Benjamin Reed and Kathy Armenta
Benjamin T. Reed and Kathy Armenta at the conference

Benjamin T. Reed, LBSW, LMSW, is the recipient of the 2018 Kathy Armenta Texas School Social Worker of the Year Award. The Steve Hicks School of Social Work gives this annual award to school social workers who demonstrate exemplary service, leadership, and contribution to the lives of youth, families, the community, and the state of Texas. The award is named after Kathy Armenta, who originated it with support of the Texas School Social Workers Conference Committee in 2000, when she chaired the meeting for the first time.

Reed has been with Floresville ISD for 16 years. During his time there, he has led the development of numerous programs including the Floresville Food Pantry and Resource Center, the Annual FISD Community Resource Fair, and the FISD Parent Advisor Group, which helps facilitate the Kid’s Thrift Store/Resource Room, campus donation drives, back-to-school giving, and holiday donations. He operates on the philosophy that “we are not here to give our families a hand-out, we are here to give them a leg-up”.

Reed has shown his strength and leadership in times of crisis. In 2015, Floresville High School was severely damaged by a tornado. As thousands of donations poured in from all over the country, he set his office up as the base of recovery operations.

In 2017, tragedy struck again when the largest mass shooting in Texas occurred in Sutherland Springs, within Floresville attendance zone. In addition to his local efforts to help the community recover, Reed obtained a federal grant that allows FISD to provide continuing counseling services to staff and students at no cost. He has also been assigned to work on a governor’s task force to create a set of best practices for the state and school districts that face this kind of horrific event.

In addition to these powerful contributions, Reed continues his day-to-day activities as a school social worker, going above and beyond to develop and sustain supportive relationships.