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School History

Home of Scholars and Champions

Henderson Middle School (HMS) is part of the Butts County School System and is in Jackson, Georgia, which is located on Interstate 75 equidistant between Macon and Atlanta. Dr. Suzan Watkins is the school principal. The motto is Home of Scholars and Champions. HMS currently has an enrollment of approximately 800 students.

Henderson Middle School originated as Henderson High School and was named for Mrs. Fannie Blount Henderson (1867-1939), a Butts County educator for over 40 years. Prior to 1938, public high schools for African Americans did not exist. During 1938 a new building was constructed. The class of 1939 was the first class to graduate from the Jackson Negro High School. The following year, in 1940, the name of the school was changed to Fannie Blount Henderson High School.

In 1947, additional land was purchased to enlarge the Henderson campus and to add additional buildings. The new buildings were actually old army barracks, which had been brought to the campus in sections.

In the 1950’s, the Board of Education purchased 25-acres of land on Mulberry Street for a new building. This building was completed in 1955 and housed African American students in grades first through twelfth grade for the county. The name of the new school at this time was Henderson Elementary and High School. In 1962, grades first through sixth became a separate school in the same building.

By the late 1960’s the Supreme Court’s historic decision, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, which had gone virtually unnoticed in Butts County, was the signal to desegregate the schools. It began by transferring all ninth grade students and teachers from Henderson to Jackson High School. 1n 1970, Butts County was ordered to fully desegregate all its schools. The Board of Education adopted a plan whereby all seventh and eighth grade students would attend Henderson’s campus. After thirty years, Henderson High became Henderson Junior High School. In 1986 the school became Henderson Middle School.

In 1999 a new middle school was constructed behind Jackson High School on George Tate Drive, named for Henderson’s former principal, Mr. George Tate. This larger school was constructed complete with modern amenities, furnishings, and equipment. The cost exceeded 10 million dollars.

We at Henderson are thoroughly proud of the history of our school and look forward to the many more historical facts that will accumulate in the future.