Gina Benedetti, an inspiring fourth-grade teacher at Penngrove Elementary in Penngrove, has been named Sonoma County Teacher of the Month for March 2018.
The monthly award honors one of Sonoma County’s most outstanding teachers from October through May. It is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), K-HITS 1049, and Community First Credit Union (CFCU), with additional support from Platinum Chevrolet.
“During these challenging times of post-fire recovery, we need teachers more than ever to help our students overcome adversity and thrive,” said Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. “The Teacher of the Month program this year seeks to honor, support, and thank those teachers.”
Mrs. Benedetti, known for her big, friendly smile and supportive attitude, embodies the compassion and caring needed to help children thrive, according to numerous nominations received on her behalf.
“Mrs. Benedetti has been a huge inspiration to my son and to our entire community,” wrote one parent who also acknowledged Mrs. Benedetti’s courage and leadership as a cancer survivor. “She has gone on to become a spokesperson who travels to Washington DC to tell her story and speak with lawmakers about the importance of early detection (all on top of being a teacher and mom to a toddler).” Mrs. Benedetti, parents said, is known as a hero to her students. She has “a magical way of letting the kids know when they could do better but always with a smile and without any sense of shame tied to it.” One parent said that Mrs. Benedetti “completely changed” her son’s outlook on school with her supportive and positive outlook.
Mrs. Benedetti was surprised at a school-wide assembly with the award, which includes a plaque and $400 classroom supply gift card. When her name was called, the curtain to the school stage lifted and revealed balloons and a student holding a sign that read, “Congrats Mrs. Benedetti!” Students and staff members alike cheered enthusiastically when they heard she had won. Mrs. Benedetti credited a wonderful culture at her school for helping to make the award possible.
Know an amazing teacher? Click here to nominate them for Teacher of the Month!