Paying Tribute to Mr. Henson

Mr. Henson is easily one of the most beloved teachers on the Hilltop because of his warm-natured and humorous spirit. However, we will be saying a bittersweet goodbye to him this June, as he will not be returning for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mr. Henson plans include spending time with his family and working for an educational program that helps underprivileged students in Sarasota, Florida.

The Sentinel Staff has compiled a list of anecdotes and messages from students in the Upper School to honor Mr. Henson and wish him farewell. We hope that the responses serve as a gift to Mr. Henson, reminding him that he has certainly made an impact on those who knew him here at SLS.

Describe your favorite moment with Mr. Henson.

“Once I wrote a short story in Mr. Henson’s 7th grade English class, but I was very nervous to share it. Everyone else read their story out loud, but I didn’t want to read mine, because I was so worried everyone would make fun of it. Mr. Henson was so encouraging, and he read it for me in front of the class. His support gave me the confidence to keep writing, and I definitely wouldn’t be the writer I am today [without him].” – Carolina Warneryd ‘19

“When I came to SLS in 5th grade, I was scared to meet new people and afraid of the new environment around me. One of the first days at SLS, I remember feeling regret about my decision to go here and be away from lifelong friends. However, when I walked into the cafeteria that day, I saw Mr. Henson sitting at a table with students surrounding him. They all laughed together, and everyone seemed very interested and close to Mr. Henson. When I saw them all at that table, teachers and students interacting outside of the classroom and enjoying their time together, I instantly felt okay and comfortable at St. Luke’s.” Nick Dicorpo ‘20

“Mr. Henson was never my teacher, but he is always a friendly face in the halls. He once told me that I was a good student. He did not need to do this, but it was very thoughtful, so I wanted to thank him for that.” – Kirsten Pastore ‘19

“Despite never actually having him as a teacher, Mr. Henson has been such a source of happiness in my SLS career! When I attempted to start the poetry club my junior year, Mr. Henson agreed to be the advisor. We got everything prepped for our first meeting – forms, activities, cookies, tea, etc – but alas, nobody showed up. Despite the turnout, Mr. Henson still sat with me for an hour to discuss poetry anyway, and it was honestly a wonderful time.” – Clara Pakman ‘19

How has Mr. Henson helped you?

“Mr. Henson guided me through all my middle school years and has been/was the light at the end of the tunnel since my first day in fifth grade. I was given the opportunity to see him as a close friend because of my family’s connection to him. Not only did he teach me writing, but he also taught me the importance of specific people within one’s education. For me, Mr. Henson has always been that person. One of the harder years for me from fifth grade to now (ninth grade) was eighth grade. I was so pained entering the year because he wasn’t going to be my English teacher after much persistence, so I made an extra effort to see him nearly every day just to talk. I will always stay connected with him.” – Sam Pakman ‘22

“Mr. Henson has always been supportive when it came to me performing. He would provide words of wisdom, as well as show his enthusiasm for theater and music.”  – Maddy Sead ‘19

“I never had Mr. Henson as a teacher, but he taught all of my siblings, so I always felt like I knew him. I don’t remember how I first met Mr. Henson – all I remember is that he has always been there for whatever I might need, whether academic or personal. He made sure I knew that even though he didn’t teach me, he still wanted to learn about what makes me special and help me succeed in my classes. I think that’s what makes him so amazing – he makes everyone feel valued and understood.” – Elyse Kim ‘21

How would you describe Mr. Henson as a teacher and a person?

“Mr. Henson is incredibly kind. After a debate tournament when I was in 7th grade, he surprised us and stopped at Baskin Robbins on the way home and bought us all ice cream to celebrate. He has always been so selfless and will always be one of my favorite SLS teachers! – Ashley Kelley ‘20

“He is kind, friendly, enthusiastic, and easy to talk to.” – Zoe Troeger ‘22

“Mr. Henson is one of the most responsive, friendly and helpful people I know. He truly cares about his students and has an aura of approachability and friendliness about him. When I worked with him as one of his students, he was an amazing teacher and was always available for extra help or anything you could need of him. Even years after coming out of his course, he is always extremely friendly and happy whenever I see him and I always make sure to say hello, even if it is just a quick exchange between classes. All in all, Mr. Henson is an incredible person, and I will miss him dearly after he has left SLS.” – Liam Patty ‘21

“Mr. Henson has such a love for teaching and all of his students – whether he is showing it through addressing his students by their creative and unique nicknames, or by wowing us with the infamous story about the Macanudo dog, or a simple, kind hello in the hallway while passing, Mr. Henson’s kind and caring personality is one to remember. We’ll miss your engaging attitude and enthusiasm for class everyday, your desire to see your students succeed and your overall passion for what you do. As one of the most supportive, sympathetic and encouraging teachers I have ever had, you surely will not be forgotten, Mr. Henson.” – Huntley Pizzarelli ‘21

“Mr. Henson is the most creative, kind, and genuine person I know. He was always my favorite teacher since I was lucky enough to have him for 7th and 8th grade. He made me a better writer and student. As a person, he is just so kind. You could talk to him about anything, and he would listen and understand. I love Mr. Henson, and he will always be my favorite teacher. I will thank him forever for everything he has done for me.”- Lucy Ehlers ‘21

“Mr. Henson is one of the most caring teachers I know. He genuinely cares about the well-being of his students, while at the same time, he wants to push them as . . . individuals, whether it’s inside or outside of the classroom. He strives to get to know each and every one of his students, which he does by giving each student a special nickname (mine was “Crabigail”). However, what I loved most about Mr. Henson as a teacher was his passion for writing and storytelling. At least once a week, Mr. Henson would tell us a story which we could either apply to our own lives or the texts that we were reading at the time. It was his stories and kind-hearted nature that made him one of my favorite teachers.” – Abigail Johnson ‘21

“Mr. Henson was easily one of my favorite teachers at St. Luke’s. I was lucky to have him for the two years that I did.” – Andrea Diteodoro ‘22

“Mr. Henson is going to be missed, so I hope that we are able to send him off the right way.  Thank you, Mr. Henson, for everything that you have done for my family and me.” – Everett Andersen ‘22

If you have been a part of the debate team, either as a middle schooler or a high schooler, explain how he was helpful.   

“Mr. Henson helped me master my fear of failure on stage, which helped me on a personal level and as a public speaker. His support made the St. Luke’s Debate Team the way it is now, and he will definitely be missed by all our members.”- Laura Mercedes ‘20

“Mr. Henson has been extraordinarily helpful as I started debate in middle school and transitioned to upper school. He helped me build upon my interest in the activity and taught me all about the different techniques. He also made it even more fun and truly contributed to my love of debate.” – Kate Ellis ‘22

“I was part of the debate team in 7th and 8th grade. Mr. Henson would teach us insightful skills about debating and strategies for how to be successful. I clearly remember him driving one of St. Luke’s red school buses to debates on Saturdays and spending the day with our team. Even if we didn’t do as well as we hoped, Mr. Henson made the day fun. One time he took us out for ice cream after the debate, and I will never forget how generous and kind he is.” – Phoebe Kurth ‘20

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