Henneke’s Homewood Spirit

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Rock the Rebels! Dr. Henneke dressed as elvis.

The seventh attribute of the Homewood way: Dr. Joel Henneke.

School spirit is anything but lacking throughout the halls, stages, fields, and classrooms of Homewood High School. Spirit days, pep rallies, sporting events, band performances, etc. It all connects to the bigger picture of how we support one another and build a strong, robust community.

Henneke and his participation in the frequent spirit days does not go unnoticed. His zany and wacky costumes will catch just about anyone’s attention. Henneke has worn wigs, onesies, and even leather pants. Students love to see their principal involved and engaged around the school. Senior Sarah Alice Morgan says, “I think that it is cool of Dr. Henneke to dress up and go all out for spirit days; it makes him more approachable.”

Pink out with Emma Claire Jordan and Olivia Dunn.

Before working at the high school, Henneke spent time as a US Marine before working at the Homewood Middle alternative school. During this time, he learned imperative values that he does his best to implement in Homewood today. The Marines emphasized, “discipline, leadership, growing and developing mission accomplishment, and troop welfare.” This influenced Henneke’s decision to reintroduce the “attributes of the Homewood way” that were created by Kevin Maddox, a previous principal and assistant superintendent. His goal is for students to internalize the true meaning of community and respect and recognize the differences that bring people together.

When it comes to his eccentric costumes, Henneke says “My experience at the middle school shaped my approach to be willing to participate.”

It was an “easy win” to connect with the students, faculty and parents and it received a lot of good feedback.

“My favorite costume that Dr. Henneke wore was a blue blow-up suit because it was funny and brightened my day,” junior Claire Bailey said.

Henneke’s primary goal as a principal is to be present. Especially coming out of Covid, he says, “I wanted students as well as faculty to feel seen.”

Through his consistent engagement, Henneke has impacted the Homewood community. Even something as small as wearing a silly costume embodies his passion and investment in the community which his students and staff mirror.