This week, the Warrior Word sat down with Mrs. Benguigui. Get to know the new head of the science department as she talks about her childhood dream come true, her hobbies, and what she loves most about science.
Tziyona Gheblikian: Where were you born and raised?
Mrs. Benguigui: I was born and raised in Spain. I was raised in Spain until I got married. When I was 20 years old, I moved to Israel for three years, and after that, I came back to Spain. I then moved to the west coast of the United States. I was living in Seattle for ten years, six years in New York, three years in Peru, and now I am here.
TG: Wow, that’s a lot of moving around. So when did you move to Miami?
MB: I moved to Miami a month ago.
TG: What made you move here?
MB: I was living in Peru for the last couple of years. So I have a daughter here, and two grandchildren. And the rest of my children live in New York and Boston, so I just wanted to be close to them.
TG: Did you have any childhood dreams?
MB: I don’t remember exactly, but one of them was going around the world. So I guess, somehow, I did it.
TG: Did you always want to be a science teacher?
MB: Nope. I didn’t think about being a teacher actually, but it was something I later became interested in.
TG: What specifically drove you into the field of science?
MB: Since I was very young, even in high school and everything, I was much better at science and math than in literature and all that. I was always very interested in how the human body works, and in all the reactions of life, and vitamins–all those topics. So I thought I’d follow that sense.
TG: So what do you love most about science?
MB: I like the way scientists think, and the way they come to conclusions. They like to prove things and test that everything they’re thinking is okay, and then after that, they will draw a conclusion. So it’s somehow my way of thinking. Meaning, before I make a decision, you have to think about what is going to happen, and then after that, you make a decision.
TG: How do you feel coming to a new school, and being placed right away as the Head of the Science Department?
MB: It’s challenging for me. Although, I have a lot of experience being a teacher for many, many years in many parts of the world. I have been working in Jewish schools, non-Jewish schools. So more or less, I am familiar with the teenagers’ and young adults’ way of thinking and learning, but I am very excited to be a part of the Hebrew Academy family.
TG: And how many years have you been teaching for?
MB: Now you’re going to know more or less my age. I will say 20 plus years.
TG: How did you find out about Hebrew Academy?
MB: My son-in-law was a student at Hebrew Academy. I was also planning to move to Miami, so I was looking for different schools here. And a few years ago, I had contact with someone in the middle school. So it was one of my first places to look for.
TG: What surprised you most about the students here when you first came?
MB: As I told you, I already taught in many schools, so I will say nothing specific so far. I don’t have anything really, really surprising, so maybe you’ll ask me a little bit later.
TG: Do you have any hobbies?
MB: I like to read a lot. And my plan is, when the weather permits, to walk because I really like to walk. So I was planning to walk wherever there is to walk, like on the boardwalk in Miami.
By: Tziyona Gheblikian (11th grade)