Elevation 11,646.72

Community Novice

Last year Kevin Schamel came to Starr Elementary introducing the #RCSNEXTGEN Leadership Cadre for our new LMS Canvas. As much as I love technology, I was very hesitant about applying. The reason had nothing to do with Canvas, but the fear of rejection. The fear was real, and it was big.  Rejection of what you may be asking. Rejection from being accepted into the Cadre, even rejection from peers listening to me.

From the moment I walked into the room people were were saying things like “Oh good, Kathy is in our group; she can show us how to do it!” and “We’ll let Kathy talk!”  They already knew things about me that I guess I had “yet” come to fully believe myself.  

Over the next six months with Cadre I would work with these 20 plus wonderful teachers and administrators developing a better understanding of Canvas, and of myself.  I would find myself helping more people outside of the school building, and eventually presenting at two conferences.  

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However, this past week at Instructure Con (#instcon for Canvas), I made another realization.  At elevation 11,646.72 in Keystone, Colorado, struggling to get back up the mountain (Who has the oxygen?), after going part way down to an enormous rock where the majority of the group climbed for a great view, I realized it was time to find a new path and be the leader that my principal and members of the Cadre see in me.  It’s time for me to step out on the edge out of the shadows.  It’s time to be more vocal.  As one of the the Keynote Speakers stated, we must be “willing to make our lives harder to make a difference in the world.”



I’m going to make my life difficult on purpose this year to make that difference, to step out and be a better leader.  Not just for my kids, but for my staff as well.  Oh yeah, that fear of rejection... I’m thankful I didn’t let it take over and keep me from the best experience of my life.  I have learned more about Canvas, myself, and made memories that will last a lifetime.  And, it’s not over, “yet”.


Born and raised in Richmond, Kathy Benner graduated from RHS in ‘97. She attended IU East and earned an Associate's Degree in General Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Kathy started her teaching career in Centerville, IN and came to Richmond in 2008.  In 2011, she earned the No Excuses Award and REA Teacher of the Month in January of 2016.  Kathy has taught Special Ed, 1st, 4th, 5th, but the majority of her career has been in 3rd grade.  She loves working with technology: Spheros, Ollies, and Osmo.  In her spare time Kathy enjoys singing, playing guitar, and putting together Lego sets.