Dr. Bender has been an educator for over 25 years serving in three different school districts in capacities ranging from a Coach and Social Studies Teacher to Disciplinarian and on to Assistant Principal and Principal. She has served in high schools, middles schools, comprehensive schools and magnets. Her work has spanned schools in affluent communities and communities in financial distress. Throughout the many changes she says that certain things remain true everywhere: every school has wonderful students and strengths, and every school has challenges.
Outside of work, Dr. Bender is very active in her neighborhood, Skinker-DeBaliviere, where she has lived for nearly 45 years. Living in a neighborhood where people fought for a diverse, safe and pleasing community, she learned early on that it is the people that make neighborhoods, not the homes. Her efforts have been pivotal in bringing a playground to the neighborhood, and for the last several years she’s lead fundraising efforts for the neighborhood organization. She lives down the street from the house she grew up in and spends a lot of time with her family.
Ms. Bender is an avid gardener, a huge Cardinal Baseball fan, loves live music and is pursuing a personal goal of trying to run a half-marathon in every state, though she is quick to point out she is early in that journey. Dr. Bender has served on the Board of Innovative Technology Education Fund since 2012.