On July 1, Casey Henderson began his new role as Carlisle County Schools’ superintendent. He replaced Jay Simmons, who announced his retirement in February. Henderson most recently served as superintendent of Hickman County Schools in Clinton, Ky.
A Carlisle County native, Henderson decided to go into education because he always had a passion for helping children.
“I learned early in life that kids need someone to help encourage and motivate them to do more than they believe they are capable of,” he said.
After graduating from Murray State University (MSU) in 1996, he worked as a history teacher for Carlisle County Schools from 1997 to 2004. He later served as assistant superintendent from 2004 to 2009, before working as assistant superintendent of Hickman County Schools from 2009 to 2013. He became superintendent of Hickman County Schools in 2014.
Henderson said he has a list of goals for the district, which include academically promoting high expectations for learning and closing the achievement gaps created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I want to make this district the center of the community by encouraging more opportunities for co-curricular and extracurricular activities for students,” he said. “I want to support new teacher development to not only help the new staff that have joined this district, but to motivate students to consider the education field as a career choice.”
He said his top priority is to do everything in the best interest of kids.
“As an educator, I feel we have one of the greatest avenues to make a real impact with kids, families and the community. It is not just a job, but a calling to help others,” he said.
“My favorite part of the job is to see how education can create positive change in the students and staff over the years, as well as the sense of pride they both have at graduation time.”
Like many educators, Henderson said the biggest challenge of his career has been navigating COVID-19.
“Dealing with the many variants over the past few years as we struggle through consistent changes on how we need to operate in an in-person/virtual environment made even the most experienced administrator desperately search for unprecedented answers,” he said.
Ultimately, he said the pandemic taught him the value of great educators and changed the way he delivers education.
He holds associate degrees in fine arts and science from Paducah Community College, a bachelor’s degree in middle and high school education, and a master’s degree in education administration from MSU. He also earned his supervisor of instruction Level II, director of pupil personnel Level II, and Rank I in school superintendent certifications from MSU.
Henderson said he looks forward to getting reacquainted to the families of his community, as well as leading the district in a new direction by bringing the resources necessary to help staff and students get better every day.
When he’s not working, he enjoys carpentry, hunting and attending events with family. He has been married to his wife Melissa for 26 years. They share two kids: Mollie, who has recently graduated from MSU, and Drew, who is a junior at Carlisle County High School.
“We all attended Carlisle County Schools and have a real pride in being a small part of this amazing Comet family/community,” said Henderson. “No place feels like a family quite like Carlisle County.”