9th-10th Grade Math, Pendleton High School Pendleton, SC
Ben Sinwell teaches at the only high school in his district, in a town of just 3,000 people. Cows graze in the fields outside his classroom window. Yet, in this small town, Ben is doing big things. Last school year, roughly half his students came to him scoring below the 50th percentile in math.
“Sitting in math class and being confused is not fun for anyone. My job is to understand what the kids are thinking, to see where they went wrong. And to give them tasks worth doing,” Ben explains. “I’ve got the kids who weren’t good at math, and they do as well or better as the other kids when they weren’t supposed to. That’s what I love.”
Despite having the largest class sizes in the math department, Ben worked hard so that 93% of his students passed the state exam in 2011.
Ben holds a Master’s in Education from Boston University and started his teaching career at Chelsea High School in Massachusetts in 2001.