271534067_2105044959653406_4183536269602412607_nDreeben School of Education Graduate Named Teacher of the Year

Music educator Jose Benitez ‘17 was recently named Teacher of the Year at North East ISD’s Wilderness Oak Elementary School. 


Benitez is a graduate of the music education program which focuses on developing exceptional musicians and educators.The program integrates musicianship, performance and ensemble work, as well as study in music history and culture.


The former UIW Marching Cardinal knows the importance of having a strong group of colleagues and students supporting him along the way. He attributes much of his success to them. 


“I am extremely thankful to be named Teacher of the Year! I have to thank all my colleagues and friends for helping me reach where I’m at,” he commented on Facebook. “I have to give a huge shout out to my kiddos for being so amazing! Blessed to be working in a great community!”


Benitez, who will be completing his fifth year of teaching at the end of this semester, believes music is a key component to the growth and development of each student. 


“Music is essential to a person’s growth, mentally, physically and emotionally. Through music education, we can learn responsibility, teamwork, self-discipline, and self-expression,” he said. 


Benitez remains involved with his alma mater through the UIW Teacher Network Program where other educators like him seek to grow through professional development and professional networking opportunities. 


Congratulations on your recent accomplishment, Jose. We are proud of you!