June 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Poland: Secondary Education: Montrose Daily Press: As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Poland RPCV Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Poland: Peace Corps Poland : The Peace Corps in Poland: June 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Poland: Secondary Education: Montrose Daily Press: As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Poland RPCV Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over

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As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Poland RPCV Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over

As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Poland RPCV Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over

As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Poland RPCV Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over

Henwood takes over helm at Centennial

By Kristen Majors
Montrose Daily Press
Montrose, Calif.

As the new principal at Centennial Middle School, Kirk Henwood is hoping to make some improvements when he takes over.

Henwood does not have far to come to fill the administrative opening, as he has been the assistant principal at Olathe Middle/High School for the past year. Before he came to Olathe, he was the assistant principal at Palisade High School.

After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor's degree in English/secondary education, Henwood continued his education with graduate school at the University of New Mexico. He earned a master's degree in curriculum/instruction and multi-cultural teacher education. Henwood also has an educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Northern Colorado.

With his education complete, Henwood took a long-term substitute position with the Department of Defense at a school just outside of Madrid, Spain. After about six months, Henwood continued his overseas educational career with a position in Poland as a Peace Corps volunteer. He taught English as a Foreign Language for two years before becoming an Environmental Education Consultant, also in Poland.

Henwood said one of the most appealing things about Centennial is the staff and students he will be working with.

"Centennial has been a low-performing school academically, and yet the staff is very committed and very well-educated. I don't think the test scores and community reputation that Centennial has really reflects what's going on there," said Henwood. "I'm looking forward to letting people know what Centennial is like, what it's all about, and changing the community perception a little bit."

Henwood is aware that he faces the challenge of change, but hopes that the staff, parents and students he will be working with will look at it as a positive opportunity.

"The thing I'm most looking forward to is getting to know the students and the staff and looking at what Centennial does well and capitalizing on things we need to work on and improve to build a better school," said Henwood. "Any time you go to a new building, it's exciting to get to know the people and the kids and get to work with them."

Henwood's wife, Jill, is the executive director of the Girls on the Run program for the area, which is a program designed to encourage self-respect and a healthy lifestyle in young girls. The couple has three daughters, ages six, four and six months.

Henwood is taking over for Larry Strubel, who resigned to take a teaching position at Johnson Elementary School.

To fill the open principal position at Centennial, the district conducted a nation-wide search for qualified candidates. The search turned up 16 candidates, six of whom were invited to Montrose to be interviewed. However, after the interviews took place, the committee did not feel there was a sufficient candidate, according to Re-1J spokeswoman Linda Gann. The search was then turned inward to the district, and Henwood was selected and asked to leave his position in Olathe to fill the opening at Centennial.

Currently in the district, there are 12 teacher positions and two assistant principal positions at Olathe High/Middle School and Centennial Middle School left to be filled. Gann said the district is aiming to fill these positions within the next 30 days. The school district recently hired former Cedaredge Middle School assistant principal Thomas Hill to fill an open principal position at Pomona Elementary School.





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Story Source: Montrose Daily Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Poland; Secondary Education

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