A tribute to George Bennett: Chantilly remembers valued Academy teacher and friend


Bennett poses with his award-winning CyberPatriots team and Davi Anson following a victory at the state championship. Bennett and Anson taught together for five years and formed a meaningful friendship.

Sydney Tucker, Editor-in-Chief

George Bennett was an experienced and admired Network Design and Engineering teacher and CyberPatriots club co-sponsor. He touched the hearts and minds of countless students and numerous faculty members since joining the Chantilly Academy staff in 2015.

“George was not just a co-worker; he was my friend and occasionally my savior when no one else could help,” Edison High School Cyber teacher Patrick Kuesters said. “He always had time to lend me an ear or to give advice. I will miss him dearly.”

Bennett spent the entirety of his 19 years of teaching in Fairfax County, with five of them spent here at Chantilly. He was well-known throughout the Academy and among his students for his quirky personality, many fondly remembering his Texas charm.

“I think my favorite memory of Mr. Bennett is his catchphrase, ‘Howdy,’” senior and CyberPatriots club member Anand Colaco said. “His last word [to me] was just him saying ‘Howdy.’ I feel like that, with his happy-go-lucky nature, just paired really well together.”

Bennett is also remembered for inspiring many hopeful STEM-interested teenagers, regardless of obstacles that stood in his way.

“When he started at FCPS, he was teaching IT, but shortly after, the state rules changed and he was not eligible to teach IT courses. This did not stop George,” Kuesters said. “He went out and earned a master’s degree in IT so he could go back to teaching it. Upon completing his degree, he was hired by Chantilly Academy to teach the Cyber courses.”

Bennett devoted many years to helping students do their best and boosting the success of his CyberPatriots competition teams. His humor and teaching style were appreciated because he pushed his students to be better while simultaneously encouraging them to have fun.

“I will miss his cheery personality, how approachable he was and how much of an entertaining environment he would [have],” senior and Cyber student Manas Kethireddy said. “He wouldn’t make it too strict. He was firm, but he was enjoying it. He was like a parent, too.”

Bennett’s students speak highly of his hardworking nature and treasured his ability to be kind and patient throughout the learning process. It was these notable traits that led his teams to victory on multiple occasions.

“They were first place in the nation under his mentorship,” Chantilly Academy Principal Scott Settar said. “He was always interested in taking additional classes at the college level to ensure his students received the most up-to-date instruction and were able to access dual enrollment in his classes.”

Davi Anson, Computer Systems Technology teacher and Bennett’s good friend, has fond memories of the time the two spent teaching together.

“He was a loved teacher. I think we will all miss his smile, his generosity and his humor,” Anson said. “I miss him every day as I walk into the school.”

Bennett’s generosity and caring spirit remain in the memories of all who crossed his path, students and staff alike.

“The Academy has not only lost a teacher with a wealth of Cyber knowledge that will be extremely hard to replace, but we lost a friend and someone who built positive relationships with students and his colleagues,” Settar said.