Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero: Helen Canler
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Helen Canler has been a fixture of Logan County Head Start for the past 48 years. During that time, she has been a teacher, bus driver, cook and mentor.
Her journey with Head Start began when she took her daughter there for kindergarten in 1974. She fell in love with the program enough to become a part of it.
“You just get up every day and come to work. Get up every day and come to work and the next thing you know it’s been 48 years,” Canler said.
During that time, she has touched the lives of everyone she has interacted with. Stephanie Shields, Center Manager of Logan County Head Start says, “She has been a role model, an inspiration to all of the staff. You couldn’t ask for a kinder soul or more dedicated individual.”
Her dedication to the community’s children as a teacher was something she had always dreamed about growing up. Her journey with Head Start began when she put her daughter in classes. Canler fell in love with the program and immediately started volunteering. She eventually became a staff member that has filled every role imaginable so that she could fill in for whatever need the facility had.
Canler’s influence has inspired some of the children she taught to become educators and Head Start teachers themselves.
Many of Logan County’s residents recognize Helen from their youth; greeting her in public with hugs and reminiscing about time they have spent together. Some of the children in her classes are the grandchildren of her original students.
She credits her love for the children for her longevity with the program. “Been here and done so much with them and love them so much that I just don’t want to leave them,” said Canler.
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