Beloved Math Teacher To Depart Benjamin After 8 Years


Charlie Spungin

Ms. Cheryl McKenney explains a trigonometry problem to a student. She will be retiring at the end of this school year and splitting her time between Florida and Utah.

Tvisha Goel, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Benjamin community will be waving goodbye and wishing good luck to many teachers in their next steps in their life, including Math Teacher Ms. Cheryl McKenney. 

Ms. McKenney has been working at The Benjamin School for eight years, and has provided much value to her students and advisees. When she came to the school eight years ago, she decided Benjamin was the place for her for a multitude of reasons. 

“So my previous school was at Wellington Christian School, and the school closed down and  I was Math Department Head there, so I had to find a job somewhere else. Besides just loving the campus and the environment, and the community, I didn’t have to bring my daughter here. So all the other schools, like Kings Academy, and American Heritage, required your children to go to the school, and my daughter was a junior at Wilmington High School. And she was in leadership positions, and I didn’t want to pull her. So that was one of the considerations. But the main pull was Benjamin’s reputation as an excellent academic high school,” she said. 

A former student, junior Darian Salehi, speaks about her Algebra 2 Honors class, which he took as a freshman. “I had Ms. McKenney for Algebra II Honors in 9th grade. She was a great teacher, provided plenty of resources, was always available for help after school, and was a great teacher. She was a great transition into high school as she was very supportive and a very nice person,” he praised. 

Ms. McKenney, when asked about having worked at the school, raved about her experience, saying, “It was amazing. The faculty were very supportive, and the students were very respectful, mature, and wanted to learn. It’s been great.”

She will always cherish her time at the Upper School, especially the relationships she’s made throughout the eight years she has been teaching at Benjamin. “I definitely will always remember my coworkers. We have so much fun together, especially Mr. Ruggie. He cracks me up all the time. The friendships that I’ve had in the math department will always be with me,” she continued. 

Not only will Ms. McKenney’s time at Benjamin stay with her but it will also remain with the students that she has impacted most.

Sophomore and current advisee of Ms. McKenney, Savannah Maynard, reflected on Ms. McKenney’s value as her advisor for the last two years. “Ms. McKenney was a great advisor who always provided help when needed and always made advisory fun. We played Quordle, watched fun YouTube videos and always worked on last minute studying. I will miss her and so will the rest of the advisory.”

Another advisee, sophomore Atticus Fasnakis – Nosal, said, “Ms. McKenney is always smiling and laughing in our advisory; her fun presence will very much be missed, especially in looking back when we played Wordle or watched people on YouTube eat live octopuses as an advisory. I think most significantly though, she taught me the importance of getting involved in the Benjamin community, which pushed me as a freshman to create the Classics Club and join and be involved in many other extracurricular activities.”

While she will miss being at Benjamin, Ms. McKenney has big plans for her retirement. “​​I plan on splitting my time between Florida and out west in Utah. I think it’s time for me to enjoy more of my life and do things that I love, like skiing and hiking, while I am physically able and my knees won’t give out. And out west, we love skiing and hiking. But I also have to do something with math. So I hope to find a nonprofit that needs a math tutor, and just kind of help out that way. Or maybe a children’s hospital where I can go and help them. I also want to spend the extra free time to train the puppy that I will be getting in December to go into nursing homes to visit with the elderly.” 

The Benjamin community will greatly miss Ms. McKenney, and has benefited from what she has given to the School. We wish her the best of luck in this new chapter of her life.