New director of special ed. appointed
During their meeting on June 11, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Carmen Henderson as the director of special education for the Haddonfield School District, from July 1, 2020.
The District released the following statement about the appointment today (July 15).
Dr. Henderson is a familiar face in Haddonfield, having worked as an LDT-C (Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant) and as a Child Study Team case manager for the district for the past year. She steps into a position formerly filled by Dr. Gino Priolo who was approved as Assistant Superintendent in May and whose official start date is also July 1.
“We are very fortunate to have gotten to know Dr. Henderson during this past year,” said Priolo. “She has been a valuable and caring member of the special education team and brings many years of training and experience to the Director’s post. It is rare to find someone who is not only a skilled clinician, but who also combines keen vision and leadership skills with an empathic lens. I am confident our students, staff and families will benefit from her leadership.”
Henderson began her educational journey at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master of arts in Teaching. She received a certificate of graduate studies in Learning Disabilities from Rowan University and later earned her Ed.D. in Special Education Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University. Her thesis topic was “Factors Contributing to the Over-representation of Black Elementary Students in Special Education in Suburban Public School Settings, June 2018.”
Henderson is board certified as an educational diagnostician, a child development specialist, a teacher of supplemental instruction in reading and math grades K-8, an elementary teacher grades K-5, a preschool-grade 3 teacher, a student assistance coordinator and a school administrator. She has served as an LDT-C in Pennsauken, Burlington, and Lawnside Public Schools. In Pennsauken, she was also the chair of the Child Study Team, and in Lawnside she was the 504 coordinator. An adjunct professor at Rowan University, Henderson has also coordinated Rowan’s LDT-C program.
In addition to her experiences working for various school systems, Henderson has owned and operated her own consulting business since 2007, Carmen Henderson Educational Consulting in Cherry Hill.
“Dr. Henderson is a committed professional whose knowledge and expertise are only outpaced by her passion for children,” said incoming Superintendent Chuck Klaus. “She is the ideal person to continue our mission to be a leader in educational inclusivity for our children with special needs.”
Currently a resident of Cherry Hill, Henderson and her husband have an eighteen-year-old son who will be attending Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) where he has signed a letter of intent to play on the men’s soccer team. Henderson takes particular pride in the accomplishments of her son, because of the journey their family has taken, raising a child with special needs.
“My roles – both as a parent of a child with special needs and as a clinician – have provided me a view through a unique lense as well as deep passion for special education,” Henderson said. “It is my intention to continue to enhance the current inclusive practices and student interventions in the Haddonfield Public Schools. I am very pleased to be a part of the Haddonfield community because the consistency and quality of the services provided to our students are aligned with what I expect as a parent and a practitioner.”