Art Gallery named for Dr. Benson

June 2, 2015 10:44 AM

A retirement reception was held June 1 to celebrate Superintendent Dr. Dave Benson’s 43-year career in education. During the open house, hosted by the District’s Executive Council, Benson was surprised with an announcement that the District art gallery has been named in his honor.

The Dr. David L. Benson Gallery, located in the Educational Leadership and Support Center, allows the District to exhibit pieces from its extensive art collection for the benefit of the entire community. In recommending the naming, the District’s Art Collection Committee also noted that Benson:

  •        has championed a robust fine arts program in the District as a critical    component of education, and has vigorously represented that position to the community during his tenure as superintendent;
  •        was instrumental in revitalizing the District Art Collection Committee, including the creation of a position as Committee Coordinator and the establishment of a budget to support the preservation and restoration ofthe District’s fine art collection; and
  •         led the District to include an Art Gallery as an integral part of the Educational Leadership and Support Center.

“I am honored to have my name associated with the District Art Gallery,” Benson said of the naming. “The arts are an integral component  of a school community and a necessary element for a full life.”

The program also included a presentation by Board of Education President Mary Meisterling highlighting Benson’s accomplishments during his tenure with the District. She spotlighted achievements including the elementary foreign language and eighth grade expanded opportunities programs, high school culinary arts curriculum, Iowa BIG, Roosevelt Option, the development of the Johnson STEAM Academy magnet school, professional learning communities, District involvement in the Blue Zones, introduction of Green Team efforts, the establishment of the District Equity Committee, renewal of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, and the District’s successful teacher leader grant application.

“We are on a great and exciting trend of pushing the envelope of traditional instruction while continuing to provide a challenging and rigorous curriculum with state and national recognition,” Meisterling noted. “On behalf of the entire Board, we salute you and your 43 years of hard work, outstanding, innovative, inspiriting leadership, and dedication to educating our youth and challenging the status quo.”

Benson joined the Cedar Rapids Community School District in 2009; he had previously served as superintendent of the Ladue School District in St. Louis, Missouri and the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas. He will retire at the end of this month.

Click here to view photos of the reception.

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