Intermediate school to be named for two principals

Friday, October 10, 2014

By Karen Hall


School board members unanimously approved a suggestion by Director of Schools Jackie Abernathy to name the new intermediate school after two beloved principals, Dean Delk and Norman Henson.

Abernathy explained to board members she and Deputy Director Jacob Sorrells discussed the current sign at Chapel Hill Elementary School with the builders. They were told there's not enough room to erect a second sign for the intermediate school alongside the CHES sign, so it was suggested to have one sign for both schools. Because the design is needed soon, Abernathy recommended the name of the school be the Delk-Henson Intermediate School, to commemorate two of Chapel Hill's most notable principals.

Dean Delk was principal of CHES from the day it opened in 1996 until this summer, when he announced his retirement. Before that, Delk had been principal of Forrest School, starting in 1985, when it was a K-12 "unit school."

Norman Henson, now in his 80s, was also a principal at Forrest. He graduated from Marshall County High School in 1951, and his first teaching job, in 1957, was at Forrest.

"I was in the sixth grade when he came to Forrest straight out of the Army," said Beth Chunn. "We all thought he was wonderful, and we were right, he was wonderful!'

Norman Henson became principal at Forrest in 1965, and stayed until 1974, when he became personnel director at Cosmolab, a job he held until he retired for good in 1996.

There are still Hensons in the school system. His daughter Jennifer Lynch teaches at CHES, and his son Jimmy Henson is at MCHS. Grandson Colin Henson teaches at elementary school and also helps with coaching football at MCHS. Even Norman Henson's wife Mary spend 28 years in the school system as a teacher's assistant and secretary.

In other business at the school board's meeting, Abernathy recognized classified employees of the month Pat Esmond, Deana Martin, and Larry Roberts.

She and Sorrells also recognized teachers and staff members who retired at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Following the recognitions, board member Ken Lilly asked to suspend the rules so he could address the audience. He thanked all the retirees for their dedication and hard work over the years, and especially his former coach Bob Edens who taught him lessons about life.

The retiring educators included Karen Cherry, Alice Coble, Larry Curlee, Dean Delk, Kathy Demumbreum, Sharon Dockery, Bob Edens, Wanda Ervin, Deborah Foster, Vylatte Gooch,Ginger Hardison, Jerry Holt, Patricia Hill, Patty Hill, Richard Moffett, Sherry Park, Anne Reed, Beth Sweeney and Deborah Wade.

Support staff members who retired were Jane Allen, Don Crabtree, June Daniel, Kathy Davis, Sarah Davis, Peggy Edens, June Flowers, Nancy Harber, Vicki Hardison, Earl Harris, Teresa Hill, James Liggett, Diane McKnight, Sandra Pugh, James Sanders, Brenda Sandifer, and Pat Steward.