On March 16, 2016 the Craven County Board of Education and Havelock High spotlighted a first-rate teacher who has been the Director of Bands at Havelock High School 1994, Mr. Jorge Benitez. Each year Mr. Benitez directs over 200 students in the Havelock ensembles that include the Havelock Jazz Ensemble, the award winning Marching Rams, the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble, the indoor percussion ensemble and “Panache,” the indoor guard.
Mr. Benitez is creative and innovative. He stays abreast of new techniques and continues to develop and implement applications for the use of technology in the music classroom. After 22 years, he remains up-to-date in all aspects of teaching the art of music. Mr. Benitez has collaborated with music faculty to write and receive local grants. Grant money has been used to fund technological advances in music classroom instruction. He currently serves as one of the lead music teachers in Craven County working with all teachers of the Arts and with others who need assistance with the Analysis of Student Work or ASW, a method of evaluating Arts teachers in North Carolina.
Mr. Benitez has also mentored new music teachers and interns. Currently, there are four band directors in Craven County who worked as Jorge’s assistant band director or interned with him. He has received a variety of awards including the following local and regional awards: the Time Warner Cable “Star Teacher” award, the Havelock “Excellence in Teaching” award, the “I Love Havelock” award, the “VFW Teacher of the Year” award, the North Carolina Bandmasters Eastern-District Award of Excellence, the Wal-Mart local “Teacher of the Year,” and the Bojangles “Teacher of the Month.” He is without a doubt an outstanding educator who is most deserving of being the Havelock High School teacher spotlighted by the Craven County Board of Education. Congratulations Mr. Jorge Benitez!
Submitted by: Jennifer Wagner, Director of Public Relations, Craven County Schools