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January 2021 Employee Spotlight: Lynne Kganetso

Lynne Kganetso smiling in a headshot photo

Q: Where are you from? 
My family moved quite a bit as I was growing up, but I consider Tucson, Arizona home. This is where my parents live now and where we travel when “going home.”

Q: What and where have you studied? 
I studied early childhood and elementary education at BYU for my undergraduate work. I also received my master’s degree from BYU in teacher education with an emphasis in literacy. My PhD is from Michigan State University in educational psychology with a literacy specialization.

Q: Where have you previously worked?
When I was an undergrad, my job was helping to plan events for BYU, like New Student Orientation. After graduation, I was a kindergarten teacher at Bonneville Elementary in Alpine School District for nine years. Previous to coming here, I was an assistant professor of literacy education at Arizona State University for five years.  

Q: Why did you choose to work at BYU? 
I had great experiences in my undergrad and for my master’s program at BYU. I received many compliments in graduate school on my training from BYU. When I graduated with my PhD, I went to another university to be closer to family, but I always felt a draw to BYU. The McKay School is so great, and I really appreciate the faculty and staff. When watching general conference a couple years ago, I had a strong impression to find my way back to BYU. I wasn’t sure how to make it work but feel so blessed with the opportunity to “come home” to BYU.

Kganetso's daughter, Maatla, in a red car with her stuffed bunny
Kganetso's daughter, Maatla. 

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being Mama to my amazing three-year-old, Maatla. She is so fun with a big, bright personality. I am learning every day. Parenting is hard work, and I am always trying to do better. Maatla helps me better understand Heavenly Father’s love and makes everything I do more meaningful.

Q: What do you regret not starting or doing when you were younger? 
Learning Japanese. I went to a Japanese ward until I was 10 years old, and my grandparents spoke Japanese with us growing up. I wish I would have learned it early on. Now most of it has been lost!

Q: Best Halloween costume you have had? 
When I was teaching kindergarten, my mom would always help make me amazing costumes. One year I was Princess Leia with the white dress and hood. It was great! I also had a wonderful Snow White costume. My mom watched the movie several times to get the dress right.

Q: Do you collect anything?
I collect nativities. I love to travel and try to find a nativity in the countries that I visit. I started with an olive wood nativity when I studied at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Sometimes it is tricky to try and find a nativity in Ireland, Botswana, or Chile when you are visiting in the summer, but it is something that makes me really happy

Lynne Kganetso and her family
Kganetso and her family

Q: What is your go-to weeknight meal?
A: Homemade teriyaki chicken and rice. I am half-Japanese, and one way I try to keep my culture is cooking.

Q: Where is your favorite place to go on vacation? 
I love the beach! I also love going to Botswana, my husband’s native country. We visit family and even go on safari together. In fact, my husband and I met while I was on safari during a fellowship in Botswana. He was one of my safari guides.

Q: What invention doesn’t get a lot of love but has greatly improved the world? 
Maybe this is silly, but I love Post-it Notes. I use them in all colors and sizes to write, plan, teach, make lists, etc.

Photos courtesy of Lynne Kganetso