New Teacher Joins The Benjamin School

Mr. Ricky Arias will teach French and Spanish in the Middle School.


Lila Brodner

New teacher Mr. Ricky Arias joined the Benjamin family in late September, teaching both French and Spanish.

Starting a new one can be hard, especially when adapting to a new culture. The Benjamin School recently hired a new addition to the World Language Department faculty, Sr. Ricardo Arias Veliz, who has a tremendous native-speaking background and a passion for teaching. “It’s very good. I love it. For many years I did it back in my hometown Cuba and then you know it feels good to be back” said Arias Veliz, a new world language teacher. 

The students who have him as a teacher have great opportunities with his native language skills. “I like being taught by Sr. Arias because he has a good accent and it helps me learn pronunciation,” said eighth-grader Sage Ponchock. 

Teachers and students love Arias and his teaching style. He helps teach Spanish and French in the world language department.  “My first impression of Mr. Arias was that he carries himself in a very professional manner and that he is a true francophile,”  said Mrs. Marci York MS World Language Department Chair.

Common things among faculty can help bring us all closer together. “It’s also been a pleasure to have someone with whom I can speak both French and Spanish.  I really enjoy our conversations comparing French and Spanish grammar points,” said Mrs. Marci York MS World Language Department Chair.

With approximately 275 students in the Benjamin middle school this year, some teachers had to take on extra classes, resulting in having fewer planning periods. Arias was up to the challenge York says, “At the beginning of the second quarter, he will be taking over the level A Spanish classes (periods A and G) as well as one of Mrs. Rios’ level C classes…He is still getting to know the school and the students, but has been able to jump in and help out enormously.”

Mr. Arias helps French student Brady Davis understand the concept he is teaching.

 Due to the short staff in the language department, teachers from other levels of expertise have been helping along the way, including sixth-grade science teacher Mrs. Mandy Sukhu. “This will allow Mrs. Sukhu to go back full time to the science department and also allow me enough time to take care of my department chair responsibilities. ,” said York. 

Some students also like Arias for his relaxed and relatable teaching style. “He doesn’t take everything seriously and jokes around with his students while simultaneously teaching multiple different things about Spanish,” said Chancellor Reddick, an eighth-grader.

Being welcomed into the Benjamin family is a tradition and the main part of the school’s welcoming of new faculty. “We welcomed him by greeting him along with Mrs. York,” said Ponchock. Knowing you are a part of the family makes one feel welcome and makes for a better overall experience for their time at Benjamin. “I am very happy to be here,” said Arias. 

It may be hard to find a job doing something you love, however, when Sr. Arias saw an opportunity to put himself out there, he took it. “I saw a post, I heard about the school, some friends of mine have talked about the school, The Benjamin School, I think some of their kids come here, and they have always had good feedback and review for the school and that it is one of the best private schools in Palm Beach. So when I saw the post that they were looking for a Spanish and French teacher I decided to apply,” said Arias. 

To be a teacher you must meet many different criteria. “To be a teacher, you have to have the passion to teach and to help students and to make students learn. I feel joy when I get to share my knowledge and see that a student is learning,” said Arias. With his passion for teaching, we are lucky and glad to welcome Señor Arias to the Benjamin Family.