When the school year comes to a close this June, C.W. Henry School Principal Caren Trantas will retire after nine years. Henry is part of the Philadelphia School District and teaches students K-8. Her successor has yet to be announced.
“Children are the same everywhere whether we are in an urban or suburban area,” said Trantas, who has worked for the Philadelphia School District for 23 years and as an administrator for 12. “And they certainly want to learn and are excited by what the teachers are teaching.”
Over the past decade advances in technology have changed the daily function of a school by improving teaching resources, communication between not just students and teachers, but also between educators and parents and among educators themselves. Parents can now access their children’s grades and educators can utilize 24-hour resource systems.
C.W. Henry School, located at 601 Carpenter Lane, includes curriculum that generates discussion about what is appropriate on mediums like Facebook. Trantas said issues like cyberbullying is both something students need to better understand as well as teachers.
Trantas grew up in this area attending J.S. Jenks Elementary School and Morris E. Leeds Middle School in the 1960s before graduating from Germantown High School. After high school, she married and when her youngest of three children reached third-grade age, Trantas, who preferred her age be withheld, went back to college full-time. She studied elementary education at Penn State and Temple Universities before earning her master’s degree and principal certification from Arcadia University in 1991.
While the budget crunches this year required staff do more with less, the community has served to provide much-needed support, she explained. Governor Tom Corbett’s 2011-2012 budget cut public education funding by $840M, according to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
“In every aspect of whatever business world you’re in and whatever your career, as budgets cuts face everyone … it doesn’t do any good to complain,” said Trantas. “The parents were there any time we needed them.”
In her retirement Trantas said, in addition to spending time with her children and grandchildren, she wants to take up photography and continue her hobbies of reading and baking.
“It’s been my pleasure to work with the children of the school district,” she said.