HOPE – Hope Public Schools Facilities and Transportation Director Maurice Henry was honored here Monday night by the Arkansas Association of Education Administrators as its Plant Manager of the Year.
The award was announced by AAEA Assistant Executive Director Mike Mertens and was presented by AAEA Executive Director Dr. Mike Hernandez during the monthly Hope Public Schools Board of Education meeting at Hope High School.
Mertens said prior to the presentation the award is given each year to recognize an Arkansas school plant manager who has made significant contributions to positive learning and teaching environments within their district, having exhibited exception leadership in both the school community and the larger community.
He said the award is presented based upon a vetting process of nomination, service and professionalism scoring.
“I didn’t know anything about this,” a surprised Henry remarked. “First, I thank God for this,
“I want to thank the Hope Public Schools board for the opportunity to serve the students and the community,” he said. “It’s what life is about.”
A 1981 graduate of Hope High School, Henry earned an HVAC certification from the former Red River Vocational Technical Institute before beginning employment with the HPS in 1982.
He began his career working in the school district bus garage, transferred to the grounds and maintenance department, and later became the department supervisor of custodial services, prior to becoming Director of Facilities and Transportation.
Henry serves as the Pastor of Corinth Baptist Church and has served as a Hempstead County reserve sheriff’s deputy.
He has been active professionally on the state and national levels, serving as president of the Arkansas School Plant Managers Association in 2007 and president of the National School Plant Managers in 2012. He holds an Arkansas State Facilities Director Certification, has served as Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System and is a member of the State Fire License Protection Board. He also serves as Vice President of the Hempstead County Labor Board at Fulton.
Henry serves on the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce board, the Hempstead County Farm Service Agency board, is a member of the Brotherhood of Fulton and a member of the Hope Kiwanis Club.
HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley acknowledged Henry’s commitment.
“Beyond having successful experience as facilities, maintenance, custodial and transportation director, Maurice brings an unwavering commitment to educational equity and ethical leadership to Hope Public Schools,” Dr. Crossley said.
HPS Board members were effusive in their praise of Henry, noting particularly his service to community.
“There is not any need which he will not tackle,” Zone 3 Representative Margaret Moss said.
Zone 7 Representative Alvis Hamilton said he has known Henry for some 20 years as someone with a concern for schools and the children of the community.
“When Maurice is your friend, he is your friend for life,” Zone 6 Representative Kathryn Dickinson said.
Zone 2 Representative David “Bubba” Powers noted, “If the world had more Maurice Henrys, what a beautiful world it would be.”