Thomas_Ledbetter3Dr. Thomas Allen Ledbetter’s varied, distinguished career in school administration featured a two-decade stint as East Henderson High School School principal and pivotal time in the central office.

He’s best known to many families as personable “Doc” Ledbetter, East Henderson High School principal, from 1971 to 1989. He weighed individual cases and people’s situations. “When people say all kids are alike, it isn’t true,” Dr. Ledbetter said. “They’re a little bit different. You need to deal with the differences, rather than automatically treat everybody the same way.” One common trait he did find was how school sports boosted school morale and interest in studies. “Success breeds success.”

Dr. Ledbetter helped get a lot done in 1989-98 as assistant superintendent over Auxiliary Services such as facilities and transportation. He served the county schools, then combined Henderson County Public Schools that formed in 1993. During the merger, he was instrumental in renovating East and West Henderson, plus seven elementaries. In his biggest impact, Ledbetter’s idea to build North Henderson High and Apple Valley Middle School on the same campus saved money. He sought larger facilities than were budgeted, to fit expected increased enrollment that now forces expansion of that campus.

2010 Education Hall of Fame