It’s no secret that Henderson and Carthage have been rivals for generations, each trying to surpass the other. As a former Carthage student, Henderson band teacher Craig Haynie always thought of the Henderson High School Band as a worthy competitor.
Haynie transferred from San Augustine this summer to become the head band director for the Henderson Lion Pride Band.
“As a student, we always wanted to try and outdo Henderson,” said Haynie. “We all wanted to play louder, march better, stand taller, you name it, better than Henderson. Mr. Ferguson was the caretaker [band director] while I was in high school; I vividly remember his bands and how well they marched and played.”
Haynie looked into teaching, thanks to his middle school band director and his computer applications teacher, who showed him how influential teaching can be.
“They helped that decision,” said Haynie. “I’ve had teachers that spent countless hours planning, helping and tutoring for me. The best way I can honor that is to pay it forward.”
In the same way his teacher spent a substantial amount of time working with him, Haynie gives the same attention to his students.
“My biggest weakness is the kids,” Haynie said. “I have students who ask if I’ll stay or if I’ll be at the band hall for them to pass off or help them with something. I find myself always saying yes, even if it is 5:00 p.m. on a Friday when we don’t have a football game.”
Haynie says his drive to win and be the best is his biggest strength.
“I don’t like to lose.¨ Haynie said. ¨ I will work tirelessly and try to figure out some way to improve whatever it is that needs to be fixed, just to prove my kids are the best and that our school is better than yours.”
With that mindset, Haynie has plans to carry on the HHS band’s tradition of excellence.
“The Henderson High School Lion Pride Band has always been recognized as one of the best bands in Texas,” Haynie said. “The kids have been working so very hard to show that they are indeed deserving of that distinction.”