HARRISONBURG — Missy Hensley comes to Harrisonburg High School from Central High School in Woodstock and said she is excited to accept the opportunity and challenge of serving as the principal.
Hensley is taking the reins from Cynthia Prieto, who retired after 34 years in education with the last five as principal of HHS.
Hensley has 24 years of instructional and school leadership experience. She has been a school administrator since 2004 and has served as principal of Central High School since 2012. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University and master’s degrees from James Madison University.
She is currently enrolled in the doctorate of education program at Morehead State University. Having graduated high school from Spotswood High School in Rockingham County, she is a longtime resident of the Shenandoah Valley.
“I live in Bridgewater and grew up in the Valley. So this feels like coming home,” Hensley said.
Hensley has always challenged herself and been driven to enhance her skill set, which is what led her to the principal position at HHS.
“This is a great opportunity to improve as a leader,” she said, adding that HHS already has a great tradition.
Hensley officially took over as the principal on Monday after finishing her time at Central High School.
She’s been meeting people casually as they come into the office to introduce themselves and has had a chance to take part in some summer activities, such as a STEM Academy weather balloon launch and marching band practice.
“The summer months are a great time to get that framework laid down,” she said.
Once students are back, Hensley plans to seek them out for feedback on what is working well at HHS and what needs improvement. She plans to have hallway polls with sticky notes for students to give feedback.
She also plans to learn from faculty as well.
“Our education system is here for the students and that’s at the forefront of everything we do,” Hensley said.