Benjamin Named District Counseling Director

Owensboro Public Schools has named Owensboro Innovation Academy director Beth Benjamin to the District Counseling Director post. 

Benjamin moves into this role after serving as principal of the Owensboro Innovation Academy since its inception in 2015. She brings more than 24 years of experience, having served in multiple roles throughout her time in education, all with Owensboro Public Schools. She began her career at Owensboro Middle School as a math teacher before moving into a role as a school counselor. Following her time at OMS, she served as the College and Career Readiness Coach for the district where she was responsible for the inception of the Early College Program before being named director of the Innovation Academy.

“Leaving the Owensboro Innovation Academy was an extremely difficult decision for me,” said Benjamin. “However, since the COVID pandemic, I have seen the growing need for mental health services not only in our community, but especially in our schools. When this position came open, I knew it was an opportunity for me to get back into counseling to help make an impact in that area while still being involved in educational opportunities for our students.” 

Benjamin earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Kentucky Wesleyan College. She also holds a master’s degree in School Counseling from Western Kentucky University, her Rank I in Curriculum from Indiana Wesleyan University and  an education specialist degree in School Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. 

“Our district has seen the growing need for mental health services and has been a pioneer in this field for the state of Kentucky,” said superintendent Dr. Wendy Duvall. “We created a districtwide position for mental health with our ESSR funds back in 2020, but when those funds ran out this year, we knew this was a position that was necessary for the success of our students and we are excited to have Mrs. Benjamin take on that role.”

In this new role, adapted from the District Mental Health Coordinator position that expired with the ESSR funding provided for that role and the retirement of Summer Bell who held that title, Benjamin will be responsible for the promotion of the mental health and wellness of students. In addition to providing evidence-based interventions at the school level, Benjamin will also partner with school counselors, Family Resource Coordinators, social workers, and student assistance coordinators to promote family engagement across the district. She will also coordinate the dual credit program with school counselors. 

Benjamin will officially begin her new role effective July 1, 2024. The search for a new director of the Owensboro Innovation Academy will begin immediately.