Merle Henkel was hired as The Gregory School’s Director of Finance and Operations this year to replace Carol Baranowski.
According to Henkel, “I was a banker, specifically a commercial banker for over 25 years back East.” His experience in banking and the operations of independent schools was a good fit for The Gregory School’s opening.
Henkel said, “I had always wanted to be a teacher or a coach. I don’t have certifications for teaching at public schools, so the goal was to get into independent schools.” He worked for a boarding school where he helped with the business portion and also was a coach.
Henkel has two sons who live in the Richmond, Virginia area. Henkel said, “My oldest son, who is 26, is a fireman and a rescue worker that works for a rescue transportation company. My younger son just graduated from Virginia Military Institute on a baseball scholarship. Him going to Virginia Military Institute doesn’t mean he has any military obligation.” He enjoys spending time with his kids and is going back during Christmas to meet them.
Henkel became the interim head of the boarding school, Massanutten Academy, in Virginia shortly after he joined. However, he continued to look for other jobs as that position was filled, and that was when he saw this opportunity in Tucson.
Henkel said, “My real skills are in finance.” This prompted Henkel to take the job here in Tucson. Henkel said, “Tucson is a beautiful city, and I saw an opportunity open up to work here.” One of his favorite hobbies is golf, and he is looking forward to doing that in Tucson. Henkel is very happy to be here at The Gregory School.
Henkel has an impressive resume filled with great experience that fits the position of Financial Director very well. Henkel loves the enthusiasm that the students have. He has seen it many times when working in the middle school area. He also appreciates the very dedicated teachers that love to teach, and the fact that they are very committed to help the students.
He feels there are advantages to the small size in the school. Henkel said, “The small size of this school allows the very diversified activities that can be done. Like sports and school plays can be done at the same time because the schedules can adjust for people.”
TGS Director of Marketing and Outreach Mary Babbitt said, “Merle Henkel is a great new edition to our community, and his past experience in banking and school finance makes him a great fit for the position.”
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