Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has appointed Mario Benabe, a special education and math teacher at the South Bronx Community Charter High School, to represent his office on the Community Education Council of Bronx School District #9.
“Mr. Benabe’s experience as a teacher in a charter school, as well as his considerable resume as an educator and an activist, will provide CEC #9 with a unique perspective on the issues that face our classrooms, and I look forward to working with him as we continue our work to improve our public school system, not just here in our borough but across the city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Charter schools are public schools, too, and Mr. Benabe’s experience within a charter school’s walls will bring a fresh viewpoint to the important discussion that takes place at CEC #9.”
“This opportunity to serve on the Community Education Council in District #9 truly brings me inner peace. As a community, we are often looking for treasures far away, when in fact there are acres of diamonds in our own backyards. As an appointee, I know the value and importance of empowering the best sense of teaching and learning by rooting it to the community. This must include parent engagement, social and emotional learning and restorative justice,” said Mario Benabe.
A resident of Claremont Village, Mario Benabe is the founding Math Teacher at the South Bronx Community Charter High School (SBCCHS), a school birthed out of the New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) and the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) School Design Fellowship.
Prior to teaching at SBCCHS, Mr. Benabe spent two years as the Special Education, Mathematics Specialist at the Bronx River High School. Mr. Benabe holds a M.S.T in Special Education from Fordham University and a B.A. in Culture and Deviance Studies with cross disciplinary research training in Sociology and Latin America and Latinx Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Throughout his early teaching career, Mr. Benabe has advocated for educational justice for youths of color. At Teach For America’s 25th anniversary summit Mr. Benabe spoke at the #StayWoke: Stop the Violence and Increase Opportunity program to an audience of over 1,200 people at the Walter E. Washington convention Center in Washington, D.C.
In 2015, The Entertainment Industry Foundation honored Mr. Benabe as one of three teachers selected nationally to be recognized as the 9/11 Day Teacher. Mr. Benabe has received the Robert Bob Douglass Hall of Fame – John Hunter Community Service Award for his dedication in serving youths through education for the National Association of Each One Teach One program.
Mr. Benabe is the initiator of “Do-The-Right-Thing Pedagogy”, which frames the importance of examining the ways in which teaching and learning occurs in afrocentric and indigenous populations and using that as a Dialectical Opposites [Do] To Heal Education [The] that invites Reality, Immersion, Good-Hearted Teaching [Right] Through Historical Indigenous/Afrocentric and Native Grounds [Thing]. Mr. Benabe feels that his role as an educator is to create conditions that allow young people to express their brilliance through their sense of what is vernacular for them so that they can feel valued within the village of teaching and learning.
More information about Mr. Benabe can be found at his website, www.mariobenabe.com.