By Tykira Smalls, Features Writer

Ms. Henrietta Montgomery, Dean of Students, is a former social studies teacher at Keenan. This year she has been moved to administration, and she has been enjoying her job and her new perspective on the school.

“I enjoy…the fact that teachers, staff and administration work closely together to make sure the learning environment is a good one,” Montgomery said.

Even though she started as a teacher, she actually never wanted to be in the profession in the beginning.

“I used to do substitute teaching in Virginia…a principal encouraged me to become a teacher, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Montgomery said.

During the last few of her teaching years, Montgomery had a teaching intern, Ms. Erin McGee, who is now a social studies teacher here). McGee spoke of how it was a stimulating experience for her.

Ms. Henrietta Montgomery, Dean of Students, stands in the Commons Area armed with the tools of her new trade: referrals and a radio. Montgomery has transitioned this year from being a social studies teacher into an administrator. File photo.

“She taught me a variety of strategies, techniques and lesson ideas.  I often reflect on my experiences with Ms. Montgomery and am thankful for the time to develop my teaching abilities,” McGee said.

The jump from being a social studies teacher for 18 years to being part of the administration is quite large, yet Montgomery takes the job in stride. Despite being an administrator, she is still very much a teacher on the inside and out.

“It is rare to see a teacher still care about student success after years in the field.  Ms. Montgomery still assists the Social Studies Department with our tasks and individual lessons.  She continues to have ideas to expand student interest and the desire to learn,” McGee said.

Even though she works in administration, Montgomery considers herself a teacher first and foremost.

“My job was closely defined [as a teacher], and as an administrator, I find I have so many responsibilities, duties, as well as still remaining a teacher,” Montgomery said.

Before Montgomery joined the administrative team, there were two males, Mr. Alvin Pressley, Principal, and Mr. Sean Glover, Assistant Principal for Operations and Freshman Academy, and one female, Ms. Veronica Scott, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and instruction, on the administration. Now there is an equal number of males and females.

“It helps balance the equal representation of gender-based leadership,” Scott said.  “I admire [Ms. Montgomery’s] firmness [and] her ability to still remain fair…she collaborates with the staff and students…and that makes the entire school environment more cohesive.”

Montgomery has been welcomed into her new position with open arms and is enjoying it to the fullest.