“The great thing about school is that you have so many opportunities to become a part of something bigger than yourself, to make a difference and to make memories that will last a lifetime.” Lita Gattis, Principal of Benton High School, believes in the power of a positive educational experience and has been sharing that philosophy for over 30 years now with students and faculty.
Mrs. Gattis never considered doing anything other than being an educator and the Benton School District has been her choice since 1983. Her career began at Eastside Junior High where she taught science and coached basketball and track. She then went on to teach physical education/health and lead the Lady Panther basketball and track teams.
After a four year stay at home to raise a family, Mrs. Gattis returned in 1994 as counselor for the high school, and in 2013 accepted the position of principal at Benton High School.
As a leader in the Benton School District, Mrs. Gattis sets high expectations but looks for opportunities to integrate learning and fun. “High expectations are important. I think we should all set our expectations high and work hard to achieve those expectations. I feel like our students at BHS know when to be serious with their learning and when to have fun. Our teachers are always looking for ways to peak students’ interests to make learning fun and exciting. School is all about education – we educate in the classroom, on the court, on the field, on the stage, in the lab, in the workshop or wherever the students spend time.”
In addition to making learning fun and including every aspect of school in the learning process, Mrs. Gattis leads by example. “I hope that I can instill in our students a desire to always do the right thing, to accept the consequences when you do not, to be honest, dedicated, and to care for other people. Most of all, I hope I can instill in them a desire to be a positive person with a belief they can be successful in life. We truly want to make a positive difference in the lives of our students.”
Mrs. Gattis is an educator who believes that “making a positive difference” means investing in her students as individuals. “I hope that my students would tell you that I give them my time. I’m in their classrooms, I’m at their games, their concerts, their activities. I work to give them the best teachers we can find, the most up-to-date technology, and a well-rounded school experience. I hope they would tell you I invest in their education and in their life.