“Everybody doesn’t go the same way,” Mike Henry said, quoting a truth his father gave him that’s stuck with him over the years.. If you walked in on one of his art classes, you would see this right away. Students are painting with charcoal, arranging matchbox cars for a still life, or measuring the lantern sitting halfway across the room. When his students show him their three composition ideas, he often asks, “Which one interests you the most?” From this answer, he directs his students in the way that they are best fit to go. Knowing that everyone’s path is different has shaped the way Mr. Henry has lived, taught, and made decisions.
Mr. Henry has been teaching Art and Art History as the head of the visual art department at Cair Paravel for 28 years. When he first arrived, after studying at the Art Students Academy, he had plenty of teaching experience from his independent classes for adults. Through these classes, he met James Waldy, who recognized his skills and encouraged him to apply for a position at CPLS. When Mr. Henry was hired, he was able to develop the curriculum as he saw fit, and Cair Paravel’s strong visual arts program can be largely credited to the work that he has put into it.
Having taught people of all ages, Mr. Henry believes that the skills in art are teachable and learnable. This makes him able to genuinely encourage his students based on their potential and progress, rather than the products of their efforts. However, he is not afraid to ask an off-task student “what the deuce” they are doing.
Mr. Henry’s paintings have been awarded on local and national levels, but around school, he is best known for his snail jokes. Outside of school, he enjoys painting, cooking, yoga, reading, and playing the trombone. Though not everybody goes the same way, Mr. Henry’s path has carried him from Texas to Oklahoma to Kansas, and Cair Paravel is very grateful that God has brought him to us.