Teacher/Researcher – Lower School
Having grown up on the Jersey Shore, Larry Benner just moved back to the area and is excited to weave his years of experience teaching and learning in and out of the classroom in various places into the Voyagers Community. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast; hiking, skiing, biking, surfing, climbing, and gardening. He has a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire including course study on the Isles of Shoals studying the intertidal ecology at the field study station on Appledore Island.
He served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal teaching Science and English as a Second Language to 4th to 8th grade students taking any chance he could get to hike throughout the Himalayas. There was a time he was a confident conversational speaker and reader in the Nepali language. When he eventually does return, there is no doubt the language cobwebs will clear and he could comfortably navigate the remote villages.
Upon returning to the States, he worked in the Henry Mountains and Fish Lake regions of southern Utah leading high school students through 60-day therapeutic wilderness programs. Students learned to navigate by map and compass, build fires from handmade bow and spindle fire kits while using the sights, sounds, smells of nature to study life. The focus on the philosophies of experiential education lead to study at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. He learned how to design, lead, facilitate international exchange and travel programs and landed an internship at the Putney School teaching ESL science and English and working the the International Education office.
For the last decade or so, he lived in Brooklyn where he taught Biology and Earth Science at both the middle school and high school levels in the NYC public schools. With his budding interest in food and gardening, he summer interned at the largest rooftop farm in New York City, and most recently, installed and maintained multiple live green roofs in both NY and NJ.
This year the focus is on environmental science. What better way to get reaquainted with his home than lead students inside and outside the classroom to study, explore, and experiment on the interconnectivity of our environment and how we interact with our one Earth.
Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.