Teacher charged with murder in Mooresville stabbing

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 8:24 am

A Lakeshore Middle School teacher is charged with murder in the stabbing of her boyfriend at her Mooresville home Sunday evening. Mooresville police said the stabbing stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Dawn Bridget Kavanaugh, 42, who was Lakeshore’s “teacher of the year” for 2012-13, was arrested in the stabbing death of Ronald Everett Ketchum, 43.

Police said they responded at 6:03 p.m. to Kavanaugh's home at 110 Red Arrow Place in Mooresville, where they discovered Ketchum suffering from a stab wound received during an apparent domestic dispute.

Ketchum was transported to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center then transferred to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Kavanaugh, 42, is a sixth-grade teacher teacher at Lakeshore Middle, west of Mooresville. She joined the Iredell-Statesville Schools in 2004 as a teacher at South Iredell High School and moved to Lakeshore Middle in 2010.

In addition to being Lakeshore Teacher of the Year for 2012-13, she was one of 10 Lakeshore teachers to receive the “Lakeshore Lakers Life Saver Award 2011-2012.”

Kavanaugh had moved to North Carolina from New Hampshire in 2000, and taught at Barium Springs Home for Children where she worked as a teacher, recreation therapist and consultant in the alternative school program and day treatment programs until joining the I-SS.

Monday morning, Lakeshore Principal Chris Penley emailed the following letter to parents of his students:

Dear Lakeshore Middle School parents and families,

This letter is to inform you of a serious situation involving one of our teachers.

Last night, the Mooresville Police Department contacted us to let us know that one of our teachers, Ms. Dawn Kavanaugh, has been arrested and charged with homicide. We are unaware of any specific details at this time, however, we understand that the charges stem from a domestic situation and the incident is in no way connected to any staff or students of Lakeshore Middle School.

This is a law enforcement investigation, and as such, there is very little our school or school district can share. We want to ensure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure minimal disruption to our school, and we are working directly with the human resources office to quickly address staffing concerns. Today, a substitute will be in Ms. Kavanaugh's classroom, but a replacement will be identified as soon as we are able.

While we are shocked and saddened by this news, we are committed to keeping the lines of communication open with you to ensure our students are impacted as little as possible. Our school will have additional counselors available to talk with students as they are needed. We also encourage you to speak with your child at home. If you need any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact us.