Teacher Spotlight: Peter Benitez

Have you met Mr. Peter Benitez? Prior to Las Vegas, he lived in Mazatlan, Mexico, and Huntington Beach, California. He has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and a master's degree in Spanish from California State University Fullerton. He has been teaching at Dawson for 14 years, and currently teaches Spanish in grades four through eight, as well as middle school advisory. Get to know Mr. Benitez more in this edition of Dawson Teacher Spotlight!
How long have you been a teacher?
Nineteen years total. Fourteen years here at Dawson.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Dawson?
I love the way we teach world languages at Dawson because it’s different than most schools. Our main goal is to get the students speaking the language. I also like the fact that our administration appreciates the job that we do as a world language department and supports us. Dawson is a true community, and driving into this beautiful school every morning just feels right!

What is your biggest goal for this school year?
To continue to help my students become more fluent in Spanish and better prepare them for their next academic phase. Every year we have two events that let me know how we are doing in those areas: the World Language Café and the National Spanish Exam. We just had both and they went great! I am very proud of my students and happy with the results.

How did you discover your own Brave Voice?
Being the youngest of three brothers, I had to use my Brave Voice at a very young age and it was scary at times. The true test came when I was in high school and I decided that to move back to the U.S. to attend college. I was as a teenager without my parents and friends, starting over in the States; it was really time to use my Brave Voice.

What is one thing about you that would surprise your students?
Maybe that I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was about 13 years old. I used to experiment and try different styles from time to time. One summer I had braids and for a while in college I had blonde highlights. Now, I just have natural highlights (gray hair).

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
I love spending time with my family whether we’re at the beach, the pool, or simply watching movies. I also enjoy watching sports--especially the Dodgers!

What are you most proud of?
Here at school, I am very proud of what my colleagues and I have done with the world language program. We are always looking for ways to improve. Personally, I am very proud of my daughters and always being there for my family.
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The Alexander Dawson School

Welcome to The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain! Located in Summerlin, a suburb of Las Vegas, Nevada, The Alexander Dawson School is a non-sectarian, non-profit school offering students in preschool through eighth grade an inspired and meaningful education. Students achieve their individual potential while savoring life and meeting the challenges of the world.