Emily Moss first came to Canterbury from 2006 to 2010. After a five-year hiatus, Emily is back in the position of Lower School Learning Specialist. Back in 2007, I first became curious about Emily when another parent said, “If your child gets to spend time with Emily Moss, just feel grateful.” I did not get that opportunity then, but I was happy to interview Emily this month. Please get to know Emily through this interview and greet her on campus when you see her.
Where are you from originally? I am a native of Asheboro, NC, born in…well, let’s just say I was born before the zoo was built. My father worked in construction as a brick and stone mason and my mother was a homemaker. Kindergarten was not provided at my assigned school, so my mother played “school” with me every day during the year before I entered school. She taught me to read and do elementary math as we played, and I have enjoyed learning ever since. Looking back, I realize that my entire childhood was blessed with many of life’s simplest pleasures… family picnics, imaginative play with forts and hide-outs, backyard badminton with my younger brother, and celebrating Friday nights with popcorn and Pepsi while all four of us watched Sonny and Cher on a black and white Zenith television. (Not quite Laura Ingalls, but close.) After completing eighth grade at Farmer Elementary School (‘Middle School’ hadn’t been invented yet), I transitioned to Southwestern Randolph High School, graduating in 1983.
How about your education—college/university? In August of the year I graduated from high school, I moved to Boone to attend Appalachian State University. ASU was a great institution and I enjoyed my classes there. In spite of my early college success, I was unable to decide on a career path and I returned home after my freshman year, determined that I would not waste my parents’ hard-earned savings. Not long after, I began working as a teacher’s assistant in a local elementary school. Within weeks, I knew that I HAD to go back to college to earn a degree in education because I loved working with children more than anything I had ever done before. So, with a definite goal in mind, I continued working full-time at my wonderful job while I took college classes at night. Finally, in May of 1991, I graduated from Greensboro College with a degree in Special Education. By August, I had accepted a job with Rockingham County Schools (RCS) to work in one of their middle schools. A few years later, I transferred from the middle school to McMichael High School, where I taught many of the required academic courses to diploma-seeking students with learning disabilities for the next ten years. My employment with RCS concluded after two years at an elementary school in Reidsville. The following August, I began a five-year relationship with Canterbury School.
Tell me about your family—near and far. I am grateful to be able to say that my parents are still living independently in my childhood home. My kid brother, Jon, lives in Ohio and we all get together about twice a year in Asheboro. I am married to Samuel Moss, a proud West Virginian and avid cyclist. Our two “children” are soft and furry with whiskers and four legs… and almost as spoiled as they are loved.
You were on the Canterbury faculty before in the early to mid-2000’s. What years exactly? My first year at Canterbury School was the 2006-07 school year. For five years, I worked on a part-time basis in Student Support Services, initially serving grades K-8. During those years, a part-time position devoted to grades 5-8 was created, and my focus narrowed to grades K-4. Eventually, a full-time position was developed for providing support to the Lower School, but I felt drawn to an opportunity to expand my private practice as a Dyslexia Intervention and Assessment Specialist. For the past five years, I worked in this area successfully, but Canterbury was always close in my heart and mind.
What drew you back to Canterbury? At my very first interview in 2006, Penny Summers told me that “Canterbury is a very special place.” Truer words have never been spoken. Being a part of the Canterbury School community had been an experience that warmed me, inspired me, challenged me, and supported me. Memories of those feelings and experiences flooded back when Burns Jones first contacted me about the possibility of a Learning Resources position for this year. To be offered an opportunity to rejoin this incredible community was nothing short of a gift.
What is your favorite Canterbury memory or tradition? Selecting a single memory or tradition to be my favorite is just impossible. I could spend hours, and pages, describing the events and relationships that make Canterbury irreplaceable. Perhaps it will suffice to say that, to me, the “Canterbury Experience” is like a beautiful quilt made with the fabrics of friendship, cooperation, and dedication, and stitched together with the golden threads of Kindness and Inclusivity.
by Canterbury parent Kelly McKee