Introducing Park City Faculty
December 6, 2011
Park City High School drama teacher D’Arcy Benincosa has lived all over the world, including Indonesia, Switzerland, and New York City. Four days after graduating from Brigham Young University, Benincosa packed up her things and drove across the country to Tallahassee, Florida for her first teaching job.
I got a job at a really bad inner city school," she said. "The people that heard that I was teaching there feared for my life. I was 23 years old and BYU definitely didn’t prepare me for that."
School supplies such as computers and teaching materials were limited, according to Benincosa, who said she read the Scarlet Letter to her 11th-graders from cover to cover, which for some students was the first book they had ever read. She said most of the students were reading at a third-grade level.
Benincosa stuck it out for a year before moving back to Utah to work at Snowcrest Junior High School in Eden. This school was the complete opposite of Tallahassee, according to Benincosa.
"No kids after that first year have ever scared me," she said. "I taught French and English in Eden for a year and I loved it there. It was great, but I wanted to get my Masters."
Benincosa attend New York University for her Master’s degree. During that time, she worked at a school teaching a drama through literacy program. After applying for teaching jobs in the city, Benincosa found that most of her teaching options were in the Bronx.
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"I felt like I didn’t have the energy to do that again," she said. "I thought if I did that now, I might not go back to teaching."
Then, Benincosa moved back to Utah to work at The Academy for Math, Engineering and Science before moving to Switzerland for a year, where she was an assistant and councilor.
"I came home because I wanted to buy a house and settle down, and I was tired from the job," she said. "I’ve always wanted to work in Park City and I just wanted a good solid community."
Benincosa said the expectations in the Park City School District have been refreshing compared to other school districts, where teacher standards might be lacking.
"It’s so nice in Park City because they give you the time to get proper training, they have support systems, they value you, and give you a planning period every day," she said.
Benincosa said that although she has settled into teaching here, she still travels every three weeks to Los Angeles or New York City to take photos as a part of her professional photography company.
While in New York, she sees plenty of Broadway plays and reports back to her drama students at the high school.
"I think my students love this, because I go to New York and then I come back and talk to my drama students about the successful shows and they see that it really is doable," she said.