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ELC Los Angeles ELC Santa Barbara Staff Profile: James Benito January 9th, 2015

This month James Benito joined the ELC Santa Barbara team as our new director! James has previously worked at ELC Los Angeles as Assistant Director and we are happy to have him in Santa Barbara!

Where did you work before ELC?

Prior to my time at ELC, I worked for a company in South Korea that provided English classes to students in the early evening. I lived and worked there for a little over a year. I was an ESL instructor at first, and became the Head Teacher and did curriculum work before I departed. It was my first time living away from the US, and I definitely experienced many wonderful things that have tied me to that beautiful country. I met a lot of people from around the world and took up new hobbies with photography and traveling.

What is ELC Los Angeles like compared to Santa Barbara?

Santa Barbara and Los Angeles are very different in size and makeup, but they both share the same heart in the quality of service provided to the students.  I learned so much from my time in Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara presents a unique set of responsibilities for me. I believe that ELC staffs great individuals, and it is apparent if anyone visited any of our three locations. Regardless of how busy the school seems, we still have a moment to share a funny story or plan something fun for the students.

What TV character do you most relate to?

Those who know me well understand my love for the U.S. version of ‘The Office’. I love the Michael Scott and Jim Halpert characters on the show. I say that I play off of both of those personality sets quite often. The show is a great insight on the interconnectivity of office culture. Who among us does not enjoy a well thought out prank?

How do you like being ELC director?

The Director role is a very important one at the school. I am very thankful in remembering that I started at ELC as an administrative assistant. I have taken all my experiences and curiosities from all the different challenges to a new level. I am excited to be a part of such a great team and to work in such a beautiful city and school. How many people can say that their short morning commute to work involves a view of the beach?

What is your favorite food?

I love to eat. I do not think this fact is a secret at all. I could live off of Thai food or Korean food exclusively, but I have to have substitutes in Mexican and Italian foods as well. Los Angeles has allowed me to be surrounded by some of the best food in the United States.  I am working on being able to cook all of these dishes at home. There have been a few decent attempts so far, but I am set on making my colleagues jealous with my lunches.

ELC Staff Profile: James