Central Retirees: Henneberry


Q: How long have you been teaching at Central?

A: I have been teaching since 1984, this is going to be the completion of 35 years.


Q: What’s your fave class to teach?

A: I have enjoyed all of them. I will be honest, though. The one that I’ve taught first semester for the past 30 years is Ancient History. That was the subject that caught my attention. In college I went to Greece on a dig and that was really something I enjoyed. I was hired to teach that subject. And honestly, I know it sounds strange, I like teaching ninth graders. It’s special. That first semester, that transition, you know they’re interested in the subject. I get to see students later on in classes that I’ve had before, which I enjoy too. I became really comfortable with Ancient, and I think for the kids, we get to use the mummy and it peaks their interest. It’s really fun. You cover so many topics and parts of the world that it becomes to me a way to introduce the kids not only to me but the subject, which would pay off in a few years.


Q: What has it been like teaching at Central?

A: It has been wonderful. Honestly, I wouldn’t have stayed here this long if it wasn’t. Obviously, this is a really great school and the parents have been supportive and my colleagues. The students are honestly the key too. It has been very good. I honestly have nothing of significance to complain about over the past 35 years. If you would have said to me in August of 1984 that I would have been here all these years later, I wouldn’t have said no, but I might have doubted. I had no idea. I really enjoyed this situation so much, the classes, the students. In that way it has been wonderful over the years. I was the new guy in ‘84, and now I’m the old guy, which is interesting. I’ve had different colleagues and different administrators but it’s all been very positive which is what has kept me here for 35 years.


Q: What’s your favorite memory?

A: This year I am going to graduation and I’ve haven’t the past few years because when my son was little, my wife, who’s a counselor, had to go and I needed to be the babysitter at home. But the first 20 years I was here, I would go and I always thought that was neat to see the kids at the end of their career, so to speak, in high school. I enjoyed seeing the students as they progressed, 9th grade to maybe 10th or 11th grade but certainly, when you saw them as 12th graders, that was really cool. Now that my son is a junior, I can relate a little better. Parents would ask me back in the day ‘how can I get my kid to do their homework? What can I do?’ and I remember sitting there being 24 years old and thinking ‘beats me!’ I had no idea. That’s the thing, now I can give advice from the parent and teacher perspective. It’s been interesting. I did student government and SCC for a long time and that was very enjoyable. I went on six Europe trips when we still took kids to Europe over spring break. That was fun. There have been a lot experiences for me where I now see the world in a better way because I’ve been able to see it through that high school lens.


Q: What are your future plans after retiring?

A: My son is going to be a senior next year, so hopefully if he wants to hang out with me, I’ll hang out with him. I’m used to having summers off, so I don’t think it’s going to hit me until August or September. Some of my friends have asked, ‘What are you going to do?’ and I always say every summer I’ve been practicing. I like to fish, I like to golf. I want to travel a little bit. Fortunately, my mom and dad are still around so I want to spend time with them. It’s going to be nice. I won’t have to get up at 5:30am and have ten hours of my day planned. I think I’ll be okay.


Q: What are you going to miss most about teaching at Central?

A: I think I’m going to miss the teaching part. I really enjoy the subject, I still do. I’ll miss talking about history with adults, my colleagues, but also with the kids. People often ask how I can teach the same thing, but it’s not the same thing. The lesson might be the same but every class is different. I’ve been lucky with Humanities, I’ve loved that class, and with Military History that’s something I really wanted to teach. I got to teach AP Euro which is what I got my Masters in, so that’s always been an interest area. I did do AP Economics for a while and I was a business minor so that was one was a little bit of a stretch. I took the ideas of Hippocrates, ‘First do no harm’, because those kids were smarter than I was with economics. Hope I never hurt anyone there academically. But, I think that’s what I’m going to miss, be it new kids or kids I’ve already had in class. That’s what I really like. I could do without 35 years of going to meetings but I’m going to miss the kids. I’m not perfect and neither are they, but somehow it all worked out.