A Message from Mr. Green

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Dear Henderson Mill Community,

My dad bought a corvette. It was 1988. I can’t tell you how excited his almost 17 year old son was. Bright red, with a black leather interior with red stitching, a removable roof, 7 gears. It was a beauty! My father loved to drive. He loved the open road, rolling down his window, watching the scenery pass by, feeling the wind through his hair. At the time, my parents also had a sailboat. Those that knew him well used to say that he tied the boat up in Narragansett Bay, over 2 hours from home not because the sailing was better there, but rather so he could drive there on the weekends, with a purpose. He loved how that car took him to Rhode Island and later to Maine after my parents divorced. It was over three hours up to the boat in Maine. My father loved that car. He fought with himself about selling it. He knew he needed to do it. The corvette is not made for the snow and ice of New England. Eventually he did; he traded it in for a much more practical Ford Explorer and then finally a better compromise, a Saab. Who knows what he would have done if he knew that 5 years later he would have his first heart attack that landed him in the hospital needing quadruple bypass surgery, or that 7 years after that he would suffer his second one and would not survive. Monday was his birthday, he would have been 81 years old. He is, however, etched in our minds at the ripe young age of 63.

Many of you know that I strive to be the kind of father to my personal children that he was to me. Sometimes more successfully than others. He was amazing! He managed to do it all, the breadwinner, the team coach, and always there for my performances. He instilled that healthy amount of fear in his children and pushed my brother and me to work hard and do and be more than our best. Simply amazing.

He also talked about how important it was to enjoy the work you do. He was a head-hunter. He helped people find better jobs and, in the process, he built a company that provided for many families. I’ve tried to follow his example in that realm as well. I love the work we’re doing at Henderson Mill ES. I am so very proud of it. Looking at our teachers and staff:

  • I see a team with a compelling, inspiring vision and mission
  • I see a team who plans for how to make that vision a reality and works that plan every day
  • I see professionals who strive to refine their skills and hone their craft to be the best they can be
  • I see a future driving toward our vision that is paved with new, exciting challenges met with continued optimism, resolve, growth and success

So, in some ways, I’m a lot like my dad. And, in some ways, I’m very different. I’m not much into cars. After a three-hour car ride, I start to get the itch to get out and explore. Those cars are pretty, but my head knows better than to allow my heart to make foolhardy decision. I am more of a traveler. You know that over the past 5 summers we have travelled: the UK, out West, to Greece, Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, and most recently to Israel. Through these trips we’re trying to help my children, Lily and Nathan, become citizens of the world. We’ve dreamed for a long time of doing that through an even more immersive experience than three weeks in the summer. That dream sat quietly for over 7 years while I focused on preparing for and then participating in our amazing work together here. The time has come to both nurture that dream and to achieve a better balance that will allow me to be the kind of dad I want to be.

So, this summer, we plan to travel to Quito, Ecuador… And to stay for two years.

The day my father passed, 17 years ago, was the saddest day of my life. Today ranks right up there. Truly the thought of leaving you, this school, this community, is perhaps the scariest thing I’ve done.

In the weeks that follow, I will pledge to you that you will get me, the full me, the dedicated, hard-working me that you have always had. There will be no phasing out. There will be only hard work as we plan for and reinforce the path forward that we all have charted and are living. There will be no pause because I will not be here next year. There will only be more careful, strategic planning to ensure that everything is in place for the year and the work lies ahead. I care deeply for all of you, I know with all my heart and soul that the best is yet to come for HMES, and greatly appreciate all of the opportunities that you have given to me to grow as an educational leader and to serve you and our school.