What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?
What time is it Mr. Fox? It is time is to sadly say goodbye to the one and only Mr. Henry. Malta High School is sadly saying goodbye to Delmer Henry at the end of the 2019 school year. He has been teaching at Malta high and elementary school for 33 years. He went to Eastern Montana College in Billings, Montana. Mr. Henry has taught Health, History, and what he is most known for Physical Education for the past 33 years. Henry wasn’t just a teacher in the classroom, but everywhere he went Mr. Henry has taught both teachers and students some very important life lessons. “I have learned (from Mr. Henry) that there are times to step back and re-evaluate a situation, to try to see a different perspective,” said Patrick Sargent.
Mr. Sargent or better known by his students and peers as Sarge, has taught with Mr. Henry for more than 20 years and has stated that “Mr. Henry has a willingness to help out an individual whenever necessary.” Sargent isn’t the only teacher that he has inspired though, Sue Gilkerson has stated that she admires his ability to help anyone at any time. “One thing I really admire about Mr. Henry is that he speaks to every student, even if they are not in his class.” Gilkerson has also shared that he has taught her that students aren’t one size fits all. “What works for one student may not work for another. He (Henry) knows to recognize when a student is giving their best effort and grades accordingly. He doesn’t expect everyone to have the same abilities, he knows some kids will struggle,” said Gilkerson.
For the past few years, Mr. Henry has gone the extra mile for the Malta Middle School’s sixth graders. Mr. Henry has been teamed up with the Phillips County Museum for the past three years and has had the Malta sixth graders participate in the Wax Museum. “The sixth-grade middle school history class and Mr. Henry have been presenting at the Museum for three years. The Phillips County Museum's mission statement is to promote the history of the county. I had heard of an ancestral wax museum being presented in another town and asked a participating teacher for information. The information was great and it looked like a fun project to pursue. So Mr. Henry was contacted about the project. He replied that he had been thinking along the same lines and I guess you could say the Wax Museum was born,” said Lori Taylor, the Curator at the Phillips County Museum. Taylor stated the best part of the wax museum is the knowledge a student gains about history, and their ancestors. Developing the ability to talk in front of a crowd, in a low key environment, is beneficial to the students. “The Phillips County Museum is hopeful that Malta Public Schools will want to continue this program for the community,” said Taylor. Even though he’s retiring, Mr. Henry hopes that the Wax Museum will continue to go on. “I hope that the individual, whoever that person is steps in, sees the value in it. I guess I am a big promoter of family history, knowing where you come from, who you were, where your relatives were. I am also a big advocate for students getting out in front of other people being able to present themselves in a productive manner. Learning how to put yourself out there and be something that people don’t normally see out of you. I don’t like wallflowers,” said Henry.
Going the ‘extra mile’ has earned Mr. Henry recognition throughout the entire state of Montana, and in 2017, he was named The State of Montana Teacher of the Year, the VFW teacher of the year award. “Mr. Henry was given a teaching award, and I just thought, It’s about time!” Said Mrs. Ashley Pankratz.
Mr. Henry has stated that what he will miss the most about teaching is walking in the door. “Just walking in the door. I just feel like I get this big adrenaline rush. It’s just like, hey! Here I am for the day! It’s exciting! I see these kids, and it’s just like alright I’m ready to go. I’ll miss starting my day seeing a bustle of activity in the hallway. I will miss that immensely,” said Henry.
Tanner Smith, Kylie Hunter, and Rex Williamson were all asked what they are going to miss the most about Mr. Henry. Hunter stated that she’s going to miss the continuous jokes, and how he can automatically makes you smile. Williamson said that he is going to miss the stories that he tells. “He always has some knowledge to tell you, and how he’s up for a good time when you’re with him,” concluded Smith. “Making somebody smile, or seeing the light turn on. Oh, I get it now! There’s something really gratifying about making somebody’s day. It does make you feel good,” stated Henry. Mr. Henry says the greatest accomplishment as a teacher is when old students come back to you years later and tell you that you did a good job. “That is an accomplishment in its own right.”
Mr. Henry doesn’t have an exact plan on what to do next, but one thing for sure it that he’s going to move to Havre Montana to live with his wife. “I’m supposed to have a plan, but I don’t. I’m going to be open to seeing what the next profession shows itself. It’s going to be kind of random. I’m just going to know when I know. I’m too dang young to not be doing something.” Mr. Henry hopes that his students remember the gift of giving. It’s ok to give. Give more than you get."
“Love what you do” is the final lesson Mr. Henry is teaching us, find something that you love and make it what you do in your life. It is safe to say that the one thing we as students will miss the most about Mr. Henry is the timeless game, the original, the one and only: What time is it, Mr. Fox? It’s time to wish Mr. Henry the best, and thank him for everything he’s done for us.