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The PISD school community felt the loss of longtime Superintendent of Schools Dr. H. Wayne Hendrick, who passed away on Wednesday, September 28. Dr. Hendrick served PISD as superintendent from 1961–1991 and was instrumental in developing PISD into a nationally acclaimed school district. He was also one of the founders of the Hendrick Scholarship Foundation.
Dr. Hendrick and PISD
“Dr. Hendrick’s vision of what PISD could become set the course for teachers and staff working together to provide an excellent education for untold numbers of students,” said Susan Dantzler, Executive Director of Elementary Campus Services and former 26-year Plano ISD Principal. “He was the driving force in melding the district’s core beliefs of teamwork for excellence, which continues to be the cornerstones of PISD today. He will be greatly missed.”
Innovative and forward-thinking, Dr. Hendrick worked hard to shape PISD into what it is today. One example of his innovation is the high school system. Dr. Hendrick split the senior highs off from the high schools so that students would complete their core credits in high school, allowing the senior high schools the freedom to teach a broader variety of electives and vocational classes. This is part of what makes Plano schools so successful—considered some of the best in the country.
Over the years, he earned many honors including Plano Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year as well as the Plano Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was also selected among the top five administrators in the State of Texas during his time as superintendent.
According to Plano ISD records, when Dr. Hendrick started work, Plano was a modest suburb, a population of approximately 3,600 and a school enrollment of 1,175. There were just three schools in the district. When Dr. Hendrick retired in 1991, the population of Plano had grown to more than 129,000; the school district enrollment had increased to 32,000; and there were 38 schools. Whether past, present or future, every student to walk the halls of Plano schools will have been positively affected by the hard work and dedication of Dr. Hendrick.
The Hendrick Scholarship Foundation
After his retirement in 1991, Dr. Hendrick and some local business owners felt there was more to be done to help Plano students achieve their dreams. Thus, the Hendrick Scholarship Foundation was born.
“Dr. Hendrick touched a lot of lives and really brought the community alive from an education perspective,” said Gregg Pappas, Executive Director of the scholarship foundation. “His legacy is alive due to the Foundation and all the great work he did in PISD.” Gregg continued, “We are committed to keeping that legacy alive and trying to serve as many students as we can.”
The Hendrick Scholarship Foundation exists to provide financial aid to Plano students who would like to attend college but lack the means. However, as Gregg explained, they don’t just “hand students a check and send them away.” Through the program, students find a support system of volunteer coaches, mentors and tutors who can help them navigate the transition from high school to college and lead life skills workshops on, for example, personal budgeting. Currently, there are 54 students in the program.
“The time I spent with Dr. Hendrick,” said Dr. Brian Binggeli, current Plano ISD Superintendent of Schools, “was both valuable and informative. He spoke with great love for Plano ISD and its community. I am so pleased to have known him as a fellow superintendent and as a highly respected member of our district family. I wish to express my sympathy to his family for their loss and gratitude for Dr. Hendrick’s service to Plano ISD.”
For more on the Foundation or to learn how you can help, visit hendrickscholarship.org