Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris Plans to Retire


Mary Hendricks-Harris has been the superintendent of FHSD since 2016. She is retiring after years of being in the district and she hopes to make the most of her time left. (Photo by Phoebe Primeau)

By Sophie Carite, Editor-in-Chief of FHNtoday

Mary Hendricks-Harris announced that she will be stepping down as FHSD superintendent in an email sent to parents and community members on Sept. 20, after asking the board of education to accept her resignation in a private meeting the night before. This news came as a slight shock to many school community members.

“I was surprised to hear she was stepping down,” senior Josie Santel said. “She did a really great job, hopefully whoever is next will be just as good.”

The 2019-20 school year will be Hendricks-Harris’ fourth and final year as superintendent, but she has been working in FHSD since 2006. First as the lead in professional development, and later becoming the Chief of Academics, before finally taking on the role of superintendent in 2016, a job she has enjoyed.

“I’ve liked the ability to impact a lot of students,” Hendricks-Harris said.

The decision to retire was not easy for Hendricks-Harris, but after months of deliberating, she decided it was time to focus on her family and her health.

“The superintendent position is an all-encompassing position, so even when you’re not in your office you are working, or thinking about work,” Hendricks-Harris said.

Hendricks-Harris is excited to spend more time with her children, but not before finishing the current school year. Before retiring in June, she would like to make a complete plan to fully fund all of the districts facilities.

After the 2019-20 school year is over, Hendricks-Harris isn’t sure exactly what she’s going to do in a professional sense.

“In the coming months I’ll be debating in what capacity I’ll continue on,” Hendricks-Harris said. “I don’t really know what that next step is. It took all of my will power and decision making to pull the trigger on retirement.”

No information regarding the search for her replacement has been released yet, but according to Hendricks-Harris, the board of education will be meeting in the coming weeks to determine how they would like to proceed. Until the day her resignation on June 30, Hendricks-Harris plans continue to work to push the district forward.

“It has been such a joy to work here in Francis Howell, to be part of this community,” Hendricks-Harris said. “It’s an amazing community.”