Supported by a wealth of professional experience and education, Dorothy Spurlock Benner excelled as a teacher for over 40 years. Earlier in her career, she worked as a telephone operator with Mountain Bell in 1957. Soon thereafter, she served as a secretary for Connecticut Mutual Life from 1960 to 1961. Subsequently, Ms. Benner earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Colorado State College of Education in 1962, and was a substitute teacher with School District 6 and the outlying districts in Greeley, Colorado, between 1962 and 1967.
Furthermore, Ms. Benner obtained a Master of Arts from Colorado State College in 1968. Following this accomplishment, she found success as a full teacher with School District 6 from 1968 to 2002. Moreover, she graduated with an Education Specialist degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1978. Since 2002, Ms. Benner has held the post of a substitute teacher with School District 6.
What attracted Ms. Benner to her profession in education is interesting because she babysat a lot when she was younger. She often had the parents say to her, “You get along so well with children and you are so good with them; you must want to be a nurse,” to which she replied, “I would not want to be a nurse for anything, but I might be a teacher.” Additionally, she contributed as a teacher for a night school program with Aims Community College in Greeley from 1989 to 1993. To remain aware of changes in the field, Ms. Benner is a member of the National Education Association, the Greeley Education Association, the Colorado Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi and Delta Kappa Gamma.
Civically, Ms. Benner established a committee in 2002 that raised enough money and donations to bring five NYPD and eight FDNY officers of 9/11, as well as their families, to Greeley for the week of July 4th with all expenses paid. During their stay, she arranged for the families to participate in the Greeley Independence Day Parade, where they were recognized at the Rodeo and by several local businesses. At Denver International Airport, before the families boarded the plane to leave, one of the first responders’ wives said with tears, “You have seen all of the smiles, but what you haven’t seen was the healing on the inside that the trip had done for all of them.” For Ms. Benner, this endeavor was an honor and well worth the time and effort she provided for her fellow American citizens.
In light of her accomplishments, Ms. Benner received commendations from the Greeley Police Department and Greeley Fire Department in 2002. Additionally, she was awarded the Lion Award by the Greeley Education Association, a recognition article by the Woman’s World Magazine for the “Adopt-an-Officer” program she started at her school, and the Teacher Who Makes a Difference Award by Channel 4 News Center and the Rocky Mountain News. Likewise, Ms. Benner was named an Innovative Educator by the Colorado Department of Education and was the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Today, she is married to her loving husband, Jerry, with whom she has raised two wonderful children, Shey and Craig. She is also a loving great-grandmother to a beloved great-granddaughter, Londyn Aria.