Posted Date: 09/01/2021
Beauregard Parish Middle School Principal of the Year
Wesley Henry, principal of South Beauregard Upper Elementary, has been named the 2021-2022 Beauregard Parish Middle School Principal of the Year.
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 student success, demonstrate innovative leadership qualities, and support teachers with the goal of student progress are considered for the program.
Henry has been an educator for seventeen years, serving the past six 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 before becoming the assistant principal and then principal of SBUE.
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.
He is inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s reflection: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
A key component of a successful administrator is looking beyond what is evident to seeing the reality of the situation in its entirety. This matters when planning the overall educational strategy for the school year, collaborating with a group of teachers to tackle a specific issue, or working with a distressed student.
After the difficult 2020-2021 school year which saw a large portion of the SBUE campus damaged beyond use, the need to place students and staff in temporary locations for the entire school year, adjustments to schedules and work duties, and the many other changes that had to take place just to have school at SBUE, Henry states that what he needs most is for some sense of normalcy to return to the campus.
However, he points out that the students were resilient and his staff went above and beyond the call of duty to continue to meet the mission of SBUE – to provide academic growth by creating an equitable learning environment for all students.
His advice to someone considering education as a career is that it should be a calling. Educators give so much of who they are to their profession and spend so much time investing in others that it takes someone who believes they are meant to be there who will have the drive to be successful.
For everyone in education, Henry suggests making reflection a part of your life, keeping expectations high for yourself and for your students, and giving others and yourself grace.
Without equivocation, he states that the people he works with and for are the best part of
being principal of The Upper. “I get to work with and for great students, an amazing staff, and the best teachers….this past year has proven that,” he concludes.