Brooke Benavides

Board Member

Brooke is a graduate of Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts/Dance and a minor in Music. She studied extensively at Goldsmith’s College & The Laban Center for Dance and Movement in London. Brooke performed professionally in regional theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences, becoming a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Her journey with Pushcart began in 1999 where she served the organization in varied roles: administrative assistant, actor, and Arts-In-Education instructor. Although passionate about performing, experiences along the way led Brooke to shift her focus to directing and choreographing musicals. To date, she has worked on over 50 musical productions for both adults & children for various schools and organizations in New Jersey, including choreographing productions of Pocahontas and The Velveteen Rabbit at The Forum Theatre. Some of her favorite work includes productions of Evita, Children of Eden, and The Little Mermaid, in which she staged a nationally-televised, featured spot on The Daily Rundown on MSNBC.

Aside from her time in the theatre, Brooke earned teaching certifications in Elementary (K-8), English (K-12), and Speech Arts/Dramatics (K-12). She spent twelve years bringing her love for literacy and learning into the classroom as a middle school Language Arts teacher. She earned Masters in both English Education and Educational Leadership, and attended summer institutes in reading and writing at Teachers College: Columbia University. Additionally, she acquired administrative certifications in education: Supervisor and Principal.

Brooke has experience providing teachers with professional development workshops and coaching, including presenting at the Rye Summer Literacy Institute. She enjoys engaging her audience and sharing her passion for and knowledge of literacy and learning with other educators to help them bring clarity and confidence into their instruction.

In her current position, Brooke happily leads the staff and students at Lincoln Elementary School as the building principal. She is thrilled to give back to the Nutley community in this role after having served as the K-12 English Language Arts Coordinator for eight years.

Brooke resides with her husband, two children, and their two dogs. She is absolutely thrilled to return to Pushcart to serve in a new capacity on the Board of Directors, bringing together her experiences in both theatre and education to support their work moving forward.