Positive art, T-shirts setting the tone for Henley Middle School’s year

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 4:04 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A new Albemarle County principal and student are teaming up to bring some positivity to Henley Middle School.

Rising 8th grader Logan Juhl wasn’t expecting much when she picked up her pencil and paper a few weeks ago.

“I mean, it’s just I love to doodle,” Logan said.

She says she didn’t even know Principal LaRuth Ensley was running a T-shirt design competition. But then, her sketch was chosen.

“I was just sitting there for, like, a good minute or two. Until I realized, oh, wait, this isn’t a joke,” the student said.

All school faculty, and some students, will be wearing Logan’s design on the first day of school.

“When I did the design of Henley Hornets on it, I thought, ‘Well, maybe this could go a little farther,’ and have like a little sentence underneath it of like, what I think of school. So I also remember that hornets do live in the hive, so I put we are a hive a family because they all work together to help each other,” Logan said.

“What really spoke to me is that if you zoom in, you’ll see that she shared we are a hive, a family, a community, we reach greatness together,” Principal Ensley said. “It’s important that we listen and we integrate and become part of that community. And so once I saw the work, I knew that it was something that we could take and make into a larger project.”

Logan also helped paint positive murals during summer school.

“I am always looking for ways to incorporate student agency and voice into the work that we do,” Ensley said.

This will be Ensley’s first year at Henley Middle School. Before this position, she was an assistant principal in Chesterfield County. She says she will use this array of experiences to help her create community in ACPS and Juhl is helping her do that.

“I think middle school allows me to be my true, authentic self, because I’m happy. I think that middle school allows me to really connect with children,” Ensley said.

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