Patrick Chapman Named Principal for T. C. Henderson

Patrick Chapman Named Principal for T. C. Henderson
Posted on 05/11/2020
Coach Packy Chapman Named Principal 2020-21, T. C. Henderson School of Science & Technology

At their regular meeting on May 4, the Transylvania County Board of Education confirmed the assignment of current Rosman Middle School and Rosman High School assistant principal Patrick Chapman to be the principal of T. C. Henderson School of Science and Technology in 2020-21.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaris announced the assignment in an email message to staff.

“I am excited for ‘Packy,’ and I know he will do a great job. He is a veteran educator and brings a rich and insightful understanding of our community, combined with a drive for seeing all students succeed. Mr. Chapman attended T. C. Henderson as a student and understands the rich history of the school. I am excited to see him build upon the excellent legacy of T. C.Henderson School and continue its growth.”

Chapman will begin as principal on July 1, when current principal Audrey Reneau takes over her new director role for pre-kindergarten, AIG, and federal programs at the Education Center in Rosenwald.

“I am excited to get the chance to be a school leader in a community that I love so dearly,” said Chapman, “and I want nothing more than to serve our students, families, and staff in such a manner that they will have the same great memories of T. C. Henderson that I have.”

Coach Packy Chapman Principal at T. C. Henderson School of Science and TechnologyA Rosman High School alumnus, Chapman graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in English Education in 1999, and will complete his master’s degree in school administration at Western in spring 2020. 

Known as “Packy” to friends and family, “Coach Chapman” to his students, Chapman taught one year at Brevard High then returned to Rosman in 2000, where he taught English and served as assistant coach for football and baseball over a span of 17 years. He was named assistant principal for Rosman Middle and Rosman High in January 2018, the same year he served as Teacher of the Year at Rosman High. 

Chapman feels his breadth of experience at a small, family-centered school with one of the highest graduation rates in North Carolina has prepared him for this leadership role.

“I bring a couple decades’ worth of perspective to the table on what our elementary school students need in their toolboxes across a wide variety of areas — from academics to social-emotional well-being, to fine arts and athletics — when they travel down the mountain to our middle and high school. I want all of our T.C. Henderson Tigers, without exception, to be as prepared as possible to meet those future challenges.”

Coach Chapman and his family have an enduring positive relationship with “TC,” Transylvania County Schools’ smallest and highest-achieving school located on the Lake Toxaway campus. The connection predates his student days, to when his mother Linda Greene Chapman worked there as a substitute and teaching assistant. She recently passed away in 2018.

“I proudly grew up in the Quebec community and had a great experience attending kindergarten through 6th grade at T. C. Henderson,” he said. “I know the building as a student, and a lot has changed since then.”

Linda Chapman went back to college after being out of high school for a couple of decades, while also working and raising five children. She finished her education degree at Mars Hill and started a teaching job at T.C. Henderson the same year her youngest son began kindergarten. 

“My mother’s career as an elementary school teacher was one of, if not the, biggest influence on my professional life,” he said. “She was a great teacher who went the extra mile for her students. She blended calm compassion and patience with high expectations for her students and a tremendous work ethic. I have tried to follow her example in that regard.”

“Packy” remembered the whole family, including his father who worked at Ecusta, sharing household duties while Mrs. Chapman completed school. Everyone also shared a strong sense of pride in her accomplishment and teaching career of twenty years at TC, which included teaching Packy in third grade.

“It was an interesting year,” said Chapman, looking back with amusement. “The school was a focal point of my childhood from the sheer amount of time I spent there on any given day—as a student, then as a teacher's kid waiting for my mom to finish her work. The faculty and staff took me under their wings, and they made the building feel like home.”

When his mother retired in 2000, that same year Coach Chapman’s wife Amanda (Ledbetter) started teaching at T. C. Henderson. Their children Brennan and Reagan started their academic careers at TC while Amanda was teaching there, and his sister Rhonda Whitmire has also served there as lead teacher/instructional coach.

McDaris offered assurance for staff and families at TC, frequently nominated as a ‘Title I Distinguished School’ for high performance and growth.

“T. C. Henderson is an extremely strong school, where Mrs. Reneau has connected with families, increased educational opportunities, and elevated to new levels in science & technology and early learning. I look forward to a smooth and seamless transition to help students and staff return soon to educational routines and processes that have worked so well.”

Chapman echoed his pride in the school, where students consistently perform far above North Carolina schools which are comparable in terms of economic advantage and other indicators.

“I would be ill-advised to enter this school that owns such a strong track record of success and offer radical changes,” Chapman added. “I plan on listening closely to the valuable experience of an exceptionally strong faculty and staff. Coming into 2020, we will need to strive to make day-to-day operations as familiar and consistent as we can to provide our kids with reassuring consistency and support. 

“As school leaders we owe it to our students to look constantly for ways to improve, and everyone with a heart for kids wants to give them the best possible educational opportunities. I will always look to improve and grow, but we will continue offering an education that has served our students well for quite some time.”

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