Lower School Teachers Shulas, Hogan Receive Distinguished Teaching Award

Head of Lower School Dr. Kristen Sheehan says the two educators chosen as recipients of the 2018 Peter and Jody Graham Distinguished Teaching Award epitomize the experience students receive during their years in the Lower School.

“Our youngest Bucs are ushered into the Benjamin Lower School experience surrounded by the joy, passion and love of Lucy Shulas and are ferried to the Middle School as responsible and respectful young scholars by Joanna Hogan,” Sheehan said during the annual faculty and staff Back to School luncheon meeting.

PK3 teacher Shulas has been described as the living embodiment of joy.

“She radiates with an inner happiness that overflows to everyone she meets and everything she touches . . . She welcomes each student with an unprecedented warmth and love and sings her way into the heart of each WOW student and their family . . . In her care, students are nurtured and gently encouraged to become independent and confident learners. One student described being in Lucy’s class as ‘a big warm hug that makes you feel safe and happy in your tummy,’” Sheehan said.

Hogan, a fifth grade teacher and one of the longest tenured members of the Benjamin community, blends a touch of tradition with innovation in her classroom. Hogan’s Greek Mythology course is cited by students as one of their most memorable Benjamin classes.

“She holds students to high expectations, which they usually exceed, and pushes them to heights they never thought they could reach. When Mrs. Benjamin passed away, Joanna stated ‘Mrs. B. loved to teach. Her classes were intellectually stimulating, but she never let the students doubt that she had their best interests in mind.” What Joanna didn’t realize at the time was that she was also describing herself. Joanna is able to teach an academically challenging curriculum while simultaneously keeping each student's best interest in mind,” Sheehan said.

The Distinguished Teaching Award will provide both Shulas and Hogan with a stipend in recognition of their demonstrated excellence in teaching and related duties, including dedication, hard work, length of service, loyalty to the school and extracurricular contributions. The award was established in 2005 by Mrs. Robert Myers and the Myers family in honor of former Head of School Peter Graham and his wife, former Director of Admission Jody Graham.
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.