Maya Moore and Joni Henderson
Maya Moore was born on June 11, 1989 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Maya had her first exposure to basketball at the age of three when her mother mounted a hoop on the back door of their apartment. As a junior in high school Maya was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year after leading Collins High School to Georgia's Class 5A state championship. She was only the second junior to win the Naismith Award. Her first dunk was a one-handed alley-oop pass in warm-ups at a dunk contest in Charlotte, NC in December 2005. She was 16 at the time.
While attending the University of Connecticut Maya led the Huskies to the undefeated national championship. The Huskies had a 36-2 record in the 2007-08 NCAA season, their best record since their Final Four appearance of 2004. During the season, Maya averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game and hit 42% of her three-point shots. She also placed second on the team in rebounds with 7.6 per game and blocks with 1.6 per game. She was the first freshman, male or female, to be named the Big East Player of the Year. Maya was named an AP First Team All-American, the fourth time she has earned the honor, and only the second player in history to earn First Team honors for four years. In 2009 Maya led Connecticut to capture its second national championship.
In 2009, Maya was also invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp, one of only three college players and the only junior to be invited. Maya was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve from this group were chosen to represent the USA in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. Maya was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball. Maya was selected 1st overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.Joni Henderson has taught at Moreau Heights, elementary school in Jefferson City Missouri since 1992. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Lincoln University and a Masters in Elementary Curriculum from Saint Mary’s College. Some of her most esteemed recognitions to date are the Moreau Heights Elementary School Volunteer of the Year Award, 2001 & 2006; the Mike Kehoe Teacher Award in 2004; the 2009 Jefferson City Public School Teacher of the Year Finalist and the KPLA Golden Apple Award in 2010.
Joni Henderson believes passionately in all students and public education. She accepts as true that students rise and fall based on the expectations teachers have set for them. “When the bar is set low we enable failure, when the bar is set high we demand success. I believe every child can fly.” The learning environment should be a warm, safe place where risk taking is encouraged, individuality praised and problem solving an everyday occurrence.
On day one I tell my students, “that our classroom is place where it’s okay to make mistakes, take chances, laugh, cry, and most importantly to walk away learning from each and every experience whether good or bad.” Joni believes relationships are the key to success. “When kids know you care about them as individuals beyond what they do in the classroom a bond is formed and they open their hearts and minds to learning,” says Joni.