Teacher of Year 2020

HMS Teacher of the Year 2020
Posted on 01/24/2020

Heather DiBenedetto
Ms. Heather DiBenedetto
B.S., Elementary/Special Education – Northern Arizona University, 2002

Mrs. DiBenedetto joined Hillsborough Middle School in 2004 as a teacher of special education.  Over the past decade, she has been the lead teacher of our Language and Learning Disabilities classroom.  Mrs. DiBenedetto’s vibrant work with students of such diverse special needs is well known and highly respected across the school.  Her lessons seamlessly blend content from multiple disciplines with work-place readiness and interpersonal skill development in a learning environment that is rich with active engagement, encouragement and support for all of her students.

One of the many reasons Mrs. DiBenedetto’s work is so well known throughout the school is that she opens the door to student volunteers from nearby homerooms to assist in her room.  It is a tribute to Mrs. DiBenedetto’s welcoming and positive disposition, and the classroom environment she creates, that so many students jump at the opportunity to assist her students with reading and vocational activities.  The value of the shared experience and friendships that form among the students is immeasurable.  

Mrs. DiBenedetto is also active in the Hillsborough community.  For the past several years she has sponsored events to promote awareness and understanding of Autism and Down Syndrome around the district including benefits to support Gigi’s Playhouse - a free educational, therapeutic-based career development center for children with Down’s Syndrome and other developmental disabilities in Hillsborough.  In recent years, Mrs. DiBenedetto’s initiatives with vocational and career-based intervention programs both in school and the community have played an integral part of the district’s efforts to develop a “School to Work” transitional program for Hillsborough High School.  

For her contribution in all of these areas, as a mentor to both students and teachers alike, as an exemplary teacher of youngsters with special needs, and for her tireless dedication and advocacy for the success of all children, HMS is proud to recognize Mrs. Heather DiBenedetto as our Teacher of the Year for 2020.

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