Goddard’s Henry named superintendent of the year; Haysville chief Burke is a finalist

Dr. Justin Henry, second from left, was surprised by family and colleagues when he was named as the Kansas Superintendents' Association as its superintendent of the year.

The Kansas School Superintendents’ Association has selected Goddard USD 265 superintendent Dr. Justin Henry as the 2021 Kansas Superintendent of the Year.
Henry has been the superintendent in Goddard since July 2011. USD 265 serves more than 6,000 students from the communities of Goddard and west Wichita.
In 2001, Henry was named assistant principal at Ottawa High School. Three years later, he became the principal until 2007. Before moving to Goddard, Henry served as superintendent at Southeast of Saline USD 306.
Henry was one of four superintendents named as finalists.
Haysville USD 261 superintendent Dr. John Burke was a finalist, along with Dr. Chad Higgins of Maize and Dr. Tiffany Anderson of Topeka. The finalists were interviewed by former Kansas Superintendents of the Year late last week. This committee shared this was an exceptionally talented group of finalists, and identifying just one as Superintendent of the Year was difficult.
Candidates were assessed according to their professionalism, communication, community involvement and leadership while meeting the local communities’ needs and the needs of their students.
As Kansas Superintendent of the Year, Henry will now be considered for the AASA National Superintendent of the Year program. KSSA, in cooperation with the Ogden Financial Group, will host a celebration honoring Henry in January. They will be providing a $1,000 scholarship to a Kansas high school senior selected by the Kansas Superintendent of the Year.
Henry received his bachelor of science degree from Sterling College, majoring in biology and divisional science. He graduated with a master’s of science from Emporia State University in 2001 and a doctorate in educational policy and leadership in May 2006.
Henry has been involved in the community, serving on the Goddard Educational Foundation board of trustees, and the Wichita Public Library Foundation board of trustees and board of directors. He has been in leadership roles with professional organizations, serving as president for the Kansas School Superintendents’ Association and council chair for the Kansas Superintendents Council, and is an active member of the Kansas-Missouri Superintendents Association.
“This is a proud day for the Goddard Public Schools community. Dr. Henry is most deserving of this honor. Dr. Henry has empowered stakeholders to generate innovative solutions to ensure students have access to world-class learning opportunities designed to meet their individual needs,” said Mark Richards, president of the Goddard Board of Education. “The success, respect, and reputation the Goddard District enjoys are greatly due to the effort, dedication, and leadership of Dr. Henry. The entire school community congratulates Justin and his family for this outstanding achievement.”