Name: J. Travis Benintendo, principal of The Advanced Studies Magnet.

Age: 41.

Family: Married 11 years with two children

Experience: Seventeen years, including one year teaching English as a Second Language in Costa Rica, seven years teaching English Language Arts and leadership for grades 7-12, three years as a California high school activities director, three years as a high school assistant principal, one year as a middle school assistant principal and three years as an assistant principal at Haut Gap Middle.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in secondary education/English language arts, State University of New York at New Paltz; Master of Science in educational administration, National University in La Jolla, Calif.

Why I wanted to go into education: As a young person, I was fortunate to have great role models who helped guide me through adolescence. They helped me realize my potential and challenged me to be a better person. I wanted to go into education so I could positively affect the lives of teenagers.

Something Iíve always wanted to learn: I always wanted to learn more about different cultures and civilizations.

Something most people donít know about me: I started my teaching career in Costa Rica teaching primary school for one year. It was a volunteer program through Harvard University called World Teach. Over the past 14 years, I have had the unique educational experience of teaching every grade level from first to 12th.

Something important life has taught me: Life has taught me is to embrace all of my experiences, even the negative ones. When life unfolds itself to you, itís how you react to it that will determine your future.

A specific goal for this year: To provide a world-class education for all Haut Gap students. All Means All!

Contact info: 559-6418; travis_ benintendo@charleston.k12.sc.us; Haut Gap Middle, 1861 Bohicket Road, Johns Island, SC 29412.