Meet Your Principal: Tamika Henry

For our final installment in this series, we speak with Mrs. Henry. Although Mrs. Henry is technically the Assistant Principal of New Options High School, she assumes much of the day-to-day leadership with her steady presence in the building. For this reason, we are happy to include her in this series

Allendale Public Schools, Tamika Henry1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.

I originally went to school to be either an entertainment lawyer or a psychologist. I have always had the desire to assist people in having the best life they possibly could. However, after having a family and realizing just how much both of those careers would keep me from nurturing my own household, I decided to go down the path that my father had journeyed, education. As a child I watched my father nurture children that had very challenging situations into a life of productivity. I felt as though this would be a path that I would be able to help young people while at the same time being able to be the best mother possible. I started my educational career at the University of Michigan majoring in psychology and African American studies and completed my teaching certificate at Grand Valley State University. Upon graduating from GVSU I substituted quite a bit in my children’s school. A part-time position came open in Allendale High School and I applied. I taught at the High School for 3 years and then took a position at New Options HS. After teaching at New Options for 6 years an opportunity to move into administration presented itself, and the rest is history in the making.

2. What makes you love coming to work each day?

It is said that if you have the opportunity to do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I can honestly say that I have not worked a day in the last 12 years of my life! Education is my passion because I know that it is through education that the world opens up and offers her precious jewels. A high quality education is a human right that every person deserves because it is an inalienable right. The fact that I can offer something to young people that will last them a life time brings me back every day—no matter what the day before was like.

3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?

I meditate each and every morning asking for divine guidance and assistance to do no harm; to bring light and not heat. I believe that every encounter is one that has the opportunity of being life changing.

4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.

New challenges and seeing how my students have changed over the summer.

5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?
I build the most phenomenal educational edifice that would make my students know and feel that they are the most special people in the world.

6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?

Preparing my last child (my only daughter) for college. We are now officially empty nesters!!!

7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)

I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. I love books (memoirs) about overcoming adversity.

8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?

Education is the key to the world; get your copy and unlock a phenomenal future!
Categories: Allendale New Options High School | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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