Pottstown High School teacher Cal Benfield was recently recognized by the Freedom Credit Union and the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit as one of the top 23 finalists in the 7th Annual Voices of Inspiration Award for Teaching Excellence. Established to recognize educators and support specialists who exceed expectations in meeting their students’ needs in both public and non-public Montgomery County schools, the Voices of Inspiration Award is a highly coveted recognition.
This year more than 740 nominations for 325 educators were submitted by students, parents, co-workers, administrators, and school employees. Nominations addressed the individual’s contributions throughout the year and their cumulative efforts over their career in education.
Cal Benfield is an English teacher instructing the subjects of language/composition and literature to students in grades 9 – 12. He most enjoys his freshmen and senior classes as he has the chance to witness students at both the beginning and end of their high school careers. An educator for 16 years, Cal’s pursuit of teaching was inspired by his own high school English and math teachers and he works diligently to create an environment where excellence matters. One of his colleagues praised Cal for his high expectations saying, “His ability to make students feel like they have just written an award winning essay no matter what their ability level is something I try to emulate on a daily basis.” He also inspires his students by encouraging a family culture in the classroom to such a degree that one student said, “He is a teacher who treats his students like his own kids.”
Cal has encouraged teamwork and togetherness beyond the school bell as the head boys’ basketball coach for the high school where his co-workers noted, “He is an excellent role model to his players.” His commitment to excellence for his students in the classroom and in life is captured by the words, “It is only through self-respect that you can compel others to respect you.”