Erica Benson- US History & Newspaper/Journalism


Where did you work before this? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Colorado– I lived in Denver and then Fort Collins, Colorado. I went to KU and I was a journalism and history major. I started off in journalism, went back to school to be a teacher, got my master’s, and I started off in the Kansas City, Kansas school district. I spent five years there–Washington High School was my last position– and now I’m happy to be at Blue Valley North.

What made you want to come here?

Not only have I heard about just the academic excellence of the building, but people in the area want to go to school here, and people want to teach here and there’s a professionalism of respected teachers that want to be the best they can be and I want to be a part of that.

What are your first impressions of North?

So far, it’s all been really great. Sounds like there’s going to be a lot of changes, but people have been so nice. Like Mr. Breedlove has been over and above on, “What can I do for you?” and I’m coming from a school district where we don’t have a lot of money to spend on supplies, and so they’ve just been like, “Money for supplies.” Like, oh my gosh, it’s great. So things like that are a positive change.

What are you teaching?

I’m teaching our newspaper, 21st Century Journalism, and U.S. history.

What are your goals in terms of teaching, and for your students?

For the newspaper, we talked about innovative, multimedia changes, having a bigger online presence and daily publication, that would be a major goal for us, and maybe changing to a magazine style- true magazine, where it’s not necessarily timely stories. And then, for U.S. history, I want to challenge students to be better, evidence-based writers, and also I do a lot of multimedia stuff with U.S. history so they’re creating their own videos and pieces they put on their own websites about different subjects, so I’m teaching that.

Is there anything you’d like your students to know about you?

I guess I have professional standards, but I am not a rigid person, so once you get to know me a little bit, you’ll see that I’m not super strict.

Any fun facts?

If I could be anyone, I would be Indiana Jones.