Cypress, TX News – Superintendent Fun Run: Q&A with Dr. Henry

Cypress, TX News (January 17, 2014) – The inaugural Superintendent Fun Run is set for Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Road). With the registration deadline approaching on Jan. 31, Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, visited his favorite running spot at Oak Meadow Park in Bridgeland to talk about running, superheroes and his passion for the Cy-Fair Education Foundation.

Cypress TX

1 When did you first start running?

I started jogging seriously when I was about 35 because it was getting more difficult physically to be regularly involved in team sports. In order to keep the weight off and stay healthy, I started jogging. I would love to tell you that I have maintained that consistency for the past 18 years. Sometimes I am very faithful with jogging and sometimes it slips away from me, but I always feel better and know I am better off health-wise when I am jogging. It is great stress relief.

2 We are here at your preferred running site. What is your usual route and distance you run?

Ninety-nine percent of the time I do a little four-and-a-half-mile route. I go on the sidewalks by Cypress Lake. If the weather cooperates, it is nice and scenic. I cannot sit here and tell you that running is always fun, but what it does for you health-wise and the way it makes you feel is worth it.

3 In the last several months you have been very intentional about sticking to a fitness plan. What has been your secret to the results you have seen from it?

The key to me maintaining a proper weight and good health is very easy: count the calories that you take in every day, keep up with how many you burn and make sure that on most days you burn more than you take in. I know that is not anything fancy, but if you burn more than you consume, you’re going to lose weight. That makes me more conscious to eat a little healthier. The holidays were tough on me, but I am about to get cranked up again. The beauty of Houston is that there is always good weather to run in. I had lost about 15 pounds from the first of November until about the middle of December, and I have put a little of that back on, but I am going to get it back off soon. By spring break, I plan to be back at my “fighting weight.”

4 What is your favorite song to run to?

I actually do not listen to music when I run. It is a great time for me to think, so I process a lot of things when I run.

5 What are you excited about for the inaugural Superintendent Fun Run?

I am excited to show our community how much the employees in this district appreciate all they do for us. I also think it is truly going to be a fun run. It is going to be an opportunity to be out there with your fellow employees, families and community members where we all get to know each other better and have some laughs. I think it is going to be one of those events that you look forward to every year because it will be exciting; it will raise funds and it will bring awareness for the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation.

6 The theme of the fun run is Superheroes for Kids. Did you have a favorite superhero when you were growing up, both on TV and in real life?

Mine is pretty boring—it was Superman, because he had it all. I was always a huge sports fan, so growing up, Roger Staubach, who was the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys when they became “America’s Team,” was kind of a hero. Plus, he lived the kind of life that I thought set a great example for young people. Like everyone else, my parents were heroes of mine and continue to be. They were there when I was young and they are here for me now.

7 Who were your educational superheroes in public schools that inspired you in your eventual role as a public educator?

One would be Ms. Pierce in the fourth grade. She really helped me build confidence and make me feel better about myself. She inspired me to learn. I had a football coach, Coach Giles, who was actually not even my position coach. I can remember very vividly as a junior, after what had been a disappointing year, Coach Giles sent me a very nice letter, which I still have in a scrapbook, that started me into my senior year—one of the best years of my life.

8 If you could pick one superhero ability that would help you in your role as a superintendent, what would that ability be?

I would like to move faster than a speeding bullet, just so I could travel across the district as quickly and often as I need to.

9 The Superintendent Fun Run benefits the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF), which is a big passion of yours. Why are you such a big advocate of the foundation?

There are many charitable groups that I am a part of, and I think they are all important, but my chosen career is to help improve the lives of children through education. When half of the students in your community come from economically challenged homes, I feel like it is my responsibility to help give them the opportunity to pursue their higher education dreams by making more money available for them. Every dollar we can raise for the CFEF goes to help change the life of a student, and their whole family.

10 Is this an honor for you that this Fun Run has your name on it?

It is an incredible honor. We originally planned this Fun Run because I was trying to think of a way that we as employees could show this community how much we appreciate them. What better way to show that appreciation than by doing something nice for their children? I think it is going to grow, and I think it is going to be an annual event that we look forward to every year.

11 And since it does have your name on it, will any CFISD employees be punished if they beat you to the finish line?

I think they will be disciplined if they don’t beat me.

 To register for the Superintendent Fun Run, click the “Register” link from the Fun Run webpage on the CFISD website. The registration deadline to ensure participation and full receipt of race items is Jan. 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.