Local School District School Board President Retires After 28 Years of Dedication

After an impressive 28 years of unwavering commitment to the Greenon Local School District, Mr. Dennis Henry is preparing to bid farewell to his role as School Board President. His remarkable tenure, marked by dedication, determination, and a passion for education, has left an unforgettable mark on the community.

Mr. Henry's remarkable journey began in 1994 when he decided to run for a seat on the school board. Initially, he served two terms totaling eight years before stepping down to run as a Township Trustee. Driven by a sense of unsettled business and a desire to make a lasting impact, he returned to the board two years later.

Reflecting on his return, Mr. Henry expressed, "It's very gratifying that I was able to come back and continue to make a difference." His tenure on the board spanned critical moments, including expanding the Enon Primary building and building the current K-12 Greenon campus.  

When asked about his initial motivation to join the school board, Mr. Henry shared that friends and a collection of families in the community approached him to run for the school board. At the time, he was a local Union President, representing over 2,000 employees. Mr. Henry shared, "At first, I couldn't imagine people wanting me to do that job. But I was versed in working with people." After some thought and deliberation with his family, Henry confirmed, "I did think I could help the district. And I believe I have; it's been very rewarding."

One of the cornerstones, of Mr. Henry's philosophy in his role as School Board President, was the importance of a strong school board-superintendent/district relationship. He emphasized the necessity of being open, honest and earning the community's trust. Above all, he stressed that "the kids come first" and called for open communication between the board, the superintendent, and the community.

One pivotal moment in Mr. Henry's tenure was the community-based planning session held in the 1990s. This session brought together over 40 members over four weeks on Saturdays and played a significant role in shaping the district's future. Mr. Henry fondly remembers the energy and support that emerged from these meetings and how they contributed to the transition from Mad River Green Local to Greenon Local Schools.

When asked about his proudest achievements on the board, Mr. Henry stated, "I have 3,500 things. During my time on the board, we have graduated over 3,500 young people to go out into the world. That's so important to me. Education is crucial. We're here for the kids; everything we do is for them." He also highlighted the construction of the new school building as a significant milestone that was important to him and the community. Lastly, he commended his role in recruiting and retaining excellent staff. Mr. Henry is confident he's leaving the district in good hands, stating, "When I look around at the administrators here now, I feel comfortable leaving. I've worked with seven superintendents and five treasurers - finding the right ones and developing a great working relationship with them is important. I feel confident about the administration we have at Greenon right now."

As Mr. Henry prepares for his well-earned retirement, he reflects on the school district's overall positive changes and acceptance. He believes community members have an open platform to address their concerns with the board, marking a positive shift during his tenure. Mr. Henry expressed his gratitude, saying, "I want to thank the community for the opportunity to give back. I began my time in the district as a student in 1st grade. There wasn't even a kindergarten system here when I started school, so (the district) is special to me. I feel that I've done everything I can do. I'm honored to have been able to do this for our town and community."

Current Greenon Local Superintendent, Darrin Knapke, praised Mr. Henry's remarkable contributions to the Greenon Local School district. He stated, "Mr. Henry has tremendously impacted the Greenon Local School district. I feel fortunate to have collaborated with him over my 13 years with the district, especially in my four years as superintendent. Mr. Henry has an engaging personality underscored by an impeccable character and will be deeply missed."

Mr. Knapke's words highlight the depth of the partnership and mutual respect that characterized Mr. Henry's time as School Board President, highlighting his invaluable role in advancing the district's goals and his positive influence on the district's leadership.

To celebrate Mr. Dennis Henry's extraordinary service, Greenon Local plans to hold a special ceremony before the December regularly scheduled Board Meeting, allowing the community to bid farewell and express their appreciation for his enduring dedication to education.

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