Musician turned math major is excited to teach in his community
Kevin Canady-Pete ’22 has a history with the Pacific Lutheran University campus. He grew up down the street, just a couple of miles from the university. The Franklin Pierce High School graduate came to PLU intending to pursue a music education major. While he enjoyed playing music at PLU, he discovered he had a passion for math.
He will graduate this winter with a degree in mathematics and a minor in philosophy. He will be enrolling in the PLU Master of Arts in Education program to complete his goal of becoming a secondary math teacher.
We spoke with Canady-Pete about his time at PLU, the advantages of going to college locally and why he wants to become a teacher.
How does being a local student benefit you as a college student?
For one, it’s nice being able to help my friends out whenever they want to do something off-campus. I can tell them what are the good places and bad places.
Why did you decide to switch your major to math?
I was in the music education program, but then I kind of just discovered that math was the better topic for me. Music was a hobby, really, and math was more of a passion. Once I took an actual college math class, I realized that’s the area I want to be in.
Did you always want to pursue teaching?
Since I was in elementary school, for whatever reason, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I just loved the classroom, and being able to help out 20 kids for an hour or so and then help the next group — it sounded pretty awesome to me. When I got into high school, I was part of a cool mentoring opportunity called Link Crew, where, as a junior, I got to mentor freshmen during advisory period. I was helping them transition into high school, and that really made me want to become a teacher.
How did you find yourself drawn to studying philosophy?
I’ve always been interested in philosophy but never really had a chance to explore it in a classroom setting and read actual philosophical texts. When I got to college, my writing 101 class was taught by philosophy professor Dr. Michael Rings, so he kind of led me into it. Once I took a philosophy course, I realized it was a lot of fun. I love talking about ethics, morality, logic and argumentative writing. My formal Logic course was a lot of fun and actually helped me in a different math course.
What are some moments that stand out to you during your time at PLU?
This year I started a radio show with a few friends for LASR called “Gaydio.” It has been a very fun experience though very outside of my comfort zone. On the show, we have had a lot of fun sharing stories with one another and learning new things. I appreciate PLU for allowing me to have a unique experience like this.
What feeling do you have around growing up in this community and now graduating from its local university?
During my senior year, I’ve been thinking about it a lot more and, seeing as my being a teacher is becoming a closer reality, it’s made me want to give back to my community. I really am appreciative that I was able to grow up in this area and I was able to get to go to college at PLU. So I would like to go back and teach, and if possible, at my old high school.