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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

St. Pete’s Northeast High dedicating gym to longtime educator Lee Bejamin


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Northeast High School will dedicate its gymnasium to former teacher, principal, coach, area superintendent and School Board member Lee R. Benjamin on at 5:30 p.m. Friday

Benjamin, 86, is expected to attend the ceremony at the Lee Benjamin Athletic Center, at 5500 16th St. N. in St. Petersburg, along with his family. The public is invited to attend. Pinellas school Superintendent Michael Grego, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni are scheduled to speak. The City of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County Commissioner will also issue proclamations in Benjamin’s honor.

Benjamin was the first basketball coach at Northeast High when the school opened in 1954 and taught physical education until 1966. He worked at the school as assistant principal and principal until 1970, guiding the school through desegregation. In 1974, Benjamin became an area superintendent and was elected to the Pinellas County School Board in 1990.

During his 14 years on the school board, he was elected chairman four times.

Benjamin earned bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University and received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Florida in 2002.

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