Author Archives

Benna splits her time as Gifted Specialist at two middle schools in Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools. She is a Third Culture Kid(TCK) who grew up in South Korea, Israel, Brazil, and Ivory Coast including five random cities in the United States: DC, Chicago, Fort Lee, Toledo, and Charlotte. She also traveled Europe and the Middle East as a teen. Since she has lived her life as a nomad, her idea of home is never concrete. When forced to define it, she will say home is a sum of fleeting moments. Her favorite authors are Vladimir Nabokov and Toni Morrison. Favorite numbers 3, 5, and 7.

After she graduated Oberlin College with a degree in English Major in 2000, she has worked tirelessly for 15+ years to build space for teens of all shades, colors, and streaks. She has been a strong advocate for the misfits, outliers, and all others in between. She now lives with husband Young and her daughter Pearl in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

  • My Extreme Learners

    I remember Santiago, the old fisherman who brought his mangled hand and the half-eaten marlin back ashore. For days and nights, he fought back against that fish even if that meant the fish was to be eaten up by sharks…. Read More ›

  • Saving Our Boys

    I grew up with a brother who struggled with mental illness. My parents must have looked at the boy who wet his pants in his third-grade classroom or hesitated to mix in with other shirtless boys who didn’t mind getting… Read More ›

  • Middle School Gifted Specialists: The Lone Wolves

    For all middle school educators who are itinerant, half-time, or split among multiple schools, welcome aboard!  As a solo practitioner in the field of Gifted Education in two middle schools, my journey has been full of both wonder and loneliness: First,… Read More ›

  • Parents, Our Strongest Allies

    Building a strong relationship with middle school parents isn’t on the priority list for many educators. Considering North Carolina’s teacher pay is ranked #35 in the nation, so who would want to carve out extra hours calling parents to introduce… Read More ›