In July 2001, Benita B. Roberts retired as superintendent of a 20,000-student California school district where she served for eight of her thirty-four years in public education. Prior to her tenure as a superintendent, she was a classroom teacher and held several administrative positions, including assistant superintendent of education services. Since retirement, she has spent time in interim administrative assignments, taught classes in the administrative services credential program at California State University, San Bernardino, and served as the human resources manager in her family’s business.
As superintendent, an especially memorable occasion was her appearance in Washington, DC, on a televised town hall meeting with the then-United States Secretary of Education Richard Riley on the subject of early college preparation programs. During her years as a school administrator, she served on several community boards, including the Rotary Club of Jurupa, where she completed a year as president. In addition, she was a member of the boards of the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce, the Riverside YMCA, and United Way of the Inland Valleys, the American Heart Association, and the Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center. Currently, she is a member of the board of the Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the Riverside Community College Gateway to College Charter School, and the Riverside Community College Foundation as chair of the finance committee.
The University of California, Riverside, recognized her as an alumna of distinction for her community service. Other awards include the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, a Jurupa Council PTA Honorary Service Award, Riverside YWCA Woman of Achievement, and the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year. The Riverside African American Historical Society honored her extended family for their numerous accomplishments as pioneers in the Inland region.
Roberts received her undergraduate education at the University of California, Riverside and a graduate degree from California State University, San Bernardino. She also completed coursework in the University of La Verne’s doctoral program in organizational management.