Dr. Benning Generates Mission Possible


Arielle Teppert

Dr. Benning is pictured standing proudly by his favorite bulletin board in the senior high school.

There’s no Place like Home. 

This phrase may sound cliche, but it has become Dr. Ted Benning’s life motto. With his roots planted in Latrobe as an alum, Dr. Benning has constantly bled orange and black. “I tried to be involved in a lot of things for the better,” he explained. 


Excellent Experiences

Dr. Benning was a member of the student council, the football team, and advanced classes throughout his high school career. It is no surprise that he flourished within the educational realm. Dr. Benning explained that Latrobe was nothing short of an exceptional environment. “Latrobe’s school culture was geared towards doing everything for kids. I got the assumption from friends that some neighboring schools might not have had the same great opportunities,” he expressed. 


Figuring out the Future

Due to Greater Latrobe’s plethora of opportunities, he was able to take a deeper dive into his two main interests: criminal justice and education.“During my freshman year at Frostburg State University, I was trying to figure out if I wanted to major in education, although I still had an interest in criminal justice. Just like Latrobe, it took a couple of professors at Frostburg State to help me build a personalized plan for education and what it has to offer versus criminal justice,” he stated. 


Planting the Seed of Knowledge

After attending Frostburg State to receive his bachelor’s degree, he attended The University of Pittsburgh to obtain his master’s in education. Following his master’s, Dr. Benning branched out to Brothersvalley School District and Central City School District, to plant his seed of knowledge. Benning wanted to keep learning, so he decided to return to The University of Pittsburgh to attain his doctorate in education. During this process, he taught at Westmont Hilltop School District and then Franklin Regional School District. From this day forward, Dr. Benning is continuing to make a significant impact on Greater Latrobe’s students and staff. 


The Possible Begins with Trying

Although these schools served as great job opportunities, a deeper connection resonated between Dr.Benning and Latrobe. “Latrobe as a high school student was home to me. The school district’s reputation and my personal experience gave me encouragement to try my luck, throw my application in, and see how it went,” he stated. Dr. Benning’s spontaneous effort to apply at Greater Latrobe granted him the senior high school principal position, which he is more than grateful to have received. “I am so fortunate to be back here now as an employee and be able to serve students and staff here at the high school where I can call home but also the place that I work,” said Benning.


Mission Possible

Dr. Benning has made it quite clear that he is here to make an impact on each student’s life. Whether it is a welcoming “Hello” walking down the hallway or the famous roar played over the announcements at the end of the day, his presence is prominent within the walls of Greater Latrobe. He is persistent in ensuring students are prepared for their next steps in life while being good citizens. “We hope that students take the citizenship opportunities and become Generation Leaders. In the grand scheme of things that would make us happy and that should be an unwavering mission for us,” he expressed.


Study, Socialize, Snack, Repeat

 Dr. Benning plays a crucial role in the development of the building. Students can expect to see minor changes being made within the following year. Even though Lunch and Learn is a great time for students to socialize with friends and visit teachers, there are more opportunities for success than what meets the eye. “We would like to take a deeper dive into Lunch and Learn to see how we can make this an even better experience for our students. There will be a core team that we will put together from a staff standpoint as well as students, so stay tuned for that here in October. Although the current Lunch and Learn is a great foundation, what it looks like currently isn’t necessarily what it has to look like in the end,” he explained.


Great Students, Great Players

Many members of the community attend Latrobe’s sporting events. Even with players being the stars on the field, it is no secret that the den brings the heat in the stands. “I am proud of the number of students at home games. However, I would love to see that number grow. I have been working hand in hand with our den leaders and they are helping build that culture. I would like to see this unity and support grow with other teams,” he stated.


The Six C’s

Communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, curiosity, and citizenship are Benning’s Six C’s that are becoming ingrained in the student’s minds. Administration and staff are challenged to formulate new avenues of teaching.  “How can we make these more of an influence in the classrooms, community, and extracurricular activities? How can students take the lead more with their own learning?” Benning expressed. 


Try and Try Again

Target-based grading is a system that tracks a student’s progress toward proficiency in a subject. By encouraging students to approach their studies with a growth mindset, this grading style gives students the chance to reflect upon their own progress, identify areas for improvement, and engage in additional learning opportunities to reach proficiency. This approach may become a course of action at Greater Latrobe. “It is new on the horizon around here. We will receive feedback from students, staff, and the community so we are leading a generation where learning is the constant and time becomes the variable,” he stated.


The Lollipop Moments

Each day grants new moments for greatness. The principal believes in seeking opportunities to improve someone’s day while enjoying your own. Dr. Benning describes these occurrences as lollipop moments. “It is about everyday leadership “lollipop moments”. Simple as that, how do you make someone’s day better and in turn help you to have a great day as well? All while encouraging you to keep doing what you are doing,” said Benning.


Home is Where the Heart is

Dr. Benning’s mission applies to more individuals than just high school students. With his priorities consisting of career readiness, a true partnership between students and staff, safety and security, and many fresh opportunities, he can’t go wrong! Greater Latrobe is more than fortunate to have Dr. Benning’s seeds of knowledge, branches of experience, and most importantly the roots of Latrobe. Because then again, there truly is no place like home.