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Joyce Johnson Henderson

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Joyce A. Henderson has been described as a very gifted and talented lady. She is one of the most respected and admired educators in the state of Oklahoma. She has been an educator for 36 years; however her close friends and relatives would say she began teaching before she could talk. She has been an inspiration to students, parents, teachers and administrations with her enthusiasm and genuine warmth.

Joyce was born in 1947 to Eddie Lee and Fannie M. Johnson. She is one of the coupleââ?¬â?¢s four daughters, all of whom are college graduates. Joyce graduated from Dunjee High School in 1964. She has a BS degree from Langston University, a Masterââ?¬â?¢s of Education Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and Secondary Administration Certification from the University of Oklahoma.

Joyce started her career as a classroom social studies teacher at Dunjee High School. Her other positions have included administrator of Teacher Corps; guidance counselor at Orchard Park Girls School and assistant principal at Harding Middle School. She has held several principal positions, including: principal of Emerson Alternative High School, Classen High School, Northeast High School, Star Spencer High School and Classen School of Advanced Studies, the first magnet school in the Oklahoma City Public School system.

Joyce has been the Executive Director of School and Community Services for the last ten years. In 1998, she started the Schools for Healthy Lifestyles Program. This program started with eight schools and has expanded to 20 Oklahoma City elementary schools since its initiation. In addition three near-by school districts have adopted this successful program, which promotes health-related behaviors in young students and gives them the information and incentive to continue to make wise, health choices throughout their lives.

Joyce cites some special moments in her life, including: attending the March on Washington, D.C. to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his ââ?¬Å?I have a Dreamââ?¬ speech; removing Star Spencer High School off the ââ?¬Å?Stateââ?¬â?¢s at Riskââ?¬ List; opening the Districtââ?¬â?¢s first magnet school for students in the International Baccalaureate and Visual and Performing Arts Program at Classen School of Advanced Studies; hosting over 3000 students nationwide for the National Baptist Convention at Northeast High School; hosting school assembly programs for Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson and Rex Linn; seeing her students become successful and productive citizens.

Joyce has received numerous honors and awards for her outstanding contributions in the community and in education. These include: 2006 YWCA Woman Achiever of the Year Award; 2005 Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Award; Central Oklahoma Chapter National award from John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Administrator; Woman of the Year, Redlands Girl Scouts Organization; Wind Beneath My Wings Award, OKC Public Schools; Most Positive Principal Award, OKC Public Schools; Langston University Education Hall of Fame Inductee; Most Outstanding Basileus Award of Midwestern Region, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; Finalist for Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award, Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Administration; State winner, Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education Award; By-liner Award, OKC Professional Chapter, Women in Communications, Inc.; Outstanding Leadership Certificate, NTU Arts Association; Finer Womanhood Award, local chapter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Joyce has served as a board member of the YWCA and was elected Vice-President and Secretary. She is a current board member of the Oklahoma Commission for Education Leadership; Youth Services of Oklahoma County; Sunbeam Family Services; OKC Chapter of the American Red Cross; South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; Schools for Healthy Lifestyles Program. She is also a charter member of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Chapter of Black Educators; member of Central Oklahoma Turning Point Health Initiative; Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association and National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Epsilon Chapter. Joyce holds life memberships in the Langston University Alumni Association; the University of Central Oklahoma Alumni Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Joyce was her churchââ?¬â?¢s pianist for 30 years before retiring from that position in 1989 (she started at the age of 12). She is currently the pianist for the Missionary Choir at St. John C.M.E. Church in Spencer, Oklahoma.

Joyce has been married to William Gerald Henderson for 38 years. They have two sons, Kevin and Kelly, a daughter ââ?¬â??in-law, Tasha and five lovely grandchildren.