Henderson takes oath for board seat
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 10, 2010 1:46 PM
Len Henderson signs the paperwork making him the Wayne County Board of Education's District 2 representative, as Clerk of Court Pam Minshew looks on. Henderson replaces former board member Shirley Sims, who resigned. District 2 covers the southern region of Wayne County.
Howard Len Henderson, who was chosen by Wayne County Commissioners to fill Shirley Sims' unexpired term on the county Board of Education, was sworn into office Monday evening.
In early May, Ms. Sims, who had served on the board for 18 years, said her Dudley home had sold quicker than anticipated and that she would be moving to Garner. Soon after, she announced that she would be leaving the board, effective June 30.
Commissioners, who hold the authority to appoint people to fill open seats on the school board, created a selection committee that interviewed four candidates for the job before recommending Henderson, who was approved by a 5-2 margin.
The district encompasses southern Goldsboro and stretches through Dudley to parts of Mount Olive.
On Monday, a contingent of supporters was present at the swearing-in ceremony, including Henderson's wife, Renee, his two daughters and three grandchildren. Family members from Virginia, Washington D.C. and Texas, as well as local relatives and church members, also showed up.
"It's really an honor for me to serve on this board," Henderson said. "I look forward to representing District 2, and I look forward to working for all children ... making sure they have the best educational opportunity that we can provide here in Wayne County."
Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor was the first to welcome Henderson to the position.
"We appreciate your interest in applying and certainly the board of commissioners," Taylor said. "We have got a lot of work to do. We never finish the work when it comes to children."
Board member Eddie Radford, a former principal at Southern Wayne High School, noted that Henderson had graduated from there, while board member Thelma Smith said she had already given Henderson a nickname -- "Eagle Eye" for having already picked up on a typographical error in earlier minutes.
Henderson said the few short weeks since being appointed have been an "eye-opening" experience, but one he looks forward to developing.
"I'm really honored to be sitting amongst you," he told fellow board members. "I look at this board as one that sets the pathway for our children in the future."
He said he had already been doing extensive research and meeting with school officials to familiarize himself with the district and its workings.
While impressed with some of his observations, particularly the recent staff development and Summer Institute to provide supplemental training for the county's educators, Henderson said he also has goals of his own.
He said he plans to be very visible in his new role and do all he can to represent District 2 and all of the county's youth.
"I'm looking forward to being a team player on this board and most importantly, making sure the students in Wayne County get the best educational opportunity," he said.
Henderson's term runs through 2012.