Title: Executive Director, Early Learning Language Acquisition (ELLA)
Organization: The School Board of Broward County, FL
Bio: Dr. Lori Canning is a Broward County native who started her career in early childhood education at a young age as a babysitter. This grew into becoming an active volunteer in early childhood classrooms throughout high school and college, a substitute teacher while completing her degree, and full-fledged kindergarten and first grade teacher for 13 years in Broward County Public Schools. As a teacher, Dr. Canning worked to support both the students in her class and school as a whole, becoming School Advisory Council Chairperson, Team Leader, National Board Certified Mentor, and Academics Fair Coordinator. She was awarded Teacher of Year in 2003. Her desire to share the love of literacy with developing teachers led her to then become a district-wide writing trainer and reading curriculum supervisor. Dr. Canning is currently executive director of Broward County Public Schools’ Early Learning and Language Acquisition Division, overseeing Early Childhood and Literacy. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Doctorate in Child and Youth Studies focusing on literacy development in early childhood and is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood Education. Dr. Canning is a leader in the Broward Reads: Campaign for Grade Level Reading partnership between Broward Children’s Services Council, Early Learning Coalition, Libraries, United Way, County Government, and School System. She works to lead and support multiple early childhood literacy initiatives in Broward, including United Way’s Reading Pals program, Broward Reads for the Record, book distribution and reading ambassador programs, reading mentoring programs, and partnerships between early childhood community providers and the school system. Dr. Canning has been a speaker and/or presenter at local events and national conferences, including the Council of Great City Schools, National Organization for the Education of Young Children, International Literacy Association, National Center for Families Learning, National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, and more. In addition to work with Broward County Public Schools and the community, she is an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University in the Education Practicum field.