Hensel, a Plainfield native, attended Illinois Wesleyan University where he earned academic accolades and graduated with an education degree. He taught in Minooka, Wyoming and Galesburg, Illinois before returning to PHS in 1981 to teach physical education and math and coach boys golf and varsity basketball. Hensel also served as dean of students and then assistant principal at PHS.
Then, as did for so many, the 1990 tornado changed Hensel’s life. Hensel was heavily involved in the process to move PHS to the former Joliet Catholic High School building. Later he helped plan, develop and open the new Plainfield High School, and was named its principal in 1997.
Then, in 2000, as District 202 began experiencing tremendous growth, Hensel opened Plainfield South High School – the first of what would be three new District 202 high schools. He served in that role until his retirement in 2004.
Whether as a teacher, coach or administrator, Tom influenced many young lives over his 33 year career in public education. His dedication to Plainfield Schools is well recognized and respected.
Hensel was also very active outside of school. He coached softball and baseball, conducted summer basketball camps and taught high school religious education classes.
Tom and his wife, Amy have three children, all of whom have graduated from Plainfield High School.