Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Do you feel that HHS and our city are inclusive environments for all cultures/ethnicities?

  • Yes, I do (60%, 67 Votes)
  • We can improve (30%, 34 Votes)
  • No, I do not (10%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 112

Loading ... Loading ...

Administrative teams split between two high schools, preparations continue for upcoming year

Graphic by Clare Kirwan
Rocktown High School construction is almost completed. The school will open in the fall as the administrative team and HHS staffers have been recently split between the two high schools.

The keys to Rocktown High School (RHS), the new Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) high school, are scheduled to be handed over on Jan. 1, 2024. Just 68 days before, Oct. 27, members of central office released the split of administration between the two schools. At Harrisonburg High School (HHS) the administration team currently consists of Principal Dr. Melissa Hensley, Associate Principal Jill Hart, Assistant Principals Heath Johnston, Gloria Figeroua-Vargas, Chad Burk and Ryan Henschel, Dean of Students Don Burgess and Durmount Perry. 

Tamara Mines, from Richmond, Virginia was recently hired as the principal of RHS. Joining her at Rocktown as assistant principals is: Figueroa-Vargas, Perry, Henschel and an additional hire not yet released. Staying at HHS as principal is Hensley, along with assistant principals Hart, Johnston and interim principal of Thomas Harrison Middle School Sonya Bullard. Burgess, the Dean of Students will also stay at HHS.

The Human Resources Director of HCPS, Jeremy Weaver, released this statement with the news. 

“I am pleased to let you know that we have established our high school leadership teams for next school year.  Dr. [Joy] Blosser, Deb Cook and I used a process to create the following teams that we believe provide both HHS and RHS with strong administrative teams moving into the 2024-2025 school year. This process included receiving input from the current Assistant Principals through a Leadership Strengths Inventory and information from both Dr. Hensley and Ms. Mines. Dr. Richards has approved these teams and we are excited to support them as they finish out this school year and begin to gear up for the 2024-2025 school year,” Weaver said.

With the creation of the new school, the current student body, around 2000, will be approximately split in half, providing new opportunities and challenges for administrators.

 “We’re excited for those that are going to have the opportunity to work at Rocktown with the opening of the new school. It’s just something that as an administrator you don’t really get an opportunity to do that, so I’m excited for them to be able to go over there and have that experience,” Hensley said. “For the group that is staying, we’re looking forward to restructuring HHS to accommodate 1000 students versus 2000. A lot of work needs to be done here just to restructure where classrooms are and programs. There’s new work coming to the admin that’s going to be here, so we’re excited about all that we can provide for students in a school that’s no longer overcrowded.”

Figueroa-Vargas, who will go to RHS next fall, is excited for the increase in space and the unique collaborative focus Rocktown will provide.

“I am excited to have more space for the students. I know it is pretty crowded here for students, so having more space to learn and collaborate is very exciting,” Figeroua-Vargas said. 

Mines is excited to start getting students and staff in the building.

“I’m grateful to be here. I want to do the work that we want to do to make sure student experiences are the best. I’m here for it, all of it,” Mines said.

*Originally published Dec. 8, 2023 through print

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All HHS Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *