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12:15 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

PUSD Teacher of the Month: Karen Benson

 Karen Benson, a teacher at Taylor Hicks Elementary school, is pictured with Tymbree Collins, a student. (PUSD/Courtesy)

Karen Benson, a teacher at Taylor Hicks Elementary school, is pictured with Tymbree Collins, a student. (PUSD/Courtesy)

Karen Benson, reading specialist at Taylor Hicks, is a treasure, according to the Prescott Unified School District.

She has worked with elementary students at every grade level in a variety of settings, from kindergarten through fifth grade, and is now in her 30th year as an educator. She is most passionate about the work she has been doing over the past ten years with students who have dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

She said that when she began her work as a reading specialist, she saw that many of her students were struggling with rhyming, copying words from the board, and poor recall. She wanted to help those students to learn, so she became a voracious researcher; she left no stone unturned until she had discovered a way for those students to grow.

She attended seminars and workshops, most often paid for by herself, and she tried a variety of approaches. What she discovered was a multi-sensory, sequential program called the Barton Reading and Spelling System.

Not only does she tutor students one-on-one, she also manages and trains a team of volunteer tutors, whoserve as many students as possible.

Her dedication to the program, the volunteers, and, most importantly, the students extends far beyond the school day and the school year, too.

She reflects on her practice and program continually, with the goal of providing her students with every means possible to become successful readers.

She is innovative, creative, and fierce in her determination to serve students, and that makes her a treasure, indeed.

Information provided by Prescott Unified School District