TAF Board Member, Mary Beth Canty uplifts BIPOC community through education
Please help us shine a spotlight on Mary Beth Canty, a TAF board member who has provided continuous dedicated support to our organization since 2016.
Mary Beth, who currently works at the Seattle Teacher Residency (STR) as the Curriculum and Induction Manager, has spent over 20 years as an educator in classrooms serving students of all ages. She began her career teaching elementary school in Seattle yet soon recognized her chosen profession was overwhelmingly white and female. This realization spurred her return to the University of Washington to study and research the field of teacher preparation with a focus on breaking down barriers to access and support for BIPOC students.
In 2016 Mary Beth received her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Teacher Preparation. That same year she joined TAF’s Board of Directors.
“I joined the board because of TAF’s proven track record in transforming the educational landscape,” Mary Beth explains. “TAF’s focus on STEM through Project-Based Learning has and continues to make a huge positive impact on students, families, and communities throughout Washington.”
As the STR Curriculum and Induction Manager, Mary Beth works with faculty and staff to ensure that pre-service teachers are prepared to work with students, families, and communities in Seattle and implement academically rigorous and antiracist teaching practices. Her focus is on transforming the program, curriculum, and experiences for residents in ways that promote equitable access to the highest quality educational experiences and support for all — much of what TAF and its Network for EdWork program are doing, too.
Before joining the STR team, Mary Beth was the Recruitment and Retention Specialist for the University of Washington’s College of Education Teacher Preparation Programs. She has also been the Field Director, a coach, and instructor for the Elementary Teacher Preparation program. Being part of the team at the Seattle Teacher Residency has allowed Mary Beth to combine her work with preservice teachers and her passion for ensuring equitable access to high-quality education. Her motto is, “Access without support does not equal opportunity.”
“I bring over 20 years as an educator in the classroom, teacher preparation, and educational leadership throughout Washington,” Mary Beth shares. “I have served on Washington State and University of Washington educational policy committees that have been revising laws and expectations to break down barriers to access for BIPOC teacher candidates. In addition, I have experience as a BIPOC student, teacher, and educational leader and know all too well about some of the roadblocks and deterrents that institutional racism has created and maintains.”
Throughout Mary Beth’s tenure as a TAF board member, she has provided support to numerous TAF initiatives; UnTapped by TAF (now called the TAF Alliance Program) that connects K-12 students through corporate partnerships, and the Martinez Fellowship, a TAF program that supports BIPOC educators in their early-career and beyond.
Mary Beth possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help TAF further design our approach to better serving students, educators, and administrators.