May 2017 Blue KC Sporting Samaritan: Larry Benson

One of Larry Benson’s mottos is: You can accomplish anything through time and dedication.

As a former college athlete, he should know. Since 2002, Benson has taught and coached thousands of students in elementary, middle and high school. Currently, he brings his enthusiasm and expertise to his job at Shawnee Mission School District’s Trailridge Middle School. He is a teacher, a coach and a champion of his students all at once.

From the start, Benson lets his students know what he expects of them.

“Standards allow my students and players to know what the expectations are. From these standards, goals are made. As a coach and a teacher, I believe my job is to help students reach those goals,” he said.

Leigh Salzsieder nominated Benson as May’s Blue KC Sporting Samaritan. Salzsieder got to know Benson as he coached his boys in soccer over the last eight seasons. He credits Benson for teaching his sons to focus on the long-term benefits rather than getting caught up in the moment, just as Benson focuses on encouraging students not to win the game at hand, but to win at life.

“He always takes time to talk with each of them and they frequently provide an anecdote about a moment when he helped shape their life.” Salzsieder said. “I nominated Larry because he is everything that is good about teaching and coaching. Larry is the rare educator who truly meets students where they are and helps them get to where they want to go.”

Benson does all this without seeking glory or calling attention to himself.

When told his was chosen as the May Blue KC Sporting Samaritan, Benson responded with his characteristic blend of positivity and modesty: “I’m overjoyed! I love Sporting KC! It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this amazing program. For my kids and myself to be this close to the players and on the field is something I could have only dreamed about.”

Learn more about how you can nominate a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan. Remember you must be 21 or older to submit a nominee.

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