Dr. Benton grew up in Goldsboro, NC, where he attended public schools. He graduated from Campbell University with an B.A. in English. After teaching for three years in the schools at Fort Bragg, NC, Dr. Benton served as a school administrator with the Cumberland County Schools for eighteen years. He then taught at the college level and was headmaster of a private school. While working as a school administrator, Dr. Benton completed his M.Ed and Education Specialist degrees at East Carolina University and his doctorate at Duke University. In 1997, he received a B.S. in psychology from Mt. Olive College. As an educator, Dr. Benton has been active in state and local professional organizations. He has served as president of the Tenth District NCAE Principals’ Division. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators after serving as president of the organization’s Fourth District and was elected president of the associations Principals’ Commission and served as president-elect of NCASA in 1986. Dr. Benton was also named “Administrator of the Year” by NCAE-OP.
In 1989, Dr. Benton founded Academics Plus Learning Center in Dunn, NC. This edu-business was established to supplement the educational activities of the public schools and private enterprises. In 1990, Academics Plus was incorporated and moved to Goldsboro, NC..