On October 9th, 1960, the citizens of Medina gathered in celebration of the beloved Miss Ella Canavan, and the brand new school building that was about to be named after her. She already received a congratulatory letter from President Eisenhower in recognition of her 45 years of teaching, so this great honor was the icing on the cake for Miss Ella. She was a friendly face to every student who walked the halls of the Lincoln Building and eventually of Garfield Elementary School. The echo of her ringing bell rang merrily across the playground to signal the start of class. Miss Ella was unconditionally loved and respected in Medina, and remains to this day, long after her death, an integral part of education in Medina.
Ella Canavan was born in 1878, presumably in Medina. She attended school until 1899, and then began teaching in 1900. Her first "school" was at Ben Waters' house in Medina, and it was this school that established the private kindergarten system in the area. In 1905, kindergarten became part of the Medina City School District, and Miss Ella was moved to the Lincoln building just off the square. This was eventually demolished to become the location of Garfield Elementary School, where Miss Ella would remain for the rest of her career. She resigned in 1945 after 45 years of distinguished service in Medina. Ella Canavan Elementary was dedicated in her honor, and she passed away shortly after in 1964.
Miss Ella was the definition of passionate about teaching. She even taught for five years without pay before kindergarten was a part of the school district. Her dedication to teaching and encouraging literacy is a legacy that lives on in Medina today.