Mr. Jorge A. Benitez has been the Director of Bands at Havelock High School , in Havelock NC , since 1994. He currently directs approximately 200 students per year, and his ensembles include Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Indoor guard and Indoor percussion. Mr. Benitez is National Board Certified teacher and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of East Carolina University , earning the Bachelor of Music degree in 1994 and the Master of Music Education in 1999.
Mr. Benitez served in the North Carolina Army National Guard for ten years. His experiences in the military led him to the deserts of Saudi Arabia during operation Desert Shield/Storm. After 7 years as a military policeman with 213th Military Police Company, he completed his final tour in as a member of the 440th Army National Guard Band.
The Havelock High School bands have participated in the North Carolina Bandmasters Eastern District MPA every year since 1994 under the baton of Mr. Benitez. The Havelock High School bands have consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings during his tenure. He has also served as an adjudicator and clinician at various contests and festivals.
Mr. Benitez is described as a dedicated and committed teacher with a strong desire to teach music to young students. He believes that music has the ability to impact the lives of his students in a positive way. In his opinion, the notes on the page are just the beginning but music is so much more. He says, "Teaching music makes life very fulfilling, it's a great way to live your life."
Mr. Benitez has received many awards from a variety of organizations including: Time Warner cable's "Star teacher," the Educator of Distinction in The National Society of High School Scholars, the 2000 "Excellence in Teaching" award, the 2007 "I Love Havelock Award" presented by the Havelock Chamber, the 2008 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year (Local Area), the 2009 Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary "Teacher of the Year" and the 2009 Eastern District Bandmasters Association Award of Excellence.
Benitez's professional organizations and positions include the following: the American School Band Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the North Carolina Bandmasters Association - Eastern District where he has served as President from 2007- 2009 and he is currently serving High School MPA chairperson.
Mr. Benitez has a wonderful wife, Lyn Benitez, who works with the instrumental program providing any type of visual design needed; Marching Band show design, Colorguard and Indoor guard. They also have 3 beautiful children; Analise, Mariela and Braedon.