Veteran Centerville school superintendent announces retirement

Longtime Centerville City Schools Superintendent Tom Henderson announced his retirement to the community on Thursday night in a letter to district families.

Henderson has spent 42 years in education, with 31 dedicated to Centerville Schools, the past 13 as superintendent. He plans to retire effective Aug. 1.

Henderson said he will miss working with the staff and students in the school district the most once he retires in the summer.

“I always enjoyed being around the staff and students, so I will definitely miss them,” he said.

ExploreBackpack bill: Great tool for families or scourge to public schools?

Henderson said he plans to spend time with his family and continue to work in a different role. He said he has not made a final decision on what he wants to do for work next, though he said he has some options.

“I just think it’s time to cut back a little bit and do something that has a little bit less time commitment and hours,” he said.

Henderson noted his wife went to Centerville schools, as did their two children. He moved to the community while he was in the seventh grade, he said.

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Centerville community for providing me with the extraordinary opportunity to serve in such an outstanding organization,” he said.

Sarah Swan, Centerville Schools spokeswoman, said Thursday night that the board is still in the early planning phases of the process to start the search for a new superintendent, so there are no details yet to share.

ExploreArchbishop shares pastries with students for Fat Tuesday at Dayton school

Henderson is an Alter High School graduate and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dayton, plus a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Miami University.

He began his career in education as a social studies teacher and wrestling coach at West Carrollton High School. He was also a unit principal at Trotwood-Madison High School before coming to Centerville in 1991.

That first Centerville role was as principal of Tower Heights Middle School. Then he moved to district director of personnel in 2003, and became Centerville’s superintendent in August 2009.

Upon becoming superintendent, Henderson told the Dayton Daily News in 2009 that he wanted to end his career as superintendent of Centerville schools.

“There is not a greater district anywhere than Centerville City Schools,” Henderson said. “I told the (school) board I wanted to work for at least 10 more years, so I hope to complete my career as superintendent.”

Henderson is the second superintendent of a major local school district to announce a retirement this year, after Scott Inskeep, the Kettering schools superintendent, announced he will be retiring this summer.

Huber Heights, another of the largest school districts in the area, is also looking for a replacement superintendent after former superintendent Mario Basora left for a job in the private industry. Currently, Kelly Spivey is serving as the district’s interim school superintendent.

Centerville is the second-largest school district in the Dayton area, with about 8,100 students, narrowly larger than Kettering and Beavercreek. The district has regularly earned high marks, both on state testing and evaluations by national groups such as U.S. News and World Report.

About the Author