"It is the mission of Harwood Union High School to provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner and inspired to contribute to a democratic society. As a professional learning organization of all academic departments, we are prepared to work together in order to provide a unique and personalized learning experience for all students."

Matt Henchen

Social Studies Teacher

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 802-583-8287

Currently Teaching

  • Creating Sustainable Communities (Civics)
  • Modern U.S. History
  • Current Events



Education Background

  • Studied Outdoor Recreation Leadership at Colorado Mountain College (1997)

  • Bachelors of Arts Degree (BA) in History at Johnson State College (2001), Modern European History Major, Winner of the 2001 Humanities Department Award.

  • Graduate studies in Contemporary U.S. History at the University of Vermont (2004)

  • Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum Development at Saint Michael’s College (2012)

Associations or Outside Professional Activities

  • Developed and instructed dozens of courses in the Social Sciences for the Community College of Vermont (CCV) from 2002-2004, such as American History, American Politics and Government, Political Science, Moral Philosophy, Sociology,  Ethnicity and Diversity, and Native American Cultures.

  • Scored in the top 2% nationally on the Praxis II Social Sciences Test

Educational Philosophy

My philosophy of education closely parallels our school’s mission statement, which is to “provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner and inspired to contribute to a democratic society.” The methods I use to achieve these outcomes have changed from year to year, and will continue to evolve as I listen to and learn from my students.  As a civics teacher, I feel it is important to not only preach democracy, but also to actively practice it. In the classroom, this means all students are actively encouraged and empowered to find their voice and taught how to develop and communicate strong personal convictions on some of our world’s most pressing issues.  Outside of the classroom, this often translates into community based service learning projects designed to make the world a more just and sustainable place to live.  My personal passion is teaching what I call, ‘Political Literacy,’ which means teaching students the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to be active and informed democratic citizens.  My main goal is to help students understand and truly believe that civic and political engagement is not merely a right, but rather a moral obligation of every citizen.

Personal Interests

Anything outside:  hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, canoeing, gardening, etc.  I also enjoy gardening, farmer’s markets, cooking and eating amazing food, and photography.  And of course, all of these things are made exponentially better when I am able to do them with my wife and three children.

Co-curricular Involvement

I am the faculty advisor to the Youth Action Committee, which is a group of dedicated students who want to take political action of issues that matter most to them.