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CFISD superintendent announces retirement after 42-year career

dr. mark henry headshot

May 8, 2023
Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools for CFISD, announced his retirement effective December 2023 on May 8.

Dr. Henry’s retirement announcement follows a 42-year education career in which he served 32 years as a superintendent—including the last 12 years in CFISD.

Dr. Henry graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor's degree in secondary education. He received a Master of Education in administration and a Doctor of Education in administration from the University of North Texas.

He began his career in 1982 as a teacher, soon gaining administrative experience while serving as a middle and high school assistant principal and principal. He assumed his first superintendent role in Milford ISD in 1991, serving two years before working an additional five years as the superintendent in Collinsville ISD. He then accepted the superintendent position at Sulphur Springs ISD in 1998, serving through 2004.

He was named superintendent in Galena Park ISD in 2004, where he served seven years and was named a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year, Region 4 ESC Superintendent of the Year and ATPE Texas Administrator of the Year.

During his time in CFISD, Dr. Henry has been named Region 4 ESC Superintendent of the Year. He oversaw the passage of two bond programs—a $1.2 billion referendum in 2014 and a $1.762 billion referendum in 2019—that addressed significant student growth, facility renovations, transportation upgrades and safety and security enhancements.

Dr. Henry helped form CFISD’s first police department in 2012, which has since expanded from 19 officers to nearly 120. He hired athletics department leadership that led to seven team state championships. He fulfilled key priorities that he brought into his CFISD role, including closing the achievement gap between various testing subgroups and launching a leadership development continuum that enabled aspiring leaders to transition into campus and district leadership roles. CFISD emerged as the largest A-rated school district in Texas under his tenure, while growing from 107,995 students and 84 campuses to 118,500 students and 93 campuses. The district won many awards including the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award and a No. 1 rating by the Education Resource Group (ERG) for Best Overall in Academic Performance and Financial Performance.

Dr. Henry is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators. He has served as a UIL Legislative Council representative since 1999 and was the chairman from 2006-2007. He was a trustee for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas from 2003-2009 and served as the vice chairman from 2008-2009. Dr. Henry served as the chairman for the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce in 2018 and is currently a trustee for the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation Leadership Committee and a trustee for HCA Houston Healthcare.

He and his wife, Cindy, a retired middle school principal, have three children and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys family time, golfing and community involvement.

“Mark Henry is undoubtedly the preeminent superintendent in the state of Texas,” said Tom Jackson, CFISD Board of Trustees president. “Retirement is inevitable for all of us. When the best retires still at the top of their game, it causes most of us to pause. A pause to say ‘thank you’ for a baker's dozen of years with leadership and growth, a pause to realize the void that is suddenly created and a pause to reflect on what might have been. A pause to ask for a few more years, but seasons change. Under Mark’s leadership, a strong academic and financial foundation has been built upon which future academic success is sustainable with new leadership. It has been my honor to serve alongside a leader of high integrity and vision. CFISD is a destination district for all and will remain one.”