He's been missing since he parted with a friend while dirt biking.
"Ed is really unique, he's gruff on the outside but there's a marshmallow inside," Principal Ellen Wong said.
Cavanaugh's combination of hard and soft has endeared him to nearly everyone inside classroom 12 and beyond.
The outdoor experiential teacher has led more than 20 10-day backpacking trips with dozens of students. All the more reason his disappearance on a Rock Creek trail in El Dorado County is so confusing.
"I know that Ed has all the skills to survive in the wilderness. My only concern is that he's a diabetic," Wong said.
Cavanaugh's sister, Deborah Cavanaugh Schultz, says he would never ride without insulin on him. The question is whether or not he has enough.
"It just doesn't feel like a real experience," she said.
Word of what now seems like a bad day dream spread by text between teachers. "We're just counting the hours til we see him," teacher Erin Waddell said.
"He came in day in and day out and did whatever it took to get these kids, a lot of them who had quit on school, to get back into school," teacher Kyle Beckham said.
"We're not going to stop until he comes home," Cavanaugh's sister said.
"Ed, we can't wait for you to come back so we can hear your extraordinary story," Wong said.
It is a story Cavanaugh's teaching family expects him to share with students when they return next month.
He was last seen wearing Fox brand dirt bike riding clothing and a black helmet.
If anyone has any information regarding Cavanaugh, please contact the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office Central Dispatch non-emergency at (530) 621-6600.