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Educator goes from teaching to the oil field and back again

2014 September 18
by HISD Communications
John Hendrickson

John Hendrickson

Field Elementary School Principal John Hendrickson is marking 25 consecutive years of service to HISD this week, but he actually has 27 years under his belt as an educator. The Tokyo native started out as a biology teacher at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 1978, but only taught there for a few years before leaving for greener pastures.

“My second year of teaching, I got married,” explained Hendrickson, “and at that point, it became a financial issue.”

Before returning to the classroom in 1989, Hendrickson spent more than a decade “in the oil patch,” working with various companies to promote their services to engineers and geologists. “My bachelor’s degree was in geology,” he said, “so it wasn’t that hard to switch fields.”

When the oil industry went south in the 1980s, Hendrickson returned to HISD, and since that time, he has served as a teacher, a dean of instruction, an assistant principal, and the director of secondary schools in what was then known as the North Central District. Now in his tenth year at Field Elementary, Hendrickson notes that he is only the sixth principal to lead that school since it opened in 1929. “I think this is the longest I’ve ever been in one spot,” he noted, “but principals in this building tend to stick around. And at this point, I am totally committed to education. Even when the economy got better, I never thought about doing anything else.”

Hendrickson officially marked his 25th anniversary with the district on Sept. 18, but a few other employees are also marking theirs this week (Sept. 14–20). See if you know anyone on this list:

45 years

  • Judy Colbert-Taylor, associate teacher
  • Mary Haverly, teacher, Hobby ES

40 years

  • Diane Fields, attendant, Food Services
  • Juan Rey, senior mechanic, Transportation

30 years

  • Charlotte Foreman, teacher, Hobby ES
  • Mearlean Peterson, teacher, Valley West ES
  • Martha Salinas, senior student information representative, Federal and State Compliance
  • John Smith, stadium attendant, Athletics
  • Laura Smith, teaching assistant, Mading ES

25 years

  • Wendolyn Gates, teacher, Gregg ES
  • Francisca Rios, student information representative, Seguin ES

20 years

  • Marilyn Christensen, teacher, Eliot ES
  • Stacy Flemming, teacher, Washington HS
  • Donna Harris, teacher, Marshall MS
  • Theresa Luna, student information representative, Sam Houston MSTC
  • Rosie Salguero, clerk, Robinson ES

15 years

  • Alicia Jackson, teacher, Frost ES
  • Cora Robinson, stadium attendant, Athletics
  • Mariana Simpson, teacher, Parker ES
  • Adrienne Tollerson, teacher, Sutton ES
  • Jackeline Vanegas, secretary, Herod ES
  • David Warren, officer, Police Department

10 years

  • Roderick Bodeta, campus education technologist, Austin HS
  • Myrah Clemens, evaluation specialist, Child Study
  • Reva Johnson, associate teacher
  • Annie Marshall, attendant team lead, Food Services
  • Eddie Melton, stadium attendant, Athletics
  • Ronnie Porter, teacher, Kashmere HS
  • Maria Romero, clerk, Montgomery ES
  • Rodney Williams, stadium attendant, Athletics
  • Brenson York, officer, Police Department

5 years

  • Femi Afolayan, senior accounting manager, Finance
  • Francisca Arellano, clerk, Bruce ES
  • Linda Barker, teaching assistant, Lanier MS
  • Sharon Bates, teacher, Worthing HS
  • Oscar Cerna, teaching assistant, Shearn ES
  • Christina Cervantes, clerk, Whittier ES
  • Mireya Cuellar, clerk, Fleming MS
  • Mariah Figueroa, teacher, Pilgrim Academy
  • Obed Gama, clerk, Burbank MS
  • Yulanda Glutz, teacher, Chavez HS
  • Jennifer Ha, associate teacher
  • Hattie Hayward, associate teacher
  • Laura Hernandez, teacher, Bonner ES
  • Alirio Huertas, teacher, Gross ES
  • Chatney Johnson, teacher, Gregg ES
  • Isiah Jones, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Nikka Jones, evaluation specialist, Child Study
  • Demetrius Joseph, teacher, Ortiz MS
  • Sharron Longmire, associate teacher
  • Ruth Lopez, teacher, MCLIMS
  • Chao Lu, associate teacher
  • Marian Mabry, clerk, HSPVA
  • Latasha McMurray, teacher, Key MS
  • BrendaMoore, clerk, Wilson Montessori
  • Cesar Moreira, clerk, Bellaire HS
  • Phuong Ngo, teacher, Valley West ES
  • Donnie Rambo, associate teacher
  • Luisa Romero, teacher, River Oaks ES
  • Angelica Saenz, teacher, Laurenzo ECC
  • Patrice Stephenson, teaching assistant, King ECC
  • Melbarys Triguero-Delhoyo, associate teacher
  • Evelyn Wilder, associate teacher
Check back next Friday for more September Milestones. Leave a comment below if you’d like to congratulate any of the above employees.
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