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Brandi Benson, English and journalism teacher at Lincoln Southwest High School, is this year's Freda Battey Distinguished Educator Award winner. 

The award, named for the 1923 graduate of Nebraska's Teachers College, is presented by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Education and Human Sciences.

Benson was nominated for the award for her attitude toward students, her organization in the classroom and teaching style, according to a news release.

"Her classroom structure and content were well-thought-out and executed," said Jessica Horan, a recent UNL graduate and one of Benson's former students. "She was constantly looking for ways to better the journalism program and her students. Her students gained autonomy quickly with her assistance."

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Benson has taught at Lincoln Southwest since 2013. She also coordinates and coaches the school's unified bowling team.

The selection committee looks for evidence of teaching excellence, efforts to continue to grow as a teacher, commitment to students, and engagement with students outside the classroom, the release said.



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