Woman inspires students by teaching with her toes

By Enrique Correa

LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW) — A Lakewood teacher is inspiring students and staff by teaching in a unique way.

Mary Gannon, a Lakewood math tutor at Harding Middle School, was born with no arms and she has a great outlook on life.  One thing Gannon doesn’t like is being called handicapped.

“It’s not a bad thing. I’m different, but I try not to use that word because it has a negative bias. I’m not able to do certain things,” said Gannon.

Last year Gannon was a substitute teacher at Harding, but now she tutors 6th, 7th and 8th graders full-time.
Before class you can catch Gannon using her feet to get her lesson plans together for the next period.

Some of her students say watching Ms. Gannon at work lets them know they can overcome almost any obstacle.

“She inspires me because she helps me get focused on my work, how good I can get at some math problems cause I’m not really that good at math,” said Jaden Johnson, a 6th grader at Harding.

And some of the staff at Harding Middle School agreed that Gannon is a shining example of what you can do once you apply yourself.

“I think people are gonna say, ‘if she can do it, I certainly can do it,'” said Assistant Principal Joe Tackacs.

Gannon grew up in an orphanage in Mexico and was adopted by an Ohio family at age 7.

The math tutor said she always wants to help people and teaching is a great way to do it.

“If it’s gonna inspire or help people for them to be or do better in their lives then I’m okay with that and I hope that people gain something from me,” said Gannon.

Gannon can even drive. Her license plate says it all… “Happy Feet.”

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