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Musician turned math major is excited about teaching in his community

Posted by:
Kevin Canady-Pete ’22
April 29, 2022
By Veronica Craker
PLU Marketing and Communications

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.