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Teachers are Heroes: Breyona Canty makes learning exciting at Cross Elementary

Breyona Canty

Breyona Canty (Provided)

Heroes come in all forms, and there is no shortage of heroes in Berkeley County School District classrooms. Among the heroes navigating instructional areas and molding minds each day is Breyona Canty.

Ms. Canty was named Cross Elementary School's Teacher of the Year. An engraved nameplate by her kindergarten classroom door, recognizing her dedication and achievement joins several others that line the hallways of the school.

But recognition visible to students, parents and other teachers doesn't tell Ms. Canty’s story.

She's motivated by the visible change in students from year-to-year. Bearing witness to their growth and playing a role in that growth keeps grounded and only further inspires her desire to continue learning and growing as a teacher. 

It was an experience in a classroom that stole the heart of this educator as a teen, and she admits there's no long-term plan to leave the classroom.

"I decided to become a teacher after taking a teacher cadet course at my high school. I had such a good time working with the kids that I decided my profession," she said.

The 10-year teacher’s proudest career moment thus far was not being named Teacher of the Year. Instead, it was the day she learned she was at least one child's hero.

"One of my students said that they were going to give me a hug every day, because I was the best teacher ever," she said.

Dr. Carolyn Gillens, principal at Cross Elementary, describes Ms. Canty as a spark.

"Ms. Canty is always excited. She is excited and she is exciting. She really gets my kids motivated to do their best," Dr. Gillens said.

The word Ms. Canty uses to describe herself is faithful. As she faces obstacles in life and challenges in the profession, she truly believes things will be "worked out."

She stays positive, works hard for her students and finds further motivation in her family.

"We have endured a lot over the years but we managed to stick together and grow even closer. I just want to make them proud by being the best version of myself that I can be."

Breyona Canty graduated from the University of South Carolina, where she majored in early childhood education.


Brian Troutman