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Mary Henley: Super assistant
BOE employee now working for her 3rd superintendent
Mary Henley for Web
Mary Henley, executive assistant to the superintendent, stands with her boss, Dr. Lewis Holloway, superintendent of Bulloch County Schools. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Mary Henley is pure Bulloch County. She was born here, went to school at Sallie Zetterower, Julia P. Bryant, William James, and then graduated from the old Statesboro High School. Her father, Donald Hackett, was the long-time dean of the Technology School at Georgia Southern.
    She now is executive assistant to Lewis Holloway, superintendent of Bulloch County Schools. But it took her awhile to attain her position.
    Henley said about herself:  “When I was in high school I didn't feel that I was college material, I wanted to work, get married and have a family.” That's exactly what she did. She married to Ricky, her husband of 28 years, whom she met talking on the CB Radio when she was 16.
    They have three children, all of whom live in Bulloch County. The youngest, Mary-Ashley, attends Portal Middle/High School; Megan, the middle child, attends Ogeechee Technical College; and the oldest, Ty, owns his own business. In fact, the Henley's have attended, at one time or another, almost every Bulloch County School.
    She remembers her first job at the Burger Chef, where the Burger King now stands. She made a whopping eighty cents an hour. She worked for short periods at the Statesboro Herald, the T.J. Morris Company, and Brooks Instruments before finally finding her niche at Willing Way Hospital.
    A member of Saint Michael's Catholic Church, Mary is also an active member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority. After working for 15 years at Willingway, she heard about how Dr. Lynn Batten, the then Bulloch County School superintendent, needed an executive assistant.
    Henley remembers that Dr. Batten was to establish the current central office at the current location. He then fought to keep some of Bulloch's smaller and older schools open, and began building new ones around the county.
    About Henley, Dr. Batten said, “Without a doubt, Mary is the best hire I ever made. She's highly competent, and the ultimate team player.”
When he left in 2003, she stayed on to work with Dr. Jessie Strickland. About Dr. Strickland's tenure, Mary gives her credit for starting the building of all the new high schools.
    Dr. Strickland remembers her very fondly.
    “Mary is the consummate professional,” Strickland said. “She was a wonderfully kind spirit, always gives more than 100 percent, knows all about the entire school system, and keeps whatever confidences you might share with her.”
    After Dr. Strickland left, Henley continued in her role for the current Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Holloway. About Henley, Dr. Holloway said:     “When she sees something that needs doing she just does it…she's got a great sense of humor which helps when dealing with difficult situations.”
He continued, “Mary has effectively served three different superintendents…Mary's commitment to the district, professionalism, and skills are vital to the superintendent's office. It is a joy to work with someone as talented as Mary.”
    She has a plethora of duties: scheduling appointments for the superintendent, dealing with complaints that can't seem to be settled at the individual school, acting as the liaison between the superintendent and Board members, and contacting the media about current events.

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