"Canton Can"

"One Goal, One Vision, One Mission...imagine the possibilities" 

Canton Public School District Key Communicator
To find out more about Canton Public Schools visit our website at www.cantonschools.net

                                CPSD  2014-15  Administrator/Teachers of the Year

Canton Public School District 2014-15 Teachers of the Year

Nichols Middle School - Ashley McGee
Porter Middle School - Jessica Johnson
Canton Educational Service Center - Bradford Turner
Canton High School - Melissa Word
Canton Career Services - Vanessa Bennett
Canton Elementary- Lakesha Doyle
McNeal Elementary School - Rosalyn Anderson
Goodloe Elementary School - Lakisha Watkins
Reuben B. Myers CSAS - Chelsea Kilgore

District Teacher of the Year: Jessica Johnson/ Porter Middle School

District Administrator of the Year: Michael Ellis/ Porter Middle School Principal








Michael Ellis





















Educational Administration and Supervision:

Doctorate of Philosophy-projected graduation December   2015

Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762


Educational Administration and Supervision

Master of Science Degree- May 1999; 486; Administrator AA Certification

Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39209


General Business

Bachelor of Science Degree-May 1989; Accounting

Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39209





July 2012-Present- Canton Public Schools

Principal, Huey L. Porter Middle School


August 2010-Present Hinds Community College

Adjunct Professor, Academic/Technical Center


June 2007-July 2012-Canton Public Schools

Principal, McNeal Elementary School


June 2004-May, 2007-Jackson Public School District, Jackson, MS

Principal, Chastain Middle School


July 2002-June 2004- Rankin County School District, Brandon, MS

Assistant Principal, Florence High School


June 2001-July 2002 Durant Public School District, Durant, MS

Principal-Durant Attendance Center (K-12)


June 1993-May 2001-MS Department of Education, Jackson, MS

Director of Parent Relations and Legislative Support


August 1992-May 1993- Jackson Public School District, Jackson, MS

Math Teacher (Rowan Middle School)








  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
  • Who's Who Among College Students
  • Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals, Member
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Member
  • Mississippi Education Association, Member
  • Phi Delta Kappa, Newsletter Editor, 2001-2002
  • Principal of the Year Jackson City Council 2005
  • Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA), Member
  • Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS), Member
  • Principal of the Year Canton Public Schools 2009 and 2011
  • Mississippi State University Honor Society 2013




  • "Guidelines for Teachers"-Presenter

Jackson State University, Jackson Public School District


  • "Site-based Management in Middle Schools"-Presenter

Jackson State University, Chastain Middle School


  • "Differentiated Instructions in Elementary Schools"-Presenter

Grand Casino, Biloxi, MS, Jackson State University


  • "Becoming a Transformational Leader"-Presenter

Jackson State University, Mississippi State University


  • "Technology Academy for School Leaders" (TASL)-Participant

Canton, MS Mississippi Department of Education (February 2006)


  • "National Institute for School Leaders" (NISL)-Participant

Jackson Public School District (Spring/Fall 2006)


  • "Integrating Technology in the Pre-school Curriculum"-Presenter

New Hope Christian School, Jackson, MS (March 31, 2007)














                            INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT


As the instructional leader of my building, it has been my goal to consistently and strategically implement and facilitate three major instructional shifts: timely and appropriate professional development for teachers, effective professional learning communities (PLCs), and academic rigor.


Timely and appropriate professional development for teachers entails having a pulse on the successes and challenges of the student body, as well as the strengths and areas of prioritized development for my teaching staff. In order to successfully execute this level of professional development, one priority is to consider collaborative and active learning. Increasing the capacity of teachers in my building begins with utilizing their very strengths to support and develop each other.


 Along with this priority, allowing teachers to provide choice and voice to their learning needs is an impactful and empowering measure. Another priority that shapes professional development in my building is the connection between these development opportunities and the requisite knowledge and skills necessary to masterfully teach Common Core State Standards. My staff and I hone in on our curriculum guides and forecast necessary development workshops and experiences. Most importantly, teachers require a significant level of support and accountability in order to consistently grow and develop. It is my hope that the professional development opportunities facilitated in my building stimulate this level of growth.


Establishing professional learning communities (PLCs) in my building has been challenging but extremely rewarding for our staff and students. PLCs ensure that students learn by requiring teachers to examine three critical questions: What do we want each student to learn? How will we know when each student has learned it? How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning? Answering these questions with their colleagues on weekly, and at times daily, basis allows my teachers to be better equipped to acknowledge learning gaps, missed opportunities, and lesson successes and failures. PLCs also foster a culture of collaboration and hone in on a laser focus on evidence of student learning.  This culture of improved instructional focus and collaboration is what ultimately led to Porter Middle School's designation as the only Successful School in my district.


Common Core State Standards have required all educators to increase the academic rigor in lesson planning, questioning, performance tasks, and standardized assessments. In order to systematically and effectively increase the rigor in our building, my staff has focused on developing in the area of Depth of Knowledge (DOK). These four distinct knowledge levels allow our team to accurately align the cognitive demands of the standards with the cognitive demands of formative and summative assessments. Teachers have learned that depth of knowledge not only pertains to outcomes, but also the very objectives that they intend on teaching. Sharpening their lesson planning and instructional methods with DOK levels in mind has taken many teachers to a new level of effectiveness.




Teachers improve through an effective evaluation system. An evaluation system's efficiency revolves around my capacity, as an instructional leader, to identify key development areas that a teacher must develop in order to be of better service to his or her students. The most critical element of my evaluation is not the observation, but the feedback conversation that follows the observation. It is during this time that I am able to prioritize one or two parts of my teachers' practice on which to focus.


Then, I am sure to lead the teacher into a supportive and constructive conversation about these practices. It is not my goal to lead, but to collaborate with my teachers during the feedback conversation. Together, we'll hone in on specific areas of development through open-ended questioning and a close eye on the rubric.


Finally, the most valuable components of my feedback conversations include practice and next steps. I cannot assume that the teacher is capable of meeting the demands of my next steps without first having a model of my expectations, along with an opportunity to practice. Setting up a timeline for my observation of the teacher's implementation of feedback is critical to and the crux of the feedback conversation.




At my core, I believe that an outstanding administrator leads a great school. A great school is one in which everyone grows-students, teachers, and administrators alike. In each of my administrative positions, I have worked to ensure that teachers, like students, learn continuously, especially in areas of content, pedagogy, authentic practice, and social and cultural competence.


In order to achieve this goal of a community of learners, I believe that school leaders must be active and visible learners. We must encourage and consider input and counsel from the community; we must develop and maintain dialogue on important issues; and we must welcome and be willing to profit from a diverse range of voices.


An outstanding administrator leads a great school that focuses on academic excellence. I understand academic excellence to be the demonstrated ability to perform, achieve, and/or excel in scholastic activities. This demonstration of excellences manifests itself in my building through student-teacher interactions, performance on assessments and tasks, implementation of character education, participation in school wide events and activities, successful parent interactions and involvement, and citizenship.


Great schools must ensure that students understand the history, culture, language, economics, and politics of nations around the world so that they are better able to work collaboratively with others, to consider multiple perspectives in evaluating issues, and to make interdisciplinary and intercultural connections in problem solving.


Finally, a great school requires visionary and strategic leadership from an outstanding administrator. I ensure that all decisions are purpose-driven and student-centered, and I set clear expectations while holding everyone, including myself, to a high standard. I believe in and practice a leadership model of distributed intelligence-seeking to capitalize on resources in my environment to solve a problem.


Ultimately, providing a great school for my students requires me to synthesize many components. When my staff and I unify our efforts around a strong vision, sound educational practices, professionalism, and an environment of collaboration and collegiality, we create an environment for meaningful learning. For an outstanding administrator, a positive learning environment embraces the concept that great schools foster achievement for all students.




One of the greatest public education issues today is the dire need for early/preschool education reform. In a state where a child's attendance to kindergarten is not mandatory, yet the success rate of all students is on the lower end of national averages, preschool education seems to be an imperative and equitable requisite. Teachers have complained for many years of students' unpreparedness for elementary education. Research has shown that poverty stricken children have limited vocabulary and prior knowledge when entering the early elementary grade levels. These gaps are often incapable of being closed.


Research proves that large-scale public education programs can have substantial impacts on children's early learning. This investment not only stimulates early interactions between teachers and children, but also benefits the overall health of a child-connecting children to a medical home, integrating comprehensive screenings, and requiring immunizations. Not only can poor children be positively impacted by preschool education, but children with special needs and English Language Learners have demonstrated significant impact, as well. It is clear that high-quality preschool education yields more benefits to society than its initial costs. In all, preschool education is an investment in our future!




I am committed to and invested in my school community. Strong relationships within our community-teachers and staff, families, nonprofit organizations, and other key stakeholders are essential to the academic success of all students. Education is a shared responsibility between schools, families, and the community, with the best results coming when all three work together. In fact, I believe the three most critical dynamics of school improvement are teaching and learning, school climate, and family involvement. Research tells us that the greatest indicator of student success is the level of family involvement in education. This comes at a time when more children than ever before in United States history have working mothers and fathers. Therefore, I strive to take the initiative in my school with developing and sustaining effective partnerships.




Jessica Johnson
District Teacher of the Year
Huey Porter Middle School

Jessica Johnson is a Science teacher at Huey L. Porter Middle School in Canton, MS. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Chemistry Minor from Millsaps College, a Masters in Education from Mississippi College and is currently working on her Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership also at Mississippi College. Along with her educational accomplishments, she has enjoyed 11 years of introducing kids to the world of science and helping kids exceed their individual learning capabilities.


Prior to becoming a teacher, Mrs. Johnson intended to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a doctor and was accepted into the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. While making the decision to attend, she felt as though life was pulling her into another direction and decided to explore the avenue of teaching. During college, she had been encouraged to major in education as it was clear that she had a remarkable ability to effectively explain and teach very difficult material to others. Intrigued by the calling of a different career and helping to mold young lives, Mrs. Johnson accepted her first position as a teacher at New Hope Christian School.   At New Hope, she was able to experience the rewards and struggles of a teaching career and solidified her commitment to educating the youth of Mississippi. In 2008, she accepted a position with Canton Public School District and has sought to break through any barriers to educational excellence with dedication, passion and flexible teaching methods.


Professionally, she has seen her hard work, consistency, high expectations and commitment to treating all kids fairly result in numerous awards and staggering achievements throughout her teaching career. At NHCS, Mrs. Johnson was the Math Olympics Coach for grades 3-6. Out of the 52 students Mrs. Johnson taught, over 25 students were selected as Duke Scholars due to their high test scores in Math and Science. In her five years as a Science Fair Coordinator for the Canton Public School District, 20+ of her students have received the honor of placing as 1st -5th place winners, three students who received 1st and 2nd place wins in the Overall State Winner Category and others received special awards from the US Navy and Jackson State University. Additionally, science fair students have been selected as Broadcom nominees and competed with the top 10% of winners in the United States for a grand prize of $25,000.


Along with the accomplishments of her students, Mrs. Johnson has achieved professional recognition by her peers and has been awarded Teacher of the Month and Lead 8th Grade Teacher. She has served as the Science Club Sponsor from 2010 and the Science Department Chair since 2012. Since 2010, she has been selected as a Middle School Science Representative, Board Member and Conference Presenter of the Mississippi Science Teacher Association. Recently, she is the High School Science Representative for the state Nissan has also recognized Mrs. Johnson's efforts as a teacher by selecting her as the Nissan Grant Recipient of the Spark Into 21st Century Grant.


In the summer of 2013, Mrs. Johnson wrote a Science Club Manual for the Increasing Minorities in Atmospheric Science-RAP (IMAS-RAP) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Jackson State University for the Jackson Public School District. After submission of the manual to the NSF, Canton Public Schools were added into the grant after Mrs. Johnson's direction of the project contributed to her being recognized by the professors at Jackson State University. The manual was piloted in 2014 in Jackson and Canton Public School Districts and was be e-published the summer of 2014. Additionally, CPS was rewarded by the NSF and received innovative equipment through the grant to be used by the Science Club.


Committed to her responsibility as a teacher and her father's wisdom that "you can never know how far you'll go unless you try," Mrs. Johnson regularly seeks to improve her skills and find new ways to impact the educational achievements of her students. Throughout her teaching career, she has participated in the Project Mast-5 summit held at Jackson State University which equips science teachers across the state with research-based knowledge of physical science and the Champs-University of Women workshop which focuses on creating high achievement in mathematics and problem-solving. She has participated in Project TANS (Teacher Academy in the Natural Sciences) from Mississippi State University since 2010-2012 and the Science Fair Coordinators Workshop at Jackson State University since 2009. In 2014, joined the Upward Bound staff of Jackson State and teaches Physics and Chemistry to 11-12 grade youth in the surrounding area where she grew up.


Mrs. Johnson is committed to the youth and has been inspired to maintain a passionate and innovative attitude towards shaping the lives of children intellectually and spiritually. Besides teaching, Mrs. Johnson shows her commitment to the youth by acting as the Director for the Children/Youth Choir and the Coordinator for the Nursery, Drama and Education Ministry programs at Canton United Methodist Church. Mrs. Johnson credits God, her husband, Deontray Johnson, Sr., and two children, Jordin, and Deontray, Jr., with providing her love, balance and strength to come up with innovative ways to teach science and positively affect the lives of children in the State of Mississippi.

Lakisha Watkins
Goodloe Elementary 









Many teachers look forward to seeing that "a-ha!" look of triumph in a student's face when he or she finally arrives at an answer to a challenging problem, but Goodloe Elementary School first grade teacher Lakisha Watkins enjoys the process kids go through to learn something. "I like seeing them wrestle with a hard concept, and have the confidence to keep trying, even when they are not sure if they will succeed."

Mrs. Watkins believes that hands on, research-based approach to learning is best for teaching younger students. Her classroom style has been described as "controlled" and "fun-filled excitement" with students pairing up to work on teacher and self-directed projects. Her students (past and present) often give her the compliment of saying that they miss her class and they wish she was still their teacher because the learning was fun.


 Mrs. Lakisha Watkins is a wife of 13 years, mother of three beautiful children, God-fearing and an advocate for children. She is also a proud graduate of Canton Public Schools with honors. Her parents were both in the military, which enabled her to travel when she was younger. Once her parents retired, she became a permanent resident of Canton, which she never regrets.


 In 2005 Mrs. Watkins began her educational career as a teacher assistant in the Canton Public School district. She has worked for JPS as an afterschool coordinator and The Kirkland Group as a tutor for 4th and 5th graders. While working as an assistant, she had the privilege of working on many committees (School-wide planning, PRYDE, PTA, 21st Century Afterschool Program and Pennies for Patients Coordinator). She has also had an opportunity to work with many wonderful teachers, who inspired her to go back to school to get her degree. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2011, from Jackson State University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College.


Lakisha Watkins has held many honors and achieved various accomplishments during her on-going educational career. She has been awarded Academic Achievement, Outstanding Service, Nissan Mini-grant recipient, Grade-level Team Leader, Teacher Support Team Co-Captain and Who's Who Among Math Teachers to name a few. Although she wears numerous hats, her first priority is her students. She believes all students can learn and she attacks that concept on a daily basis.


Lakisha Watkins fosters that love of teaching in her own students through an annual campaign in which her school raises money to benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma patients. This teaches them about responsibility and the compassion of helping others less fortunate than themselves.


 As grade level chair at Goodloe Elementary, Mrs. Watkins also serves as a mentor to new teachers and is a building trendsetter in introducing creative instructional techniques, such as interactive games, into classrooms. Many have said that Mrs. Watkins brings "creative energy and intellectualism and is serious about the excellence of her work."

Melissa Word
Canton High School

 41 year old, born on October 24,1973
Native of Ripley, MS
Third daughter of four to Roger and Catherine Cowan
Sisters: Anesha, Melany and Monica
Husband of 11 years: Jason Word
Children: Madison Aleah, 10 years old and Justin Zachary, 6 years old
Graduated from Ripley High School in 1992
Attended Northeast Mississippi College 1992-1994
Who's Who Among Junior College Students 
Attended Jackson State University Fall 1994
Graduated from Tougaloo College in 1998
Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Tougaloo College
Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Gamma Omicron Chapter
Who's Who Among College and University Students

Began teaching in the Canton Public School District in 1998- current (17th year)
Star Teacher in 2003
Outstanding Service Award in the 2009-2010 school year that was presented by the CPSD Board of Trustees
Teacher of the Month Awards in September of 2013 and in October of 2014.
In 2003, Word helped lead the Canton High School girls basketball team to the 4-A Girls Basketball State Championship game.  Although we fell short, that season was historical for the city of Canton.  That same year Word  was chosen as the Clarion Ledger Metro Area Coach of the Year, The Madison County Herald Coach of the Year, and the Mississippi Association of Coaches 4-A Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.  Within a span of ten years, Word helped lead the CHS Girls Basketball Team to it first ever 5-A State Championship in 2013 and was selected as the Clarion Ledger Metro Area Coach of the Year.  For the past four years,Word was selected as the District 3-5A Girls Coach of the Year.
Word's team has finished first in each season and made the playoffs for the past seven seasons.

Since 1998, Word has taught students who are now parents to her current students and she can truly say that she still remember their names.  As a teacher, Word says she feels that it is important to get to know your students. "Yes, sometimes they test our faith; however, we must let them know that we are there for them.  Their high school years are very critical years of their lives, a time when a simple comment can do more harm than good," says Word.  She says as the head girls' basketball coach at Canton High, she has been privileged to come in contact with nearly three hundred females who have not only allowed her to enhance them in the game of basketball, but in the game of life as well.  Word says just ask any coach and they will tell you that coaching girls is not an easy feat, but one thing that she has learned along the way is that they are all different and getting to know her players has made the job much easier.  Word says giving respect and knowing how far an athlete can be pushed may be the difference in success and failure on and off the court. "Through sports, discipline and the ability to work with others are very prevalent.  I believe that my players gain these attributes and become better people because of it," says Word.

Lakesha Meeks Doyle
Canton Elementary

Lakesha Meeks Doyle, daughter of Mary Hughes Meeks and Walter Meeks, is a native of Canton, MS and a 1995 graduate of the Canton Public School District. She is married to Henry Doyle, Jr. and together they have two sons, JaKorri and Javian who are both students within the CPSD also. Lakesha found her passion for teaching when she was in elementary school herself. She always looked at lessons and teaching from the teachers point of view, rather that the student.


Lakesha obtained a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Jackson State University, Masters in Elementary Education from Kaplan University, and is five months away from receiving a Specialist in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College.


Lakesha believes the most rewarding part of her job is working within the district that is responsible for her very own K12 education. Playing a role in building up the very community of which you have always been a part of is priceless. Lakesha takes pride in teaching in this district because she teaches children of people she has known for years from the community. Working with former educators and administrators, and even classmates is just a bonus.


Lakesha takes the same skills used in the classroom to the Mt. Able Missionary Baptist Church where W. A. Travis, Sr. is her pastor. At Mt. Able, Lakesha serves as Assistant Youth Director, Youth Choir Director, and Youth Liturgical Dance Director. There again, she inspires and motivates children to reach for the stars. Explaining to them that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to if they only work hard and believe.

Chelsea Kilgore
Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts & Sciences









Chelsea Kilgore is the daughter of Robert and Connie Kilgore of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She grew up in Hattiesburg and graduated from Presbyterian Christian High School in 2008. Chelsea is the oldest of three children, Lori Lee and James Robert. She has taught at Reuben B. Myers School of Arts and Sciences for three years, and currently teaches Kindergarten. She is an active member of Pinelake Church in Brandon, Mississippi, where she teaches a Sunday school class of 9th grade girls. Her favorite scripture is 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."


Before coming to Canton, she attended Mississippi State University and received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. In the classroom, she strives to give her students the best education possible by providing them with hands on activities that stimulate their creativity. She believes that these activities allow the children to explore and take ownership of their own learning.


Throughout her time at MSAS, she has served on a variety of committees in order to help promote parental involvement and student achievement. She is also a current and active member of the Reuben B. Myers PTA. She is privileged to work in a district filled with promise and innovation. She looks forward to the years ahead for her at MSAS. Chelsea believes in the vision of the district and is truly blessed to teach the children that walk through her classroom door each morning.

Bradford Turner
Canton Educational Services Center
 Bradford A. Turner was born in Laurel, MS and reared in Waynesboro, MS. He graduated from Wayne County High School in 1996. After high school, He joined  the U.S. Army. After being medically discharged he attended Jones County Junior College where he studied business. After the first year he transferred to Alcorn State University. Turner obtained his B.S. degree in Business Administration.
He worked in the banking industry for five years. In 2006, Turner began teaching in Meridian Public School District at the alternative school in grades K-5. The following year he moved to Jackson, MS to work with Jackson Public Schools. There he taught on the elementary level for three years, middle school level for one year and high school level for two years. During that time Turner earned his M.Ed in Special Education from the University of West Alabama. For the last two years he has worked in the Canton Public School District at Canton Educational Service Center.

 Turner has experienced several roles within his career as a educator including; being a classroom teacher, inclusion teacher, homebound teacher, and servicing on the site council committee. 
 He says he is always learning and growing within his personal and professional life. He attends a variety of workshops and inservices provided by a variety of agencies.
 Turner is currently single. During his time off he enjoys traveling, reading, music, movies, producing concerts, and many other adventures. In 2014, he started a web talk show. He has published six novels and is working on a new novel to be released in the summer of 2015. Turner says he is also working on an inspirational project.

Rosalyn Anderson
McNeal Elementary
 Rosalyn Anderson has had the pleasure of teaching at McNeal Elementary School for the last fourteen years. She was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama throughout her early years; she then migrated to Montgomery, Alabama and pursued a degree in Elementary Education in 2000.

 After college, Anderson moved to Jackson, Mississippi with her father and has been residing there since that time. She has an eight year old daughter that keeps her busy in all aspects of life. Her hobbies include reading, shopping and spending time with her daughter.

Anderson's passion is teaching young children. She loves to see academic growth by meeting students' needs through small group instruction. "Our students are our future and they should be given every attainable resource to fulfill every need. As an educator, it is my charge to make this happen in any way possible. I am honored to represent McNeal Elementary as the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year," says Anderson.
Ashley McGee
Nichols Middle School



Ashley McGee comes from a long line of educators and considers educating others part of her heritage. Her mother has educated hundreds of children over thirty years. She inspired Ashley to become an educator and encouraged her to pursue a career in education. Ashley's mother also pushes her to go further in education than she has ever been (become a leader). Ashley's mother also inspired her to be passionate and thorough in the art of teaching. Ashley now loves educating others and aspires to make teaching a lifelong career.


Ashley has taught at Nichols Middle School for approximately six years. She taught seventh grade science for four years. Due to a research based strategy of looping, Ashley has followed two groups of her students to the 8th grade. This year she is preparing another group of students for the 8th grade state science exam. Ashley is enjoying learning the latest strategies for preparing students for the test. She has learned how to make classroom instruction data driven. She allows students to take part in this process by also showing them how to analyze data and identify strengths and weaknesses.


Ashley obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Science Education at Mississippi Valley State University. She later earned her Masters of Art Degree in Secondary Education at Jackson State University. Ashley was previously a recipient of the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship, which is awarded to approximately 50 teachers in Mississippi per year. She has recently obtained her Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership at Mississippi College. Due to her drive and dedication to better herself and her students, she was previously nominated for Teacher of the Year within her school during the 2012-2013 school year.


Ashley has established a very good reputation among her colleagues; she does not mind receiving help or criticism to better her instructional delivery. She also does not mind sharing her strengths with others. Ashley is known as a strong but caring disciplinarian among her students. She believes that the best leader should also know how to follow.


Every moment she thinks of the students and their best interest. Her expectations are high, and as a result children are encouraged to set high expectations for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. Every child that walks through or by her door knows that she expects them to put their best foot forward and their thinking hats on. She encourages them to invest in their success and think about their future (as an educator) not accepting any excuses for negligent, careless or bad behavior. She believes and knows that "Canton Can", but she believes it starts in the classroom with "I CAN!" and "I WILL!" or "Success Won't".

Vanessa Bennett
Canton Career Center










Vanessa Bennett has been employed at the  Canton Career Center since July 2010. During that time, she has accomplished many things and has promoted the Health Sciences Program. Below is a list of achievements during her employment as a Health Sciences Instructor:


  • Completed Vocational Instructor Preparation (VIP) program for licensure in 2013.
  • Planned online virtual activities classroom experiences through Blackboard and Canvas software 2010-2014.
  • Chosen for Canton Career Center Teacher of the Year 2013
  • Promoted the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Statewide Kindergarten Hand washing Project in Canton Public School District 2014.
  • Wrote grant for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification for students and for instructors 2011-2012.
  • A certified Basic Life Support-Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/ First Aide Instructor 2013- to present.
  • Completed the Mississippi's Tuberculosis Surveillance certification 2013.
  • The local chapter Health Occupations Students of America Advisor 2010 to present.
  • Accomplished 100% membership for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) students in her classroom 2012-2014.
  • Planned and coordinated student clinical experiences at nursing home, hospitals, specialty clinics, and field trips 2011-present
  • Planned field trip for students to view Mobile MRI Scanner in 2013
  • Conducted Health Services clinic at Title I Conference 2011
  • Arranged speakers and field trips for students in health care area 2011-present
  • Increased student CPAS2 scores 2012-2014.
  • Placed at the HOSA district and state competitions 2010-2014.
  • Collaborated with academic teachers to implement the core curriculum 2013-2014
  • Completed certification for Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Clinical Health Services 2014.
  • Participated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Conference 2011-2014.
  • Procured scholarships for students in pharmacy technician programs 2012
  • Completed Certification of Online Learning (C.O.O.L.) 2013
  • Completed Internet Computing Core (IC3) for computer proficiency 2013
  • Arranged select students to enroll in the University Medical Center for School of Health Related Professions (SHRPS) summer program 2014.
  • Took students to the University of Southern Mississippi to view postsecondary nursing programs 2010.


            To be chosen to represent Canton Career Center as a candidate for Canton Public School District's Teacher of the Year is an honor because of the many qualified instructors who are employed.  I always do the best that I can to create a learning-centered environment for the students. Student-focused learning is a priority in my teaching philosophy. I enjoy what I do, and I have a choice to do something else if I wish. I am not here because I have been educated to do this exclusively; I am here because I choose to teach young adults to enter the health profession or any other profession of their choice. I am a registered nurse who chooses to teach.


The Canton Public School District Board of Trustees, Superintendent Ike Haynes, and the entire faculty and staff salute these outstanding educators for a job well done. They are to be commended for going above and beyond the call of duty to inspire, motivate, and elevate our students. Their commitment and dedication to help students reach their full potential is priceless.
Canton Public Schools
403 East Lincoln Street
Canton,MS 39046
to reply to this message email beverlyluckett@cantonschools.net