Staff Spotlight: Ben Lytle-Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one Lincoln Public Schools staff member! Get to know the wonderful people making a positive impact across various areas within LPS. This week, meet Ben Lytle, teacher of students with visual impairments.

Ben is always positive, helpful and a team player. He continues to grow his own education and most importantly is very invested in his students and their success.” - LPS Braillist Mikayla Teet

Briefly describe your role at LPS.
I am a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI), and a certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS). I do anything from braille instruction, assistive technology instruction and work in close collaboration with students, parents, staff and administration across the district. As an itinerant teacher, I travel frequently between schools and serve students from kindergarten through 21 years of age.

How long have you worked for LPS?
This is my 13th year with the district.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
My younger brother and sister were by far the biggest inspiration to get into the teaching field. I truly enjoyed helping them with homework and watching them learn new things. As adults now, my brother and sister have gone on to do amazing things, and I owe them a great deal for all of the support and encouragement.  

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
In my current role I work with students in a one-on-one setting more often than not. For a lot of students we get the opportunity to continue working with them as they move up through the grades. One student in particular I have known since he was a kindergartener, and he just graduated this past year. I had the pleasure of working with him from fifth grade until he graduated. It was incredible to see the amount of growth he made, and all of the wonderful support he had from teachers and staff. Watching students learn, grow and move toward independence is so rewarding.

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
I am a product of LPS, born and raised here in Lincoln. I went to Fredstrom Elementary, Goodrich Middle School and Lincoln North Star High School.

What path did you take after completing your formal education?
I graduated from UNL with my bachelor's degree in elementary education K-6. I started as a vision paraeducator and that led me back to school to pursue my master's degree in special education with a specialization in visual impairments from UNL. I then went on to obtain my orientation and mobility certification from the University of Northern Colorado. Currently, I am back in school working on my Doctorate in Education in innovative learning technologies through UNL as well.

What do you enjoy most about the Lincoln community?
I love the positive impact that Lincoln has had for all of our students. We come together to support one another when times are tough, and celebrate all the many accomplishments that we make. Even though Lincoln continues to grow, the community feels strong, close and connected. All working toward making positive impacts that will last generations to come.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced you positively?
One of my favorite childhood books is “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. It is about a boy who gets lost in the wilderness and has to survive on his own for quite some time. One of my favorite words is perseverance, and that is a resounding message conveyed throughout the book. Perseverance is something that is very important to me, and I remind myself frequently how important it is to always try your best and never give up. I try my best to instill this within my teaching, and hopefully impart that same mindset with my own children.

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
I would love to give a shout out to Polly Bowhay. Now retired, she was my kindergarten teacher all the way back at Fredstrom Elementary. She hired me as a fifth-grade teacher at Belmont Elementary when I first started teaching. She was my boss when I was 5, and my boss when I first started my education career.  

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Published: December 1, 2023, Updated: January 10, 2024

Benjamin Lytle, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Special Education