AVON – Dr. Gerald Benjamin, or Dr. Ben, will be gratefully passing the torch in June after 19 years as Principal at St. Agnes School.
Dr. Ben said that he is grateful for his experience as principal and will miss seeing the people and students at St. Agnes.
“I feel like I’m going through a mourning period,” said Dr. Ben. “I am so involved with the people here, I’m so used to seeing them on a daily basis and greeting the kids on the sidewalk every day.”
Dr. Ben said that St. Agnes is actively seeking the next principal to take the reins as principal.
“There comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to pass the torch to a successor,” said Dr. Ben. “I feel richer for the experience. I’ve been blessed. It’s been a beautiful experience.”
Dr. Ben’s last day will be July 29.
Dr. Ben began his career 57 years ago as an intern teacher for the disabled at Massachusetts Hospital School, and demonstrated his commitment to quality education for all in a variety of roles including Assistant Professor of Education at Boston University and the University of Virginia and Principal at Geneseo Central, Cambridge Central, and Caledonia-Mumford Central schools. He established both the scholarship and summer education programs at St. Agnes School, improving educational outcomes and access to resources for its students. Dr. Ben has created a curriculum that educates the whole child, adding Spanish, Technology, Art and Page Turners. A dedicated supporter of the arts and the greater community, Dr. Ben has long been involved with many area organizations, including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Open Door Mission, Teresa House, and Camp Good Days. As Principal of St. Agnes School, he has organized cultural programmes for school and community that range from rock cello performances to RPO classical brass to Chinese acrobats. He currently serves on the board of Catholic Charities of Livingston County.
With degrees in Psychology and English Literature from American International College and Special Education/Elementary Education from Tufts University, Dr. Ben went on to study Special Education and School Administration at Syracuse University, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1967. Dr. Ben is the recipient of multiple awards, including the American Legion Americanism medal, the Genesee Valley Council of the Arts award, and the New York State Distinguished Leader of a Private School Award, and has been honored by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his efforts to further better understanding among diverse people and his philanthropic efforts.
In addition to a student celebration, a community Open House will be held in Dr. Ben’s honor on Sunday, July 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Riviera Theater on Center Street in Geneseo. All are welcome to attend.