7 Questions with Silvester Henderson

Name: Silvester Henderson

Current title: Professor of Music, Director of Choral/Vocal Activities

Current organisation: Los Medanos College in California

Recently honored with the A2MEND Educational Leadership Award -2020, Professor Henderson is also the recipient of the Albert Nelson 2019 Marquis “Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award”. Professor Silvester Carl Henderson is a nationally recognized Professor, educator, conference motivational speaker, business owner, respected real estate investor, community artistic organizer, musician/artist, internet radio blog personality, and conductor of the Gospel Song. Professor Henderson earned his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Arts Degrees from San Francisco State University. Additionally, he taught there as a Professor/Lecturer of Piano and Music Theory. Professor Henderson was recently elected to the “ASCCC Executive Committee” as an At Large Senate Representative. He previously served as the District Academic Senate President for the Contra Costa Community College District, as well as the Academic Senate President for Los Medanos College.

Currently Henderson serves as the President of the Academic for California Community College’s (ASCCC) Foundation Corporation. He is also the Chair of the “ASCCC Faculty Development Leadership Committee” as well as Full-Time Tenure Professor of Choral/Vocal Activities/Keyboard Studies and Emeritus Chair of the Music Department at Los Medanos College, located in Pittsburg, California. Professor Henderson directs the College Chorus, Chamber Chorale, and the Gospel Choir. Professor Henderson developed a “Gospel Piano Curriculum”, which was the only collegiate academic course of its type in the State of California. Mr. Henderson is also an Emeritus Professor/Lecturer of African American Studies and Music from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as the original director of the internationally acclaimed Young Inspiration Gospel Choir from 1985 – 2005. Professor Henderson organizes “Grand Scale” community concerts and he has performed with celebrity classical opera artist, gospel, jazz, and broadway stars, and rhythm and blues greats such as Richard Smallwood, Reverend Daryl Coley, the late Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir, Kurt Carr, Quincey Fielding, Ron Kenoly Sr., V. Michael McKay, the late Helen Stephens and the Lighthouse Singers of Marin, Ca, Micah Stampley, Jon Gibson (the artist who paired with Stevie Wonder for the remake of “Have a Talk with God”), Billy Porter (New York Broadway Star and Soundtrack Artist for Bette Midler’s “First Wives Club”), James Iglehart (New York Broadway Star from Aladdin), Vesta, Howard Hewett, Kenny Lattimore, Gerald Albright, LaToya London, Chris Walker, Kathy Taylor Brown, Kevin LeVar, Anita Wilson, and most recently Keisha Renee.

Named as the “Most Influential African American Educator” by the Intel Corporation and the City Flight News magazine, Professor Henderson has been presented with a massive number of awards, resolutions, certificates and proclamations from Legislative members such as Congressman Pete Starks, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Assembly Members Johan Kleh, Jim Frazier, Susan Bonilla, Senators Liz Figueroa, Ellen Corbett and Mark DeSaulnier. This is because of his extraordinary musical achievements and his academic work and accomplishments. Professor Henderson is the recipient of the “Art Recognition Award” from the Contra Costa County Arts and Culture Commission. Professor Silvester Carl Henderson’s educational objective is to ensure a permanent academic home for African American Music within Higher Education. Professor Henderson married Cecile Henderson during his early twenties. The Professor resides in Pleasanton, California and is the father of three daughters named Carlena, Celisse and Charde.

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1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?

Addressing Social Matters

2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Via my Calendar. Many tasks. Generally work 12-15 hours daily. Super Stressful.

3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

That perspectives do not always support the mission of the institution. However, effective relationships are more important than policies.

4. What one book has had the most profound impact on your Christian school leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The Bible. It clearly speaks of Ethics and Values regarding all forms of Leadership. Additionally, I also learn from attending educational seminars, networking with academic scholars, research professionals and etc.

5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?

By carefully evaluating their applications, skills and abilities. It is also important to watch effective teachers work with students.

6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?

Honesty and Integrity!

7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a Christian school leader so far?

God's plan of forgiveness.