By: Griffin Anderson, Contributing Writer
Dr. Matt Smith, principal of Centralia High School, presented Mrs. Danielle Bennett with the Arrangement of the Month at a surprise presentation while she was assisting students at Champion Academy. Bennett, who has been in education for over 29 years, is currently in her 11th year as the library media specialist at Centralia High School.
Smith praised Bennett for the exceptional work she has done during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mrs. Bennett has spent the entire year going above and beyond assisting teachers and students with technology. COVID has made it so important that our kids who are virtual or are quarantined have access to devices,” said Smith.
Smith noted that students are taking additional online tests this year and that Mrs. Bennett has done an excellent job ensuring that each classroom is supplied with the correct amount of technology devices.
Like many school districts, the Centralia School District has had its fair share of substitute teacher shortages. Bennett has stepped in when necessary to cover classes.
Bennett said she enjoys what she does at CHS.
“I love working with both students and teachers on a daily basis. This job allows me to get to know a vast majority of the students and teachers here at CHS. I love being able to see what the teachers have going on in their classrooms. I would not want to be teaching at any other school district. I love being a Centralia Panther!” said Bennett.
Bennett grew up in Tipton, Missouri. She began her education career at the Prairie Home School District as the 7th-12th language arts teacher in 1992. In 1996, she began teaching language arts at Versailles Middle School. She joined the Centralia School District in 2000 as the 8th grade language arts teacher at Chester Boren Middle School. In 2006, she began teaching language arts at Centralia High School. She began her current role in 2010. In addition to her librarian duties, Bennett also teaches the Electronic Journalism class, which provides “The Panther Press” edition in the Fireside Guard once each month.
Bennett earned her Bachelor of Science in English Education degree and her Master of Science in Educational Administration degree from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. She is married to Erle Bennett, and they have three children: Mary Kate, Claire and Cullen.