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Dr. Stephen Benigno | Assistant Professor

Dr. Stephen Benigno

Assistant Professor

"As a school administrator, I was always interested in facilitating teachers and students. In essence, I never stopped teaching and learning. My experiences as a student have always driven me to teach."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. – University of Southern Mississippi, 1989
  • M.A. – University of the Pacific, 1983
  • B.S. – Pittsburg State University, 1974
  • Post Doctorate – National University, 2001

Career Highlights:

Dr. Stephen Benigno is an assistant professor in educational administration and the director of the principal preparation program at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. Dr. Benigno is an experienced educator and has been a coach, teacher and administrator in school districts from California to Florida. Most of Dr. Benigno's experience is with urban schools and high-risk environments. He has held positions as an activity director, athletic director, program specialist and English language coordinator.

Dr. Benigno has a diverse research agenda and has published articles on clinical supervision, organizational socialization, physical education policy and urban education. He has also presented nationally and internationally on urban education reform, instructional supervision and transformational strategies to improve public education. Last spring Dr. Benigno published and presented his research on urban education, "The Urban Experience," at ATINER's education conference proceedings in Athens, Greece. This fall he was a guest presenter at World Education Day in Dalian, China, presenting his journal article, "Transformative Instructional Supervision in Public Education."

Recent publications:

Benigno, Stephen. (2017) Improving the Supervision Process: Trust, Presence, Empowerment and Recognition. Advances in Social Science Research Journal

Benigno, Stephen. (2017) Counselor Perceptions: Let Us Do Our Job!, Journal of Education and Learning; Vol. 6, No. 4; 2017 ISSN 1927-5250 E-ISSN 1927-5269 Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education

In which online degree programs do you teach?

M.S. in Educational Administration

Which classes do you teach online?

5305, 5320, 5327, 5337, 5322, 5301

What do you want students in your courses to learn? What are the learning outcomes or objectives?

The courses are specifically aligned to the Texas Principal Standards. Each course is developed to provide an opportunity for the administrative candidate to acquire the necessary knowledge. Candidates will apply knowledge of education policy, public financing and school accountability to develop and implement effective campus teaching and learning processes. They will also apply analysis of the principles of effective leadership, management and data-driven decision-making to ensure safe and effective learning environments.

Why did you start teaching?

I enjoyed my experiences as a student throughout my academic career. I taught for over 20 years before I entered school administration. As a school administrator, I was always interested in facilitating teachers and students. In essence, I never stopped teaching and learning. My experiences as a student have always driven me to teach.

What advice would you give to those considering this online program?

Stay focused and don't procrastinate.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in educational administration?

Authentic conversation, sincere concern and coherent messages are a catalyst in developing that transformational environment. Authenticity and trust are synonymous. Leadership must provide a clear message that is understood by the stakeholders.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that educational administrators face today?

Building trust is a process, and transparency is one of the most instrumental tools in that trust building repertoire. Stakeholders want to see what's coming; they want to have an idea of where the leadership is going. When the school leadership is not transparent and intentionally withholds information, disguises agendas, continually makes unilateral decisions and is not inclusive with respect to policy, trust is eroded.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"School Culture Rewired" by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.

I have private pilot's license. I was once the Oklahoma State Professional Scouts Baseball Coach of the Year.

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