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District 65 Announces New King Arts Principal

May 18, 2020


Dr. Amber Henderson Dear King Arts Community -


We are pleased to announce Dr. Amber Henderson as the next principal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School. Dr. Henderson was unanimously appointed by the School Board on Monday, May 18. She will officially begin in her new role as a member of the King Arts family on July 1.


We are so appreciative of those who shared their voice and helped us to identify the qualities, skills, and experience desired for their next school leader. We are grateful for those who participated in the survey, focus groups, and to our interview committee of educators, parents/caregivers, and administrators. With the assistance of BWP & Associates, we were able to facilitate a transparent and inclusive search process that ultimately led us to Dr. Henderson.


Dr. Henderson has successfully improved the culture and climate in her current school by engaging students, staff, and families to develop an environment conducive to learning.  Furthermore, she is a strong instructional leader with experience in building systems that foster school success. She has effectively implemented restorative practices in an elementary school and a high school where she has served as assistant principal. We believe that these qualifications align closely with the needs of King Arts.


Dr. Amber Henderson is a veteran educator and administrator with over 15 years of experience. She currently serves as the Assistant Principal of Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago Public Schools. Prior she held roles as Assistant Principal of Harold Washington Elementary School (K-8), and Resident Principal and Department Chair at Wendell Phillips High School. In her current role, Dr. Henderson leads the school’s Culture and Climate Team which has focused on the implementation of Restorative and Trauma-Informed Practices. Dr. Henderson describes herself as a leader who is committed to building school communities where high expectations for student and adult learning are systemically supported at all levels. Dr. Henderson earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She was awarded her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She earned her Doctoral Degree in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Illinois, Chicago. 


We are confident in Dr. Henderson’s ability to connect and collaborate with the school community in leading the implementation of the MIRACLES improvement model and earning accreditation with Magnet Schools of America. Please stay tuned for a welcome letter from Dr. Henderson and opportunities to virtually connect. We hope you will join us in warmly welcoming Dr. Henderson to the King Arts and District 65 community. 


Warm regards,

Dr. Phil Enhardt & Dr. Heidi Wennstrom

Interim Superintendents