For her exemplary performance in the classroom, Laurel Magnet School of the Arts first-grade teacher Kathleen Canavin was named the 2020 Laurel School District Teacher of the Year.
“Receiving this award this year means to me that even through the new challenges this pandemic has thrown at us, we are still able to find new ways to reach our students,” Canavin said. “We, as teachers, are resilient, and while this year has been very challenging, it has also been very rewarding. This award means that my passion for teaching has shined through the challenges and continued to impact my students in a positive light.”
Canavin received a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, master’s degree in dyslexia therapy and is pursuing a doctorate degree in educational administration, all from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Not only is Canavin a passionate teacher, she is also a leader in her school, where she serves as Foundational Department chairwoman and head of 4K and 5K Leadership Team. She is in her fifth year of teaching.
After being selected for the honor by a committee of community volunteers, Canavin’s nomination was forwarded to the Mississippi Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Program for consideration on the state level.
“From my earliest age, I have always said that I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I teach to make a positive impact on my students as my teachers did in my life going through school. I struggled to learn to read when I was in elementary school and did not enjoy reading. I have always wanted to do all I can to ensure my students didn’t feel that struggle. I want my students to love learning and coming to school daily. Teaching is not a job for me, but a passion.”
— By PIO Lacey Walters Slay/Laurel School District