JOANNE CLAYBON BENSON
Maryland State Senator , 24th Legislative District
Joanne C. Benson was elected in 1991 to The House of Delegates of the Maryland General Assembly to represent Prince George’s County’s 24th Legislative District. In 2011 she was elected to serve as the 24th District’s first female Senator. Senator Benson currently serves as Assistant Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate. She is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, serves as Chair of the Senate Rules Committee and Prince George’s County Senate Delegation; Joint Committees on Children, Youth and Families; Ending Homelessness; Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight; Management of Public Funds; and has been appointed to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. She also is a member of the Women Legislators of Maryland and serves as Chaplain of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
Joanne C. Benson was born in Roanoke, Virginia. She is the daughter of the Reverend and Mrs. William Claybon. She is one of a patrician line of six --- four sisters and one brother. Her family relocated early on to Hagerstown, Maryland where she attended public schools and graduated from South Hagerstown High School. Mrs. Benson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bowie State University and a Master of Arts Degree from Catholic University. She believes that education is one of the most powerful tools anyone could possess. She is a constant proponent for the strongest quality education for all Prince George’s County’s children.
Mrs. Benson takes great pride in her forty-year career as an educator in Prince George’s County Public Schools. She has served in a number of capacities in the school system – Teacher, Facilitator, Master Teacher, Instructional Support Specialist, Principal, Human Relation Specialist and Parent Involvement Specialist. Mrs. Benson is an activist and vigorous advocate for children, seniors, families, the disabled, and veterans. She has taken homeless families into her home. She has assisted in finding homes for the homeless. She has dedicated her entire career to helping provide personal and academic excellence for children. She assisted in encouraging Governor Glendening to establish the HOPE Scholarship Fund as well as providing scholarships to students who major in mathematics and science. Even though she has retired from the school system, she continues to mentor and visit schools.
Mrs. Benson is a passionate Christian woman who cares about and loves people. She believes in the power of love and prayer, and that you do what the Lord requires. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden. She is constantly defending, protecting, advocating and fighting for the homeless, hopeless and helpless. She pushes established rules to the limit to improve the quality of life for people, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.
She has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is a principle-centered leader for all times. She continues to live by her one maxim: “If I can help somebody as I pass along in this life, then my living will not be in vain.”