Canterbury Testimonials: Kai Tomalin and Dr. Kanika Tomalin


Great schools are made up of partnerships among parents, students, and teachers. The Canterbury community is no exception. In this blog, hear from Kai Tomalin, an alumni student, and his mother, Dr. Kanika Tomalin, about what Canterbury’s LEADS program and character education mean to them. 

Kai Tomalin, Current Student at American University’s School of International Service

I am currently a student at American University’s School of International Service where I study peace and conflict resolution. 

As I navigate the world and its complex issues, I am so glad that the LEADS program armed me with the tools I needed to help contribute to building the world I would like to live in. 

Canterbury's dedication to character-based leadership served as a catalyst in my decision to study peace and nonviolence. I strongly believe that part of the reason we do not treat peace as a legitimate goal is because we do not teach people to view it as such. 

The path to global change starts in our communities at home, in our schools, and in the minds of children. The LEADS program helped make the problems of the world addressable. It gave me a path to defeating injustice. 


Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Kai’s mother, and Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of St. Petersburg

Canterbury has proven to be the right choice for my family for the entirety of our children's education (PK-12). This is due in large part to the school's steadfast commitment to character education. 

Leadership, ethics, advocacy, dignity, and service manifest as core elements of the full continuum of the curriculum - and the student body is richly enhanced as a result. Academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities are accelerated and amplified by Canterbury's commitment to service-learning and character education. 

This focus on the development of the whole child produces compassionate scholars who are aware and ready to make a notable impact of positive change in our constantly evolving world. 

It is truly an asset and invaluable gift to have my children educated in a community that extends its reach into the defining elements of their understanding of the complexities of community and their places in it. 

Opportunities for academic discovery and achievement have served as the preeminent priority in our choice of where our children will be educated. However, the LEADS program at Canterbury has proven to be the differentiator that distinguishes the school as the best option for our family, without exception or compromise. 

At Canterbury, character counts and that makes it number one with our family. 

To learn more about Canterbury’s character education program, also known as LEADS, or to explore all of Canterbury’s signature programs, click here.