Bobby Wilkins, principal at Hendersonville High, was named the 2016-17 Principal of the Year for Henderson County Public Schools. In his 37 years serving HCPS, this is Wilkins’ third Principal of the Year recognition.
The Bearcat family surprised Wilkins with the news and a celebration in the high school’s auditorium upon his return from a meeting at Central Office. He entered the auditorium to a standing ovation from the entire student body, faculty, and his family – who were all singing Hendersonville High’s alma mater, “Hail to the Red and White,” written for the school in the 1920’s.
Following comments by Superintendent Bo Caldwell, Hendersonville High’s former assistant principal BJ Laughter and current assistant principal Joanne Walker, Student Body President James Dillon addressed Wilkins on behalf of the student body.
“The amount of time you pour into this school is enormous,” Dillon said to Wilkins.
“Mr. Wilkins is one of the finest leaders to ever serve our school system,” said Chief Human Resources Officer, Scott Rhodes. “He has dedicated his entire career to serving the Hendersonville High School community as a teacher, coach, and principal. I cannot think of a more deserving candidate to represent our school system as Principal of the Year.”
A Bearcat through and through, Wilkins is a 1975 Hendersonville High graduate, and returned to teach math in 1979 after graduating from UNC-Asheville. In 1993, Wilkins moved to Hendersonville Middle, where he served as an assistant principal until 2001. He became principal at Hendersonville High in 2001, where he’s served ever since.
During his tenure at Hendersonville High, Wilkins also coached football, basketball, girls track and golf. He coached the men’s basketball team to North Carolina High School Athletic Association state titles in 1987 and 1992, and the golf team to a state title in 1990.
Wilkins also holds a Masters in School Administration from Western Carolina University and a post-master’s Licensure in School Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.
“This is a great honor,” Wilkins said. “It was so nice walking down the hall and wondering, ‘What are they singing the “Red and White” for?’”