Nineteen MSTA members were among the 35 teachers named 2019-20 Regional Teachers of the Year as part of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Each Wednesday, a new profile will be shared online celebrating these outstanding educators. You can see profiles of all 19 MSTA members honored as Regional Teachers of the Year in the Fall 2019 issue of School & Community.

School Building: Camdenton High School
School District: Camdenton R-3
Grade/Subject taught: PLTW Biomedical Sciences (Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions) and Forensic Science – Grades 9-12
Years teaching: beginning 18th year

What is one of your goals for this year?

Professionally, my goal for this year is to foster discovery for learning, and encourage my students to see their growth rather than their grade. Personally, I’m working to better balance my career with my personal and family life.

Describe yourself without using the word “teacher” or “educator.”

I am a relationship-builder.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I knew I wanted to be a teacher in Kindergarten. That passion never went away. My sophomore biology teacher, Mr. Lyndal Rice, who inspired me to pursue high school science, specifically biology, as my subject area. He helped cultivate a love of discovery in the sciences and I enjoyed working with my peers as we collaborated and solved problems. I want to share that love of discovery with my students.

Describe a moment when you knew you were following your calling.

There have been many, and most of them are based on the amazing, life-long relationships I’ve built with my students. But one of my most treasured moments is when a student said to me, “I learn something every day in this class. Thank you for being a teacher who cares, Mrs. Bennion.” 

 What career would you like to have if you weren’t a teacher?

I would be an event coordinator. I love to plan and execute an event, and see people enjoying themselves. Most people who know me aren’t surprised by this because I’ve been the prom coordinator for the last 11 years. It’s my fun, stress reliever with my students!

What is something on your bucket list?

I want to do a European tour of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece – all along the Mediterranean Sea.