Ben Hernandez has served the students of Houston for more than 14 years. His instructional experience includes elementary PE, Kindergarten, and 5th grade. During his time as a 5th grade teacher he increased student performance on the state math assessment (TAKS) from 77% passing to 94% passing his first year. His work in 5th grade math contributed to his school, Lantrip Elementary, receiving a National Blue Ribbon award for dramatic growth in math achievement. He was elected by his colleagues as an elementary representative on the District Advisory Committee. His student performance allowed him to participate as a Gates Recruitment Fellow. For the last two years he has worked with district leadership to develop a new teacher appraisal that includes student performance. And this Spring he was selected as part of the inaugural Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory Committee. During the 2011-2012 school year Ben moved out of the classroom and into Professional Support and Development, where he works to support and develop teacher instruction.