Zack Henderson: Great Student, Great Person


Natalie Tousignant, Staff Writer

Hawthorne High School’s Zack Henderson is not your typical, top of the class, brilliant senior. Quite simply, nothing about Henderson is typical, and that is what makes him so remarkable. Henderson is a BMX bike riding, guitar playing, music loving, Spanish speaking, hardworking student whose approach to academics makes him one-of-a-kind.

Next year, Henderson will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aeronautics. His friends and teachers have complete confidence that Henderson will be able to handle the college workload, as he was able to maintain top grades in high school by taking a relaxed approach to academics. Henderson discloses, “Freaking out about a test makes no sense. You’ve got to realize what’s important.”

Henderson’s words ring true to his philosophy on life in general. He believes in figuring out what you love to do and finding a way to continue to do it, and Henderson has done just that. In addition to making academics a top priority, Henderson spends his free time perfecting his passions – BMX biking and playing guitar for his band, Grime Factor.

In addition to attending school, biking, and playing guitar, Henderson works at Bottagra, a restaurant in Hawthorne on the weekends. Here, he works as a bus boy and is able to practice his Spanish language skills with the staff.  Though he is not of Spanish or Hispanic descent, he speaks the language almost fluently by practicing it as much as possible. These Spanish skills will be even further improved when Henderson spends two weeks in Ecuador this summer with his girlfriend, Kasi Fetchik, an HHS alum, whom he credits with keeping him in check.

Henderson is truly someone whom his friends turn to if they need a listening ear or comforting words. He is the type of person who always looks to keep peace, who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and who is more concerned with the welfare of others than with himself. Henderson never fails to offer a hug or one of his famous head rubs when he sees a friend who needs it. His friend and fellow senior Paige Stroh says of him, “He’s a crazy kid. But he has such a kind heart and is passionate about what he loves. Being friends with him is super rewarding.” Henderson is someone who reminds the people around him that positivity and friendliness is contagious.

If you know Henderson, you know that music is a huge part of his life. One of his favorite bands is Opeth, a Swedish band which Henderson has seen twice in concert. Their music is, as Henderson puts it, “progressive death metal with a little bit of jazz.” He tries to learn how to play their music on the guitar and says, “You appreciate their songs a lot more after you learn them.” His all-time favorite band, though, is Pink Floyd, and his favorite hip hop group is Wu Tang Clan.

Whether it is riding, studying, playing an instrument, appreciating music, working, learning languages, or just relaxing with his friends, it seems as if there is nothing Henderson doesn’t dabble in, and his friends, classmates, and teachers are excited to see what Henderson will do in college and in years after. With his enormous potential and varied interests, it is clear that Henderson will be successful at Stevens Institute and beyond.