“This school under the leadership of Henry Pankey, went from low performing to exemplary status in one year. That’s what you can do with the right leadership.”

James Hunt, North Carolina Governor


“A principal on a mission.”

Richard Riley, U. S. Education Secretary


“Brilliant! This book tells us how to take back our schools!”

Robert Murray, University of North Carolina School of the Arts


“Pankey knows something about change.  He has maintained order and structure even in the most chaotic of places.”

Lottie Joyner, American School Board Journal


“North Carolina Newspapers have lionized Pankey as a no nonsense benevolent disciplinarian capable of turning around out of control and low performing schools.”

The Carolina Times


 “One of the great educators in New York History.”

Joseph Lentol, New York State Assemblyman


“Success seems to follow Pankey.”

Winston Salem Chronicle


Pankey is every parent’s dream in this unsettled age of school house massacres, failing discipline and anemic academic achievement.”

The Raleigh News and Observer




“Principal of Dr. Susan S. McKinney Junior High School 265 in Brooklyn, N. Y. since 1992, Pankey has transformed his school from the fifth most violent in the city to one of the safest in the state.  He is credited with restoring dignity and calm and enhancing the educational process of this troubled school by using tough love.”

Winston Salem Chronicle


“I realized there was already something starting to happen there that I hadn’t seen before in my many visits to dozens of different schools. Pankey was adding a Fourth R to the traditional reading, riting and rithmetic. It was called Respect.”

Jon Naso, Photo Journalist

New York Newsday


“I have never seen anybody quite like him.  His voice….his oratorical skills are unique.  Once you get to know him, you realize that he has formidable substance.”

Obah Ward, Former PTSA President

Boys and Girls High School

Brooklyn, New York

New York Amsterdam News


“Disciplined, diligent, reliable, tough, eloquent, generous, fearless, brilliant, talented, loving, caring.  (The list could go on and in no particular order.)”

Lesley Hunt, Master Speech Instructor

University of N. C. School Of the Arts


“He always put God first.  And he knew He would lead the way.  He was blessed to be able to do the things he wanted to do.”

Mamie Pankey, Mother

Laurinburg Exchange


“We have better attendance in school.  More kids come on time.  More teachers are collaborating and working with students which need help.”

Jane Cheeseborough, Representative

United Federation of Teachers

New York City


“Scotland High School students scored an average of 17 points higher on the 1997 Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than they did the year before.”

Laurinburg Exchange


“The total score improvement for 1997 was the largest at Scotland High in the last five years.”

Dr. John Batchelor, Superintendent

Laurinburg Exchange


“Henry Pankey is a man of true character who welcomes a challenge and dedicates his talent toward achieving noble goals.”

Paula Mann, Parent

Durham, N. C.


“We needed a strong person here.  He has a positive direction for our children.  They were getting lost far between the cracks.”

Bertha Smith, Community Activist

Brooklyn, New York

New York Newsday


“Steve Littenberg, District Supervisor for school safety officers, said JHS 265 is now one of the safest schools in New York City.”

Laurinburg Exchange


 “End of test scores, among the worst in the Triangle last year, surged ahead in 10 of 11 categories after the first semester.”

Raleigh News and Observer


Pankey’s transformation of Southern High School from a school with academic and discipline problems to a respected high school is well documented.  Pankey is in many ways the modern version of the legendary principal-taskmasters of days past, who expected students to come to school scrubbed and ready to learn.

Durham Herald Sun


“Thanks to Principal Pankey for doing a superb job at Southern.  My family is behind him.”

Vinny Abbruseato, Parent

Durham, N. C.


“Mr. Pankey has a proven track record of successful leadership….  He has a participatory leadership style and he values teachers and often involves the community as a resource for his programs.”

Sonja Leathers

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Bridging the Gap


“He’s special, like a diamond in the sky.”

Dyan Barton, Assistant Principal

Tilden High School

Brooklyn, New York

New York Amsterdam News


I’ve seen bad years when there was no such thing as order, other year things calmed down, but this is the first time I’ve seen consistency in the tone of the school.”

Helen Henderson, coordinator at JHS 265

35 year veteran educator

New York Newsday



“Henry Pankey is one of the most dedicated and competent administrators that I have ever known.  In the halls he is a boundless source of energy that inspires students to believe in themselves.  His enthusiasm and his love for education permeate everything that transpires in his school.”

Luisa Haynes, Parent-Educator

North Carolina



Robert Murray, Master Drama Instructor

University of North Carolina School Of the Arts


“A man with a multi-faceted intellectual persona, Henry shows that the core of his educational philosophy is predicated on his belief in the dignity and worth of every human being. He frequently refers to students whose potential has not yet been tapped as diamonds in the rough.  Henry is indeed a master jeweler who is capable of using his pearls of wisdom to perfect the gems in his care.”

Linda Douglas, School Administrator

North Carolina




“Mr. Pankey is a great motivator.  He has an uncanny ability to get total support from students, faculty and staff, parents and the community members.”

Barry E. Wall, Ed.D

Principal, Lee County High School

Sanford, North Carolina



“The institution of the Dress for Success program has been a driving force to heighten student self esteem.  Mr. Pankey awarded Medals of Achievement to each faculty and staff member for attaining Exemplary Status months prior to actual testing, evidencing his belief in the staff and students rather than casting aspersion of its past performance.  He tirelessly walks the walls with his bullhorn: admonishing, praising, and cajoling.”

Barbara Simmons, Media Specialist

Southern High School

Durham, N. C.








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