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Wesley Henry named a Louisiana Principal of the Year Semi-Finalist

Posted Date: 06/13/2022

               Wesley Henry, principal of South Beauregard Upper Elementary, has been named a 2022-2023 Louisiana Principal of the Year Semi-Finalist. He has been chosen along with twelve other colleagues from across the state for this honor.

           The Louisiana Department of Education sponsors the Excellent Educators Award Program annually to recognize the state’s most exceptional administrators.

           Those principals who are committed to creating an environment for student success, demonstrate innovative leadership qualities, and support teachers to help students achieve at their highest levels are considered for the program.    W. Henry Named State POY Semi-Finalist

            Henry has been an educator for eighteen years, serving the past seven years as principal of The Upper. He started his career in education as a teacher at South Beauregard High School where he taught Special Education, Physical Science, Life Science, and Biology.

            He earned his Bachelor of Science in General Science Education and Special Education at Louisiana College and his Master of Education in Educational Leadership with Teacher Leader Endorsement from McNeese State University.

            In 2012, he became the Assistant Principal of the newly formed South Beauregard Upper Elementary, serving fourth through sixth-grade students, and subsequently earned the position of Principal at the school.

            Henry has successfully completed all three courses of the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) Executive Development Program. During his time at The Upper, the school has been recognized as a National Title I Distinguished School for closing achievement gaps among student groups.

            He implemented the Parent University at the school to connect parents to school expectations and the daily routine their children experience. Parents meet teachers, take a tour of the school, learn classroom and school-wide behavioral expectations, and are provided information on state assessments and school performance.

            After the previous two years of dealing with the pandemic and the aftermath of two hurricanes that inflicted major structural damage on the school, Henry reflects that the most important issue for him is humanity in education. His focus is on compassion, grace, and understanding.

   While students and families, teachers and staff, are putting their personal lives back together, and students and staff have to deal with the aftermath of damages to their school facility, the school still has the responsibility to teach.

   For Henry, these situations bring into focus the real need to foster understanding, show compassion, and give grace. Balancing high academic expectations with individualized understanding is a key component to student success at The Upper.

            Education is hard work for everyone involved – the teacher, the staff, the student, the parent, and the school leader. Henry states that the investment is worth the effort because the payoff is our future.