Over a month ago, the ENC student body was shocked to learn that a professor in the Education Department, Matt Henry, had resigned. Compiled here are a few responses from students who were positively impacted by him throughout his time at ENC.
Senior Hannah Hoeks:
“The first class I had with Matt Henry, he told us all that if we weren’t going to be amazing teachers, if we weren’t in it for the long haul, then get the heck out. He had this huge attitude of ‘either you will succeed, or go die.’ From that moment, I couldn’t stand him. I sat there hard faced and determined I would prove this guy wrong. He didn’t know me, and I would show him what kind of teacher I would be. That was the first time in my college career that my ‘fight’ was unleashed. I had always done well in school; it’s always come easy for me, but this was different.
“This time I wanted to win. I have never been pushed as far or hard in my education as Henry pushed me. School comes easy for me, so professors have always just moved me right along. Not so in Henry’s classes. I found myself stressed out and way beyond my comfort zone, which was such a great thing. I learned so much and much of my beliefs regarding education comes from his classes. There were times when I would disagree with him, and that was okay. That was something that gave me respect for him; he valued our growth, not our ability to parrot his opinions.
“Henry started out as my enemy, but turned out to be one of my greatest cheerleaders. The reason he pushes so hard is because he believes in education and the right for students to be taught by good teachers, and because he believes in his students. And nothing feels as good as a Henry high five during class!
“Anyone who knows him knows he cares deeply and would do anything for us. He was always on campus delivering educational and spiritual guidance, and just being a part of ENC–far past the classroom. I owe a lot of who I am as a person, teacher, and fighter to Matt Henry. I am so glad I was one of the fortunate ones here at ENC to have had him as a professor, mentor, and friend.”
Junior Sarah Franco:
“In life, we are lucky if we find a few people that come into our lives that help change us for the better. Being the light in the midst of darkness or just helping you celebrate your accomplishments in life big or small.
“The impact that Matt Henry has made on not just my life but the lives of those students around me is overwhelming. Always pushing me to be the best version of myself but not judging me when I’m at my worst. I could tell you story upon story showing how he has helped me and guided me. Instead, all I can say is I am a different person because of the impact he has had on my life.”
Alumna Leah Anderson:
“I’ve never met anyone like Matt Henry. He’s incredibly honest and sincere and cares a whole lot about people who might not think they deserve it, myself included. He is a constant reminder that we are not defined by the mistakes we make, the lives we’ve lived, or the unknown in front of us, but rather the moments we choose to love those around us, to support those we care about, and to live the life we’ve been given with all the tenacity and vigor we deserve. He is an outpouring of love and a model for those of us who lack confidence and hope.”