Teacher announces retirement after years of teaching


Kate Davis

Henson has worked in the math department since 1990, when he got his first teaching job. 

Kate Davis, Dispatch Reporter

At the end of the 2021-22 school year, the Bowie community will say goodbye to long-time beloved teacher, Jeff Henson. Henson has worked in the math department since 1990, when he got his first teaching job. 

“It was a relatively new school,” Henson said. “It seemed like a good place to work.”

School life has been very different amidst the pandemic, but Henson’s opinion of the school hasn’t changed much since he started. 

“The kids are wonderful, and it’s been very rewarding,”  Henson said. “I work in a very supportive environment with the math department and the administration. As far as changes, all that’s still true, but just having to learn virtual is a very real challenge for me and the students.”

Henson’s colleague since 2003, Kelly Flick, of the math department had a very positive first impression of Henson, as did many of the students and faculty.

“He was a team player, energetic, loved students, loved his job,” Flick said. “When I got to teach with him, we started teaching Pre-AP algebra two together. I got to really see in more depth how much more he loved students and being a team player. He’s just fabulous.”

Many students liked Henson’s class, due to the uplifting nature of the classroom and Henson’s ability to communicate with his students. 

“He’s very understanding, and if you ever had a problem or an issue, he’s just very easy to talk to,” senior Ana Mariena said. “Even now, I have Ms.Flick and he’ll walk into our room and crack a joke and stuff. He’s just really funny.”

Around the campus, Henson is known for his humor and ability to turn any student’s or teacher’s bad day around. 

“I think so many students and faculty liked Mr. Henson because of his humor,” senior Maya Cottam said. “He’s really good at poking fun at you, but in a way that shows how much he actually cares about you. Everyone can always count on him to make them laugh.”

While his comedic nature is a large part of his appeal to the Bowie community, many other qualities have contributed to the impact Henson has had on the school.

“He is so personable and genuine, and he really cares about people,” Flick said. “He cares about his students, and he cares about the people he works with. That is so hard to come by sometimes. Students love learning from him. He can always crack a joke and then turn around and still make sure that students are learning at high levels right. And sometimes it’s hard to find people like that and so everybody loves him. He’s really great at his job.”

Many people struggle to retire from the workforce, especially if they love their job, but Henson found the decision clear. 

“Well I could’ve retired four or five years ago, and I just think it’s time,” Henson said, “You know, I’m old enough to know when I think my time is up or it’s time to move on and so it wasn’t a difficult decision to make at all.”

Though Henson is ready to move into the next stage of his life, many staff members aren’t ready to experience life at Bowie without him.

“I’m sad, and it’s tough when we lose really, really great teachers,” Flick says. “When you lose a GOAT, it’s hard. It’s heartbreaking, and I know a lot of kids are going to be sad and it’s going to feel like, well, a loss.”

The students are equally as sad to see him go, knowing that they won’t get to experience his class again. 

“I’m sad that he’s retiring, but only because I know he would have continued to make a difference in students’ lives, particularly in the way they approach and think about math,” Cottam said. “However, I am glad he’s doing what’s best for him but I hope he knows how much he’ll be missed.”

Despite their sadness to see Henson go, the Bowie community all wishes him a fond farewell, as he closes this chapter in his life. 

“I wish him the best of his retirement, in this new journey of his life,” Flick said. “He’ll always be a forever big brother to me. He’s kind of been a mentor and I’m going to be sad to lose that colleague relationship. But I wish him the best and I know that he’s gonna do great things in retirement.”