Meet area educators that shine while inspiring us—and our children—to learn and succeed. Introducing William Benjamin.
Years Teaching: 18
School: Las Cruces High School
Subject: Special Education Math
Why did you become a teacher?
I enjoy working with kids. I especially like teaching children that struggle with a disability. It is rewarding to see them learn and thrive in a high school environment. It takes patience and focus to assist them in the learning process, but they are grateful for the time you give them. And being a teacher has taught me a lot about myself. I may be the teacher but I learn from the students too.
What are your hobbies? What do you do when not teaching?
I enjoy exercise and the outdoors. Playing golf gives me the opportunity to be outside and compete. When I’m not teaching or coaching, I work hard to devote time to my family. Time with my wife and children is very important to me. I also like to travel to Los Angeles to visit my relatives. Family is a big deal to me.
What sport do you coach?
I’ve been coaching basketball at Las Cruces High School for 18 years. For the first 12 years, I was an assistant coach. For the last six, I’ve been the head coach of the varsity team and in charge of the Bulldawg boy’s basketball program. It involves a lot of hours in the gym, preparing for games, and traveling with the team, but it is worth it. I am rewarded with great experiences and memories.
What are your future plans and dreams?
I stay focused on improving myself and the lives of those around me. I am always looking for better ways to teach my students. I also want to be a better mentor and coach to the young men in my basketball program. They work hard as athletes. I want to help them graduate, become better men, and have future opportunities. Personally, I want to enjoy all aspects of my life—family, teaching, and coaching.
Where are you from?
My hometown is Santa Monica, California. I came to Las Cruces because I was offered a basketball scholarship at NMSU.
How did you choose your major?
I majored in social work because I knew I wanted to help others. Then I decided I wanted to specifically help children and youth, so I received my master’s in special education. Special education is definitely my calling.
What is the biggest misconception about teachers?
I think it is that we don’t care about the students. I can tell you that the teachers around me care very much for the well being of their students and their education. It is not just a job; it is a profession. We attend trainings and classes to improve our skills. As a teacher, I find it very rewarding to interact with kids of all backgrounds. —Sam Hummer