Hurricane Evacuee Teaches Math at Region 8 School

October 28, 2005 -- Posted at 6:19 p.m. CDT


JONESBORO -- She escaped Hurricane Katrina with her family, and is now living  in Region Eight.  With everything she knew and owned left behind in New Orleans, Angela Benjamin is making a new life for herself and her daughters with the help of some new found friends in Forrest City.  “We went from leaving New Orleans on Saturday during the day and we arrived here in Forrest City over night,” said Benjamin.


She chose Forrest City because her boyfriend is working in the area.  The storm hit on Monday and by that Thursday Benjamin was seeking a way for her daughters to continue their education.  “She came to enroll her students in our district and then we noticed that she has a masters degree,” said Forrest City Junior High School Vice Principal Phyllis Conner, “And we talked to her and we said , well we'll put you on first priority to sub.”  


Mrs. Benjamin has been substitute teaching math at Forrest City Junior High ever since.   “I'm not a teacher by trade, I just have two daughters and have to help them with their homework nightly.”  She had no background as a teacher before starting to substitute, but Benjamin said the support she's received has helped her during this difficult time.  “I knew that I would have to find a job so when this opportunity became available it gave me a chance to be close to my daughters and actually in school with one of them,” said Benjamin.


Benjamin's ten year old daughter attends the Forrest City Middle School and her twelve year old daughter Brittney attends the Forrest City Junior High, “I've been at one school my whole life and been with the same friends for over seven years and going into a new school is hard.  Making new friends is hard.”  Benjamin said she is committed to staying in Forrest City until the end of the school year.