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Henderson set to retire from career tech

Jane Henderson has enjoyed getting up every morning to go to her job as principal at the Escambia Brewton Career Technical Center.

But Henderson’s last day is approaching. Her retirement will be effective June 30. A repcetion will be held for her at the school from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think there are many callings to different types of work,” Henderson said. “I have been lucky to discover what my calling was, and to be able to do it. We all are called and if we are smart, we will follow. Time changes and people need to grow and change with it. It’s time for new blood to come in and take my place.”

Henderson also served as a middle school teacher at Pollard-McCall for 22 years. She said she loved to teach that age group.

“My daughter is a school teacher,” Henderson said. “She was hoping she would get to teach 12th graders and said she didn’t want to get middle school age students. I told her that the ninth graders were still open for her to be able to help them. At that age you can help mold their minds and help them to develop in a good way. I loved middle school. It was while I was at Pollard-McCall that I could see that changes were coming, so I decided to go back to get my master’s degree, so I would have more choices.”

Henderson was also assistant principal at W.S. Neal Middle School for three years.

Henderson gives credit for her success to the staff she has had over the years.

“I have a superb staff working here with me,” she said. “I couldn’t have had the success out here without them. They have made my life easier and less stressful. Some days are filled with problems and then there are the days filled with solutions. I like to quote Albert Schweitzer who said, ‘I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.’”

“The students who come out here to the center sometimes are looking for an alternative to going to college. Here they get a choice in what they do. Many of them have already made a choice as to their future. I had one student tell me that he was going to learn a trade and then go to college so that he could be his own boss one day. These kids are smart. There are many job opportunities for skilled workers.”

Henderson said she plans to spend more time with her grandchildren, Logan, Mason and Clare.

“I also want to spend more time with my mother,” she said. “She is 92 and still in good shape. She always worked on something that benefited me. She was a smart woman who dropped out of school when she was in the eighth grade and she wanted us to get a good education. When she was 65 years old, she went to JDCC and earned her GED on the first try. It was just something that she wanted to do.”

Henderson and her husband, Tom, plan to buy a motor home and spend time visiting their children, Tera, Bret, Kyle and Erin, and their grandchildren.

“Tom has been the better part of my life,” she said. “We have been married almost 37 years. He has always been a hands-on dad with the children, even before it became popular. He has always been there for me and for the children.”