I had the privilege to work with Kristen Henry for five years when I was employed as an ELA teacher at Harlandale STEM Early College High School and Kristen was the district ELA coordinator. Kristen’s commitment to student success coupled with her support of teachers was evident from the start. As coordinator, Kristen presented us with the latest research on evidence-based practices and conveyed those concepts in a clear and engaging manner, treating staff members with respect and understanding. Moreover, she had an outstanding track record for team-building across our district. Teaching can often feel like an isolated profession. This was certainly the case for me, as I taught in a very small high school with a department of only three teachers. Thanks to Kristen, I was able to build bridges with teachers at other campuses. Kristen arranged for us to observe other ELA teachers in classrooms and established cohorts where I worked collaboratively with other ELA teachers and learned effective strategies for student engagement, always drawing from the best-researched practices. As a professional, I grew to be more knowledgeable about the latest body of literacy research and became better able to elucidate my own educational philosophies and pedagogy. Ultimately, Kristen pushed me to be a more reflective educator. I credit Kristen with helping me to improve so that I could be hired into my current position as a Master Teacher with San Antonio Independent School District at Jefferson High School in their International Baccalaureate Program. Kristen Henry is the full-package—knowledgeable, energetic, hard-working, personable, and—above all—passionate about providing the best education for students.
-Paula Dolloff, 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award Winner
Kristen is like confetti in the ELA world in that she spreads so much color and excitement into our classrooms. For the past several years, she has challenged me to raise my level of expectations for students of all ability levels by constantly incorporating research-based reading and writing activities into my classroom. She has also taught me numerous strategies for effective assessment and data analysis, which has allowed me to continuously close the learning gap for all my students. Her drive to help teachers and students be successful is so profound that she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty! For instance, she has voluntarily taught a variety of sessions in our school’s STAAR Writing Academy for many years in a row! If you’re feeling defeated or maybe even just plain out bored with your lessons and activities, Kristen is your girl! She will always have something up her sleeve to spice things up in a relevant, high interest, indelible type of way.
-Victoria Garcia, English Language Arts Teacher
Reflecting on the start of my journey in education, I was fortunate enough to have an educator like Kristen to serve as a mentor. For the past few years, I have been pushed to new heights with her by my side. With informative sessions that are engaging and hands on that ask you to not only reflect on yourself, but your students as well. Providing educators with a voice and confidence, by educating them on well researched strategies to take into their classroom, moves us all to the goal of bridging any educational gaps. Kristen is an outstanding educator who is never afraid to get in the classroom and often volunteers to prepare our students with various writing sessions prior to state assessments. Students always come out of her class with a smile and vast new knowledge. If you ever need someone to challenge you and shake up your tired lessons, Kristen is the one you need!
-Zuleica Olvera, English Language Arts Teacher