Winning the Presidential Award created an opportunity for me to become friends with outstanding educators around the country. In fact, some of my best friends are Presidential Awardees. This friendship has provided the opportunity to share many ideas about teaching and learning with a wide variety of people. It has also given me credibility within my school system, district, and state that has allowed me to try things and put forward ideas that I would not otherwise have had the chance to share.

John Benson Evanston, IL | 7-12, Mathematics, 1987

John Benson earned a B.A. in mathematics, cum laude, from Luther College and M.A.T. in mathematics teaching from Vanderbilt University. He has authored and co-authored many publications and has consulted on Everyday Mathematics, edition four. John was co-founder and president of North Suburban Math League; board member and president of the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago; and president of the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics. John has been a Mathcounts Question Writer; Advanced Placement Calculus Exam Reader; Nassau County Interscholastic Math League proofreader; American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) Math Contest Site Coordinator; and Walter Payton Math Circle Instructor. He consulted for the College Board from 1987 to 2012. He has presented at over 400 conferences and workshops, including nationally for the Bureau of Education and Research. John has received numerous awards including the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Distinguished Life Achievement in Mathematics Award; T. E. Rine Secondary Teaching Award; Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award, Amherst College; University of Chicago School Mathematics Project Great Teacher award; Al Kalfus Founder’s Award, ARML; Siemens Award for AP Teaching; Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist; Edith May Sliffe Secondary and Middle School Award; Lola May Award for Leadership in Mathematics Education; and Distinguished Service Award, Luther College. He is a Tandy Technology Scholar. He has also received the University of Chicago Outstanding Teacher Award; Illinois Math & Science Academy Award of Excellence; Illinois Governor’s Master Teacher Award; and Evanston Township High School Teacher Excellence Award.

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