Clarence Henning Named Superintendent Emeritus
by Andy Koch, Editor- Troy Times-Tribune
A man who spent decades of his life in service to the Triad School District has been awarded with a prestigious honorary title.
Clarence A. Henning was named Superintendent Emiritus at the Monday, December 15 meeting of the Triad Board of Education for his years of service to the distrct.
Triad Superintendent Leigh Lewis brought forward the motion, which was met with the school board's unanimous approval.
"I am pleased to be able to bring to the board a motion honoring Mr. C. A. Henning," said Lewis.
"Mr. Henning served the district for 35 years," Lewis explained. "During those years, he made significant contributions to the well-being of the school district. The Triad Community Unit School District #2 was lead by Mr. Henning in its initial years of consolidation. Mr. Henning personified the highest standards of service, leadership and character, which set the standard for the next four Triad Superintendents."
"Mr. Henning, we are pleased to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the great contributions that you have made, as your work has made a difference in many lives," said Lewis in conclusion. "Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the children and families of Troy, St. Jacob and Marine." Lewis' remarks were echoed by School Board President Thomas Tritsch.
"Though we did not serve under your tenure, we have had the opportunity to see and enjoy the results of your leadership," said Tritsch. "Today, Triad is well-known in the area for education and we owe you a deep debt of gratitude for that."
Henning himself was humble in accepting the honor.
"This is quite an honor - one that I didn't expect and don't know if I deserve," said Henning. Henning credited his time as coach and the athletes he mentored as being critical in making his name well-known locally.
"Our basketball team probably did more to make me known than my 35 years with the district," Henning explained. "We beat Highland three times in one year," Henning added with a smile. In closing, Henning said that he is proud of Triad's schools.
"It's nice to know we have an educational system that can produce superintendents of schools," said Henning, referring to Lewis, who was a graduate of Triad High School.
Henning was awarded with a plaque engraved with the official proclamation naming him Superintendent Emeritus. The event, which was the highlight of the evening, was witnessed by several members of his family, as well as several district officials.
Henning is the namesake of C.A. Henning Elementary School in Troy, which was named for him following his service as superintendent of the district for 15 years.
The following biographical information was written by Kay Korte and can be found in the history book Troy, Illinois Area History And Families.
Clarence and Ethel (Young) Henning moved to Troy in 1942 when Clarence accepted a teaching position at the McCray-Dewey High School. Ethel was the daughter of David and Louise Young of Pin Oak Township.
From 1943-1953, Henning was a science teacher and the coach of all sports. During these years, his teams won more than 30 trophies. The Boys' Basketball record was 203 and 98. Several athletes qualified for state finals in Track and Cross Country.
For the next four years, Henning was the principal of the high school. When Triad became a consolidated district, he became the first principal of the high school.
During the years 1959-1961, the curriculum was enlarged, counselors were employed and football and girls' sports were started.
From 1962-1977, Henning became the superintendent of Triad Community Unit #2. Triad was one of the first districts in the state to initiate all-day kindergarten classes and hire reading specialists.
The district grew as new buildings were added: Molden Elementary, Wakeland Center, an agriculture classroom building, a large addition to the high school and renovations or additions to the Marine, St. Jacob and McCray-Dewey buildings.
All bond issues and tax referendums were passed during these years.
Henning was also involved in the community of Troy. He served on a committee to install street signs and helped to survey the community for door-to-door mail delivery and for city sewer service.
He has been a Lions Club member since 1943, serving as president in 1953.
Henning served one term as president of the Troy Civic Improvement Corporation which developed the Troy Industrial Park.
After retiring in 1977, Henning served two years with the Madison County School Trustees; served for two years on the Southwestern Agency on Aging; and was president of the United Savings and Loan.
Henning has received numerous honors. In 1953, he was named the Troy Citizen of the Year. The C.A. Henning Elementary School was named in his honor in 1988. He also received the Melvin Jones Foundation Award in 2000.
Henning has been a member of Alpha Sigma Phi, the Troy United Methodist Church, the Troy Lions Club, Phi Delta Kappa International, the National Association of Secondary Principals, the American Association of School Administrators and the Educational League of Illinois. He served as president of the Southwestern Illinois Coaches Association for one term.
Henning is a 1934 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan with an A.B. degree and the University of Illinois with an A.M. degree in 1952.
He has done additional graduate work at Ohio State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Thursday, December 25, 2009- Troy Times-Tribune