Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” For many students, an inspirational teacher often ignites learning. The same holds true for Ben Lebovitz who recently learned that he is one of the top 10 finalists for Arizona Teacher of the Year.
“Mr. Lebovitz has empowered me to take every opportunity in my singing and he has taught me to be a better person,” Nicole Pitt, a former student, shares.
The notification by phone came after the Arizona Education Foundation whittled down the final contenders from hundreds of teachers hailing from nearly every school district in the state. “I was hyperventilating and I don’t even know who I talked to. I remember some of the details. I was shocked and very flustered, and my heart was beating really fast,” recalls Lebovitz.
When Lebovitz was hired as the choir and drama teacher at Walden Grove High School in 2014, the fine arts program was in its infancy. Today the program has grown exponentially and regularly ranks in local, state and national competitions. Not only has Lebovitz developed a dynamic choir and drama program in just a few short years, but he is also an advocate for public education, especially when it comes to the students. He wants to help create a voice for our students and allow them to figure out their place in this world. “It’s not just recognition for teachers and activism on the behalf of teachers but showing students that they can be part of all of these conversations too.
Mr. Lebovitz was recognized on October 25, 2018, at the annual Arizona Education Foundation Teacher of the Year luncheon. “I feel very honored to have been recognized for that. Recognition doesn’t come regularly for teachers.”
Ben Lebovitz is a proud advocate of public education, germinating from his K-12 and collegiate education in Arizona public schools. With studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in addition to music, he is an alumnus of the University of Arizona, 2013 School of Music Outstanding Senior, Bachelor of Music Education.