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IPS Announces Its 2022 Principal of the Year

(June 4, 2021) — The 2022 Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Principal of the Year is Tihesha Henderson, head of school at Sankofa School of Success at Arlington Woods School 99 – an Innovation Network School. IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson surprised Henderson on Friday, June 4, during a special celebration at Arlington Woods.

Known to her staff and students as “Coach Henderson,” Henderson is always working to identify how students at Arlington Woods can excel and be their personal best academically, physically, mentally, and socially. 

She also values inclusivity and makes sure everyone has a voice and a seat at the table.

“Racial equity mindset is the condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted their outcome or success. As a school leader of black and brown students, racial equity is one of my main priorities,” notes Henderson.

Henderson is consistently coaching, training, and developing staff to ensure students have what they need to achieve their academic goals. She works with her team from start to finish by providing professional development opportunities, peers support, weekly coaching sessions, and team-building exercises. 

“Achieving excellence at Arlington Woods started with my journey of effective Leadership,” said Henderson. “After 10 years of school leadership I realized that for our school to increase outcomes for students, I needed to increase my effectiveness as a school leader.”

Henderson is a past recipient of the RELAY Graduate School of Education leadership program as well as The Mind Trust Innovation School Fellowship.

“Principal Henderson is the epitome of dedication and determination. Her tireless work at Arlington Woods has been recognized throughout the Indianapolis community and beyond,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “Her students and families know that she will move every mountain to secure resources, make invaluable connections and attract/retain the best and brightest staff to give her students the best the city and state have to offer.”

The IPS Principal of the Year Award recognizes those principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. In presenting this award, IPS hopes to encourage excellence in school leadership and to contribute in a substantive way to the improvement of education in the district.