Ben was born in Norway, New York. He is the youngest of four brothers and both of his parents were educators. His mother ended up being his sixth grade English teacher. From a young age he was always playing music and working with kids. When Ben graduated high school, he moved to Long Island to attend Five Towns College for business and studio audio recording while pursuing the dream of being a “rock star”. He and his band managed to sign to a major record label while he earned his associate’s degree. Ben also met the love of his life, Amanda, while attending Five Towns.
Ben’s mother had leukemia for many years and her health was getting worse. Ben knew he had to take the educational torch and continue her legacy. He moved to Massachusetts and earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Salem State University. While attending school, Ben also worked at an after school program in Salem. There, he would continue to use his love of music and create and write songs with the kids. He developed a music club and wrote many songs with those students. During Ben’s final year at Salem State, he completed his student teaching in a first grade classroom and wrote an Abraham Lincoln Rap. He later uploaded the song to Youtube and now educators around the world are still using it.
After his mother passed away, Ben moved to East Hartford, CT with Amanda and was hired by the Hartford Public School system. Ben taught at Barnard Brown elementary school from 2005 to 2008 as a fifth and sixth grade teacher. He took his classes on week-long Nature’s Classroom camping trips to experience nature, science, and history. He became known as the “music guy” and was often the person to DJ functions at and for the school.
After Barnard Brown closed in 2008, Ben joined his new family at Fred D. Wish Museum School in 2009 as a fifth and sixth grade educator. Ben was appointed to be head of the PBIS committee at Wish. He also became the head of technology. Ben has run many PD sessions around how to use technology within the classroom for teachers. He became the school D.J. and M.C. for any and all functions at Wish School. He created a talent show (Wish Idol) for the school that has been consistently running for 6 plus years.
As a teacher, Ben tries to expose his students to a plethora of knowledge both in and out of the classroom as much as possible. First, he engages the parents using the SeeSaw application to ensure that they feel invited, informed, and have a voice in his class. Next, he secures programs/trips that provide a multitude of experience for his students. He has brought in LEARN, RBTC, Young Manufacturers, Hartford Performs, CT Invention Convention, CT Kid Governor, and many more. Ben has also been able to bring in many resources to his classroom using Donors Choose. He is TEAM trained and has mentored many UCONN and UHART student teachers. He has had a hydroponic garden in his room with which his students are able to plant, harvest, and enjoy a fresh salad. Ben’s classes have written, produced, and performed/recorded many full length movies, plays and songs. He also loves to share his artist brother, Patrick, with the school and have him come join classes to teach, paint murals, and share his artistic talents.
Ben is currently helping Wish School by being their Distance Learning Facilitator. Ben and Amanda now have 3 children and are navigating the “stay at home” life as a happy family.