English teacher Mary Kate Canavan to study in Ireland


Vincenzo Dimino

English teacher Mary Kate Canavan will attend National University of Ireland for a year


As one of the first teachers in the Gloucester Public Schools system to take a sabbatical, GHS English teacher Mary Kate Canavan will be leaving June 25 to attend the National University of Ireland Galway for a year.

“As a teacher of ELA students, I think it will offer me great insight into some of their challenges,” said Canavan. “I hope to come back and inspire my students to realize there is so much more over the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge.”

Located on the west side of Ireland, the National University of Ireland Galway is in the heart of downtown Galway. The University has been accepting international students from 92 countries for more than 150 years.

While studying abroad, Canavan will be earning her second master’s degree in Irish Studies, and will be required to take classes in literature, history, and culture.

“I also have to become proficient in speaking Irish Gaelic,” said Canavan. “To speak Irish Gaelic and have to learn the language is intimidating and very challenging.”

The first time she traveled to Ireland was when she worked as a sales representative for the Boston Globe.

“After 9/11 happened, I decided to take time off of work and travel to Ireland because it is a safe and beautiful country,” said Canavan. “It helped me rethink my priorities.”

“I’ve always loved traveling and every trip I have taken, I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve tested all of my strengths and weaknesses and realized there’s no room from fear, only faith.¨

Canavan teaches freshman English, and the senior elective Women in Literature. She is also the leader of the Gloucester U program “Police Academy” in partnership with the Gloucester Police Department. She has been a member of the English department for twelve years.

“She is a stupendous and amazing teacher.” said sophomore Ericca Nolan. “She is instructive as a teacher should be, and a great friend as a teacher should be.”

While Canavan is on her sabbatical, administration will not be hiring a temporary teacher. Her students and classes will be distributed and reassigned to other English teachers for September.

But don’t worry, she will be returning at the end of  August, 2017, just in time for the 2017 school year.