A career that spans over three and a half decades is coming to a close.

After 34 years as a teacher at Springville Elementary School, Katrina Henderson’s last official day as an educator is May 30.

Recently, the faculty and staff at SES attended a reception for Henderson in the library.

All told, Henderson spent 38 years in education. Her career started at Forestdale Baptist School, where she spent two years.

She then came to St. Clair County where she taught second grade at Ragland Elementary School for two years before making the move to Springville Elementary School.

Through the years at SES, Henderson taught first grade and fourth grade. For the past 12 years, she has been the music/art teacher at SES.

"I’ve had the chance to work with every student here except for the preschool," Henderson said.

Henderson is a 1972 graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School. She attended Jacksonville State University for her undergraduate, and earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama with a specialty in music.

"This has been a wonderful experience," Henderson said. "All three of my children went to school here in Springville. It was wonderful being right here where they were and be part of their lives. I had the chance to meet all their friends and their families and that meant a lot."

Henderson and her husband Randy have been married 37 years. They have three children, Andrew, David and Joy.

Randy said Katrina’s career went very quickly.

"She felt like it was a calling, not just a job," Mr. Henderson said. "She loves what she does and she was dedicated."

SHS principal Bobby Byrd said there are none like Mrs. Henderson.

"When they created her, they broke the mold," Byrd said. "You are talking about someone who loves music education. It is her passion.

"The music program here at our school is the best in the county and state. She puts her heart into it. We have two performing choirs and all of our grade levels do monthly musicals. Our kids truly enjoy going to her class every other week simply because she makes music learning oriented and fun. The kids love it as do the parents."

Library aide Susan Davis said Henderson taught both her children.

"My first-grader in 1987 was in Katrina’s class," Davis said. "I still remember what Katrina was wearing that first day of school. She was wonderful. I went to church with her and her family. My middle child had her in the fourth grade. She was such a positive influence on my children."

Tracy Ann Reece is a teacher at SES today, and Henderson was her first grade teacher.

"Next year, I will be teaching music and art," Reece said. "I know she was a very active, caring and nurturing teacher when I was in first grade. I remember how she impacted my life.

"I always felt so loved and I was never afraid. Being in first grade was a big deal back then. The impact she made on so many children’s lives is immeasurable."