GHS welcomes new Life Skills teacher Molly Benson


Caitlyn Muniz

Molly Benson poses in front of her white board in her new classroom.


New teacher Molly Benson is making it her mission to provide a supportive and safe environment as the new Life Skills teacher.

The Life Skills program at Gloucester High School is a program for students who need a typical high school education, while also being taught life skills such as baking, cleaning, and more. Molly Benson is a special education teacher and a crucial part of the life skills program.  

“We help make sure this is a great environment where we’re able to meet all our students’ needs when they come to school so they feel safe and respected,” Benson said. 

Specifically, they teach math, science, history, and English while also going on community outings such as grocery shopping. 

“We try to get out in the community as much as possible so students have the opportunity to generalize the skills that we teach in the classroom,” Benson said.  “So, we’re learning in the classroom and then applying it to the community as well.”

The Life Skills program sells coffee and baked goods to staff in the teachers lounge. The staff members leave the money and the students collect it at the end of the day. 

“The goal is to have students run businesses so they can learn independent living skills and get jobs post high school,” Benson said. “We give them opportunities for vocational training and the coffee service is one of them.”

Benson grew up wanting to be a teacher. But as she got older, she started loving marine biology and her dreams of teaching were disregarded.

 “I grew up working at the whale watch boats taking data on whales,” Benson said. “Eventually I just fell back into teaching and I didn’t even mean to. It just happened.”

Her first position out of college was as a job coach for 18-22 year old students in California. She loved the work and the population of students right away and saw it as something she could do in the future. She was then offered a job right away as a teacher, got her certification, got her masters degree, and then became a Special Education teacher. 

Benson has lots of experience with job skills training and hopes to bring that to the program.

 “One of my greatest strengths I would say is creating an inclusive environment for my students in a public school,” Benson said. “When we all come to school we’re here for each other and to support all the students. That feeling of comradery and collaboration is what is going to help all of our students reach their highest potential.”

Benson is full of energy and ready to take on the year and the challenges it brings.