At Selah High School, Kasey Benjamin wears many hats. Teaching an array of business- and marketing-
related subjects, from entrepreneurship to financial algebra, Benjamin makes use of his background in both business and law. Additionally, he serves as the adviser for Selah’s DECA chapter, a club in which students compete in business and marketing challenges.
As both an educator and DECA adviser, Benjamin values the opportunity to instill in students the skills that will serve them well following their high school graduation.
Why did you decide to transition from working in law to teaching?
“When I worked at a law firm, it was a great opportunity and a very challenging job. But you’re in an office most of the day doing the legal research and the legal writing. I’m more of a people person; I want to be out and about. So I started thinking about maybe getting into teaching business and marketing.”
What is DECA and why is it so valuable to students?
“DECA is a business and marketing club. I think it’s the best program for high school students because it really has students focusing on problem-solving and communication skills, which I think are vital skills for kids to have in today’s world. It helps kids develop, through competitions and fun activities, some of those skills that will help them once they graduate high school, no matter what field they go into.”
What business skills should a student learn in high school?
“There are three skills that I teach for all of my classes, whether it’s my math, entrepreneurship, marketing or technology class. The three skills that I teach are problem-solving, communication and collaboration or teamwork. From talking to business owners and business managers on what they’re looking for in students that they hire, it always comes down to those three skills. So I’ve evolved to make those the principles that I teach all of my classes.”
What is your motto or personal mantra?
“Several years back, I ran across this quote from Alexander Graham Bell: ‘Preparation is the key to success.’ And I talk about that with my DECA kids or kids in my classes. If you want to be successful, it’s really in the preparation, the legwork that you do ahead of time to prepare yourself. It’s one of those things that stuck in my head and guides me.”