Report: #1347964

Complaint Review: Henderson International School

  • Submitted: Thu, January 05, 2017
  • Updated: Thu, January 05, 2017
  • Reported By: HarryHenderson — Las Vegas Nevada USA
  • Henderson International School
    1165 Sandy Ridge Road
    Henderson , Nevada

Henderson International School Lounge Singer and Lawsuits Thoughts on Henderson International Henderson Nevada

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As prospective parents looking to enroll our child into a private elementary school, Henderson International was highly recommended to us by the realtor who handled our move  Like many other parents, we were impressed by the modern, state-of-the-art campus and beautifully manicured grounds which seemed to justify, in part, the hefty $20,000 a year private school tuition to educate students kindergarten through eighth grade. These grounds keepers do a great job. With yearly tuition being even more expensive than some of the most elite private high schools and even colleges in the area and beyond, our expectations were high that our child would receive a world class education in preparation for attending high school.

It was only after we enrolled our child in the School, that we learned the ugly truth, like the robot housewives revealed in the movie, “The Stepford Wives.” In our opinion based on a number of observations, the School is strictly run as a for profit business without concern for the education of its students.

First, we found the School to be very, very aggressive to collect tuition, especially in wanting parents to pay the entire year up front. While we were still deciding if our child should attend, we were offered several options including paying tuition by credit card, even splitting it between cards. We were told some families pay it up front with a mileage card so they could get a fee airline ticket or two. The School even offered to send someone to our house to pick up the check. Upon reflection, these tuition tactics reminded us of something out of the Wolf of Wall Street boiler room, not a private school for children.

The hefty price tag should have raised a red flag for us about this for-profit philosophy, but like other parents, we were taken in by the smooth sales pitch of its Admissions Director. Her Linked In profile reveals her prior work experience was in public relations, media relations, marketing (including educational marketing), marketing strategy, and branding. Her profile was notably lacking a Masters or Ph.D. in Education or even any educational experience as one might expect from an Admissions Director of an elite private school and as generally noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Similarly, we were less than impressed with the quality and caliber of the School Administrators and Educators. We learned none had earned a Ph.D. in Education. This strategy makes sense where cost is a concern, because employees with Ph.D’s. in Education often demand higher salaries in education. It's buy low and sell high here. We were particularly underwhelmed with the elementary school principal, John Heffron, who was once a lounge singer on a cruise ship and whose only prior educational work experience appears to be as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles. Doesn't appear he was a principal or even a vice principal anywhere else. This lack of experience was evident in our interactions with him; we felt he was in over his head, lacked empathy and concern for children, and did not understand the needs of students or how to communicate effectively with parents. The Love Boat...exciting and new...come aboard...we're expecting you. 

A google search of the headmaster also raised some questions about his prior job in Virgina. The gondolas at the Venetian are a long way from the Chesapeake. 

Most importantly, we found the School’s academics to be questionable to non-existent in comparison to other local private schools or any out-of-state. Reviewing our child’s schoolwork and homework revealed to us generic lesson plans that looked to be created by computer software. What has happened to old fashioned teaching, where a teacher creates their own lessons taking into account students’ strengths and weakness and addresses the personal needs of each individual student? Because this a business. 

We started to look for who really is behind Henderson Internation and it turns out that the school is controlled by a private equity firm in Chicago called Stering Partners.  There is even a podcast on their website highlighting their skills in maximizing revenue from education investments. A liquidity event is not a science experiment in this world. They note on their website that they build businesses worth buying. School. Widget factory. Biotech. It's all about the return on investment. 

Faculty and administration of Henderson have used the words "paying customers" on more than one occasion with us. They were not joking. It was clear that the parents are the customers. Wolf of Wall Street again comes to our minds. From top to bottom, HIS feels like a hustle once you step back and soak in what is really going on. The parents (us included) are often too busy to realize the emperor has no clothes when it comes to the actual education being delivered and who is delivering it.

In fact, the corporate parent of HIS just sold the majority of their schools to an education company with an address in the Cayman Islands for over $500 million. So Henderson International that was once a member of a family of secondary schools is now an orphan. The HIS website does not reflect this new status either. It still talks about this broad coalition of resources at the sister schools that were just sold. I have my doubts that Henderson will be around for much longer in its current state or even at all. But don’t worry. Sterling is fully committed to the school. How do we know? Well, it says so on the website.

Let’s ask some retired policemen about Sterling to see if their word is good. Sterling was sued in October 2016 in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas (No. 6:15-cv-1243) by Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement Fund...the fund to take care of retired police officers. Lawyers for the cops are claiming that Sterling Partners were the sponsors of an investment scheme that enriched the insiders and left the retired cops pension fund and others holding the bag.

“Defendants materially misled the public, by publicly issuing false and misleading statements and omitting to disclose material facts necessary to make Defendants’ statements, as set forth herein, not false and misleading. Said statements and omissions were materially false and misleading in that they failed to disclose material adverse information and misrepresented the truth about the Company, its business and operations, as alleged herein. The economic loss, i.e., damages, suffered by Plaintiff was a direct result of Defendants’ fraudulent scheme to artificially inflate the price .....significant declines in the value when Defendants’ prior misrepresentations and other fraudulent conduct were revealed."

The retired cops are claiming that Sterling was the control person of the company that filed misleading documents with the government and violated federal securities laws including lying to investors. Sterling controls our school. Sterling made almost $200 million on the deal with the police pension fund. According to lawyers for the retired police, the owners of Henderson International did not tell the truth. This lawsuit wasn’t related to the schools but to another investment they made but we aren’t comfortable with these allegations. I think that if they will lie to and profit from retired police officers, they’ll lie to me too. The company that Sterling controlled is also being accused of predatory billing practices in the same lawsuit and was the subject of a TV expose in Denver. High pressure sales tactics including in a pattern and practice of  over billing sick people according to the lawsuit on Sterling's watch. 

These are the same people responsible for my child’s education? 

Wait there’s more. Sterling was sued in Federal Court in the Eastern District of California for (Case 2:11-cv-00465-LKK-EFB) a few years ago for failure to pay wages, failing to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage, violating the failing to provide itemized wage statements and failing to provide meal and rest periods.

A former lounge singer is the principal and a local pr person is the director of admissions. Headmaster Alhorn managed a gym in Minnesota once upon a time. Buy low. Sell high. Glassdoor is full of reviews of low pay complaints from other teachers associated with Meritas/Sterling.

In the car line every morning, PT Barnum and a boiler room come to my mind.

Adios, Henderson International School.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/05/2017 10:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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