Qunilan Henry – Lee County High School

Our Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Quinlan Henry of Lee County High School. Mr. Henry is the Director of the Academy of Engineering and Career and Technical Education Department Chair for LCHS. He has been a Yellow Jacket for the entirety of his 10-year teaching career and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in both Construction Management and Technology Education. Mr. Henry is also a Mentor Teacher, SkillsUSA Adviser and Member, as well as a member of Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers and the Association for Career and Technical Education. He was recently recognized as the LCHS 2018-19 Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Henry’s teaching philosophy can be summed up into one word: Adaptive. Mr. Henry observes, “After ten years of teaching, I believe it is imperative that you are able to adapt in many ways. Teachers must be willing to continually adapt to ever-changing technologies, learning styles and individual students’ needs. When done right, there are few professions that are as rewarding and have such far reaching impact on our future as a country and society.”

Mr. Henry’s teaching inspiration can be summed up in two words. My father. He comments, “My father was a Career and Technical Education teacher for 34 years in Michigan, while also running a construction business. I spent a lot of time in his classrooms growing up. He always encouraged me to explore the different technologies he had available in his labs. This early exposure helped to instill a love for exploring cutting edge technology and continually developing my skill sets in these fields that I still foster today. One thing that always stood out to me growing up with a teacher as a parent, was the lasting impact that he had on his students. To this day I seldom can go out at home with him, without witnessing a student he may have had twenty years ago, say hello and thank him for everything he did for them. This would lead to a 10 minute conversation between them as my dad asked how their careers and family have developed. I always thought those interactions were amazing. As a kid that made him seem like the coolest person I knew.”

The best experience in Mr. Henry’s teaching career has been his involvement with the career and technical organization known as SkillsUSA. “To me the most satisfying work I have done has been fostering the development of both state and national SkillsUSA student leaders. Over the past three years, my students have led the organization on the state level as state president. This is historic in the state history of the organization. It’s never happened three years in a row from the same school. As great as this has been, one of my past state presidents Brandon Pedraza-Ramirez took these leadership skills to a whole new level and won election last June to lead the entire organization as the SkillsUSA National High School President. The feelings and emotions you experience as an adviser/teacher watching your students lead this organization on the stage in front of groups as large as 30,000 people are indescribable. I have witnessed Brandon speak at the LCS Convocation, multiple state and national conferences, business gatherings, policy meetings and in front of congressmen and governors this past year and the amazing feeling of pride I get watching him lead never seems to diminish.”