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#SoFu Resident Roz Benjamin Heads The Children's School

Roslyn Benjamin says that education runs in her family! She is the wife of André Benjamin, former educator, the mother of Maya Benjamin, educator in training (senior at Syracuse University) and Michael Benjamin, graduate of The Children’s School (class of 2021), sophomore at Woodward Academy (class of 2025) and stepmother of Marlon Benjamin (graduate of San Diego State University, class of 2021).  She is daughter of Mary Evans, a former educator in San Francisco Bay Area Schools. Beginning on July 1, 2020, Roz took the helm as Head of School of The Children’s School

"I have been an educator for over 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, and Atlanta, focusing on the cognitive and social-emotional growth and development of children, aged three to fourteen. I have been a classroom teacher to middle school students and an administrator for the larger range. At The Children’s School, I have led several mission-aligned initiatives, including creating a new six-day rotating schedule and expanding our learning services program so that we can better serve all of our students." 

Roz has served on various boards, including the executive committee of Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools and Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew’s in San Mateo, California. "In both roles, I serve on committees that push the work of these non-profit organizations forward, whether that is educating my fellow heads of school and/or students in the community.  For AAAIS, I recently moderated a conversation about mental health in schools for my fellow heads of schools and school counselors. We hosted three experts in the field, who shared ways to foster resilience in students and their families as well as school employees. For Episcopal Day School, I serve on the diversity committee, where we are crafting a mission statement and strategic plan."

Several women have inspired Roz. Her mother is a retired educator who believed in the importance of a good education. "My parents made sacrifices so that I could attend private schools, beginning at age 2 through high school. Although there were many challenging moments, particularly as I was the only black or one of a few black students in my class, I learned some important social-emotional skills, which allowed me to navigate any situation, whether I was one of many who looked like me or one of a few. I have had to use these throughout my career. My mother juggled many pieces - wife, parent, and career - with style, patience, and grace, which I try to do as well."

Her former heads of school (Jessie-Lea Abbott, Kim Wargo, and Virginia Paik) definitely paved the path for her as well.

"I believe that education is the key to making change in our community, which is why I am passionate about the work I do."

"I graduated with a BA in International Relations and a MA in Secondary Education. In my various schools, I have been both inside and outside of the classroom. In all of these roles, I strived to keep the needs of students at the center.

My colleagues and my church community are something outside myself that makes what I do possible!"

What piece of earned wisdom would you tell your 16-year old self?

"Believe in yourself!"

"In my role as an educator," she says,  "I serve as a 'mirror' to my students of color, so they see the value and power of education and a 'window' to other students and strive to dismantle stereotypes, while helping all of my students realize their potential."

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