Century High School Teacher Wins Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Huge virtual shoutout to Natalia Benjamin who teaches at Century High School in Rochester!  A few months ago, we helped announce the news that she was one of 9 finalists for the 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.  Yesterday, it was announced by EducationMinnesota.org that she was the winner for 2021!


Natalia Benjamin, a high school English learner and ethnic studies teacher at Century High School in the Rochester school district, is the 57th recipient of this award and the first from the Rochester Public Schools district.  According to the press release, she is also the first Latinx teacher to be named Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

“Learning languages has been a part of me for all of my life. My personal experiences with languages created a passion and appreciation for multiple languages and cultures. Many of my students are navigating new cultures and places. I hope that I can be a small part of their journey in succeeding as they follow their dreams.” - Natalia Benjamin

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams

According to the press release, the Century High School teacher is a native Spanish speaker who also grew up speaking, reading, and writing French while attending a French school in Guatemala City. English was added to her repertoire in middle school and high school.

“Natalia sets her students up for success by fostering a safe, positive and welcoming learning environment for every child.  She has an ability to vary instruction and adjust lessons to meet student needs. Natalia creates an open, supportive environment with mutual respect among the students.” - Molly Murphy, assistant principal at Century High School

Learn more about Natalia's accomplishments and accolades throughout her career at the EducationMinnesota.org website.

KROC-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

Did you know that there used to be a school in Rochester by the South Walmart?

There was even a bridge that went over Broadway!  It's true.  You can see photos of how much Rochester has changed throughout the years below, including photos of that bridge.

Wow! Check out how Rochester has changed throughout the years in these Google photos.

As we are soaring down Hwy 52, it is hard to imagine what life was like in our town before the Target store was built where it is today. Or the house that you live in now, at one point in town, that wasn't there. In fact, Rochester has grown so fast throughout the years, most of our houses weren't even around 50 years ago! Don't believe me? Look through these photos to get a glimpse of what Rochester was like years ago.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on the Y-105FM Early Morning Show with James & Jessica

11 of the Most Devastating Weather Disasters in Minnesota Throughout The Years

We might be full of lakes and "nice" but Minnesota has had its fair share of horrible and nasty weather. Throughout the years we've had floods, fires, storms that have crushed stadium roofs flat, and tornadoes that have destroyed lives.

More From KROC-AM