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Longtime high school media mentor Rob Hendrix set to retire after 36 school years

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As another graduating class prepares for life beyond high school, it is a fitting time to honor a mentor who has shaped countless careers in central Indiana. 

Sports, music, film — you name it — this story centers on one beloved teacher. Tucked inside the heart of North Central High School on Indianapolis’ north side is a dream maker. 

For students across Hamilton County high schools, a seat in Rob Hendrix’s class is a hot commodity.

The J Everett Light Career Center has turned into a home for Hendrix. From audio to auto mechanics, these classrooms create a viable path to follow your passion beyond high school.

“One of the joys that has kept me going as a teacher, is watching these students go out and do great things,” Hendrix said. “And honesty, it is not because of things I did necessarily.”

When we take Hendrix out of the classroom, he gets a bit quiet. This May, after 36 school years, Hendrix will graduate with the Class of 2021.

A well-deserved retirement is on the way, but, that doesn’t mean saying goodbye will be easy.

“I am the lucky one here, I am so thankful for all of the people I have met,” Hendrix said. “I have former students that are 57 years old!” 

“I mean, if we start talking about it, it is going to make me cry,” Hendrix’s longtime colleague Tyler Hindman said. “Because, he is just a friend. He has been a friend to me and we have worked so close together.”

There is no possible way to edit, unplug, or re-script this story.

“He is really one of the kids, but he is a teacher,” current student Sean Vitales said. “He is really just a teenager, four times over.”

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