I was born in Oak Cliff, Texas, and my family moved to DeSoto, Texas, in 1979, where my parents, Oscar and Rhonda Benavides, continue to reside today. My father was born and raised in West Dallas near downtown Dallas where he learned education and hard work are essential to be productive and make a difference in society. My father has owned and operated several Mexican restaurants called Benavides, our last name, throughout my life; he still owns two restaurant booths featured each year at the State Fair of Texas.
My husband, Monte Anderson D.C., and I moved from DeSoto to Mansfield nearly 18 years ago when our oldest daughter, Samantha, was finishing sixth grade; the next year she began middle school at Brooks Wester. The sole reason for moving to Mansfield was the city’s outstanding public education offered to all children. We believe in robust public education and researched several school systems in cities throughout Dallas and Fort Worth communities.
We concluded Mansfield was the best choice to raise our growing family as the city had exemplary academic and accountability scores in all schools that were open at that time. We were also very impressed with many college placements by Mansfield’s high school graduates and the notable percentage of these students who remained enrolled in college. The excellent work done by the Mansfield schools that serve students from low-income families was also important to us.
My husband, Monte, is a Chiropractor; his practice is in South Arlington where he has practiced for 24 years. We have four children: Samantha, Garrett, Abigail, and Lilly. All four have gone to Mansfield schools, and three are enrolled in Mansfield schools today. Education is critical to our family as each child has a unique persona.
Samantha is a 2014 graduate from Texas Tech with a degree from the RIM school in Hospitality Management. She was the first student ever to hold a gala with a silent auction, which was critical in her final grade to graduate. Garrett is a sophomore at Mansfield High School, in the top one percent of his class, and intends to go to medical school. Abigail is a freshman at Mansfield High School and is also in the top one percent of her class; she plans to graduate a year early and work in a government federal agency. Lilly is in sixth grade at Mary Orr Intermediate, where she excels in her classes. At this time, Lilly would like to be a lawyer.
I have an executive master’s degree from Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Business Administration. I have remarkable knowledge in the business world, as I have worked in many industries, from restaurants to computers to alcohol to medical to wellness, holding executive positions in accounting, sales, and marketing. I spent ten years at LVMH – Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, where I traveled internationally and was responsible for business results in 15 states. I was featured in DFW Child magazine. Currently, I consult on projects for startup brands and companies.
From when the children were in preschool, I have been an active, involved parent, along with my husband. I have been a member of each PTA of all her children’s schools. Even when they were in three different schools, I prioritized being involved and present. I believe education is the critical foundation for all children. In order to continue to grow as a responsible contributor to society, children must have a firm educational foundation. Mansfield offers this for all children district wide. My goal is to be the conduit for the students, parents, and teachers, growing the city’s reputation and commitment to the best public education in the region.