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Kareem Benson Archives - North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools

Q City Metro: ‘The importance of black male teachers’

By News

Sugar Creek Charter School, a Coalition member school, is the subject of a new Q City Metro article addressing the importance of Black male teachers in the classroom. At Sugar Creek, 15% of the teachers are Black men, compared to the national average of 2%.

The article includes comments from some amazing charter leaders and teachers: Coalition founder Richard Vinroot, Sugar Creek Superintendent Cheryl Turner–and teachers Ryan Henderson and Kareem Benson. (If you missed it, you can read our Q&A with Ryan Henderson, the 2023 N.C. Charter School Teacher of the Year, here.)

Ryan Henderson was honored as the 2023 Charter School Teacher of the Year at Sugar Creek Charter School. Photo credit: Ryan Henderson.

We share an excerpt from the article below:

The percentage of Black men who teach in U.S. schools is low. The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans says Black teachers represent 7% of the teaching workforce, and Black men account for 2% of teachers nationwide. The initiative works to improve educational outcomes for Black Americans of all ages and is part of the U.S. Department of Education. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says nearly 8% of its teachers self-identify as Black men.

At Sugar Creek Charter, 15% of the teaching staff are Black men.

Henderson, who has been at Sugar Creek Charter for six years, knows he teaches students more than coursework. He strives to serve as a daily example and offer a supportive ear.

“When you have the opportunity to have a strong Black male teacher in the classroom, giving positive reinforcement and knowledge that you can use for the rest of your life, it makes a huge difference in how a child will turn out,” he says.

Read the full article on Q City Metro. Congratulations to Sugar Creek on this well-deserved spotlight!