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Letter from the Head of School Dear Cannon Community, Innovate. Innovating. Innovation. I am intrigued with our selection of innovation as a theme for this edition of The Magazine of Cannon School. The word itself intrigues me. The running wager at Cannon involves the odds on how many times a month I will refer back to the etymology of a word. Granted such an approach and a repetition of said approach do not reflect innovation. But I have found gaining a sense of a word’s origin can lead to interesting passageways in our day and time. As we approach the official celebration of our 50th anniversary as a school, there just may be something for us with innovation. MATTHEW E. GOSSAGE HEAD OF SCHOOL

Innovate, at its earliest form, breaks down to in (into) + novate (new; think about novel or novice). So in its original form the word innovate meant “into the new.” What I find fascinating is that early on the word innovate became associated with making changes in the established. To create is to make new from nothing; whereas to innovate is to renew something already in existence. What is intriguing for me is how engaging in a journey of growth invites and even embraces innovation. Ours is a school of tried and true practices. Ours is a school that is constantly approaching the tried and true practice with a mindset of innovating and renewal. During our fifty years of growth, we have continually asked the question of how the established can become more meaningful and more relevant. Take the time in the next several weeks to work your way through this magazine. Go slowly. Look at the examples of practices, spaces, and individuals that have experienced the thoughtful touch of innovation. There are important stories and important models. They encourage us in our personal and professional lives to think about how we move into the new without losing who we are. Sincerely,


EDITOR Amy Reiss Marketing and Communications Manager

CANNON MAGAZINE WINTER/SPRING 2019 Cannon Magazine is published semiannually by the Office of Advancement. Send address changes to

EDITORIAL STAFF Beth Levanti Director of Marketing and Communications





Creativity, Collaboration, Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Picture of Innovation. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Innovative Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 There’s an App for That . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 A Different Approach to Junior Kindergarten. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Big Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


A Different Kind of Coach: Academic Coaching and Learning at Cannon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Very Well: The Importance of School Wellness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Case for the Multi-Sport Athlete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Musical Morrisons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The Cannon Fund. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Alumni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28


COVER: Sixth graders Phenix Brown, Devin Bell, and Kenan Bullard learn how to solder as part of their science unit on phase changes. Cover photo courtesy of Emby Taylor Photography. Cannon Magazine thanks Emby Taylor Photography for capturing images of the Cannon School community throughout the year, many of which are used in this issue. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 3

Robotics Club members Victoria Schneider ’20 and Tyler Chase ’19 work on the robot they will use to compete at the First Tech Challenge Tournament later this winter.

Creativity, Collaboration, Community The Mill @ Cannon School Sets the Course for Innovative Learning The first thing you notice is the noise. Wind your way to the back of campus, beyond Andrews Strength and Conditioning Center, and your ears will alert you to what’s happening inside the low-slung red building, formerly known as The Outback and now named The Mill. A cacophony of power saws greets you, drifting through the giant garage doors which have been opened to expose the guts of this newly-imagined building that looks absolutely 4 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

nothing like it did a year and a half ago, when it humbly hosted classrooms of eighth graders. Although the exterior is the same, the inside is completely new—a space designed for Upper School students to engage in maker activities, robotics, media arts, videography, circuitry, electronics, and virtual and augmented reality.

Moving Forward with Curriculum Long before The Outback became The Mill, Director of Institutional Technology Bill Donovan recognized that there was a gap in curriculum for Upper School students who might be inclined to take an elective in the technical realm. “We had kids coming out of a wonderful Middle School program in which they had access to the ThinkTank (the Middle School makerspace), and they developed interests in certain areas—but they didn’t have a means to explore them in the Upper School,” he said. “There wasn’t an opportunity for them to take a class like coding or computer science until they were juniors or seniors and had reached the AP level. We wanted to make sure that the kids coming out of

Middle School had an opportunity to build on the skills they learned there.” Multiple sections of a Creative Design and Engineering class were offered beginning in August 2017 to help fill the void for freshmen and sophomores.

Not Exactly Run-of-the-Mill In August 2016, a group of parents stepped forward and the wheels were set into motion for the $3.8 million Imagine Tomorrow capital campaign, which raised money to construct a new Middle School addition as well as reoutfit The Outback building as an Upper School technology studio. Construction was finished this past summer, and the doors opened in August. Step inside the 5,000 square-foot Mill and you’ll spot innovative, hands-on learning in every corner. The Media Productions class is busy editing concept videos they recently captured. Media Arts students huddle over their Macs, manipulating artwork in Photoshop. And follow that everpresent drone of saws to discover the Creative Design and Engineering I class building life-size reindeer from lumber.

Teegan Lutze ’20 programs an augmented reality sand table to become a real-time topography map.

In August, Cannon School announced a partnership with Skookum, the Charlotte-based digital transformation and innovation firm, to name the school’s newly-renovated technology studio. Co-founders of Skookum and Cannon parents Bryan Delaney and James Hartsell were on hand to announce the new technology space would be called “The Mill @ Cannon School.”

Skookum founders and Cannon parents James Hartsell and Bryan Delaney, along with their wives Leah and Holli, pose in The Mill at the Imagine Tomorrow Grand Opening in August.

“The Cannon name has been synonymous with innovation and community for over 100 years in Cabarrus County. The reason Cannon Mills was able to become the success story it was is because James William Cannon took a chance to innovate,” said Hartsell.

“We, at Cannon School, find ourselves at a unique inflection point, not only in our own future but also more globally in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that will challenge how we educate and prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow,” Hartsell continued. “We believe this new facility has the unique opportunity to not only evolve the manner by which our children can grow and learn, but also significantly bolster the impact Cannon has on our surrounding community. So in the interest of connecting the legacy of the Cannon name to the future of what we hope to achieve at this school, we have chosen to name this building ‘The Mill @ Cannon School.’” A leadership gift made by the Delaney and Hartsell families ensured naming rights of the space. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 5

Jackson Maynor ’21 and Justin Thompson ’19 get ready to launch a gourd as part of the Creative Design and Engineering class’s “Punkin’ Chunkin’ Challenge,” in which students designed and built catapults, trebuchets, and ballistas.

Hands-On, Brains-On The hands-on approach that happens in The Mill is intentional, especially after the last twenty years have shown a massive decline in collaborative, project-based learning. Many believe that the skills lost in the process will be detrimental to our students’ futures. “Kids need time to imagine, create, and share,” said Upper School Makerspace Facilitator Mush Hughes. “Being able to take your imagination and make something out of it is important both emotionally and spiritually—it creates a fulfilling human experience. Skills like the ones you learn in makerspaces are incredibly necessary because unfortunately in the future, automation and artificial intelligence will be able to do a lot of the acts of looking up stuff, changing it slightly, then spitting it back out. Our students need to learn how to come up with new, creative solutions.” A recent project that Mr. Hughes did with his Creative Design and Engineering classes illustrated the skill sets he believes are so important for the future. “I asked the kids to design and build a machine that would chunk a pumpkin. 6 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

They couldn’t use gas or fuel, but other than that, it was pretty much up to them,” he said. “Groups came up with their own designs for catapults, trebuchets, and ballistas, did engineering research around weak points, tested the designs on a smallscale, then built life-size models. We then tested the process while the whole Upper School watched, to see whose design could actually chunk a pumpkin. It was the epitome of the process I want to see the kids be able to do.”

An Exciting Future Mr. Hughes believes the future is bright for The Mill. Taking cues from a class he’s taken on design thinking, he plans on more exploration, planning, reflecting, and sharing. He’s excited about incorporating more of the visual arts, including textiles and digital design. He’s also counting on students helping map out the course of future projects through their victories and what he dubs “spectacular failures.” “Those are the best learning experiences out there,” he said with a smile.

The Mill @ Cannon School Fabrication Studio Where “all the noise and all the mess� happens. Includes computer numerical control (CNC) machines, drills, impact drivers, an angle grinder, jointer, planer, belt sander, drill press, and lathe, plus jig, circular, track, band, table, scroll, and hand saws.

Media Production Studio Home base for the media productions class, this space features cameras to capture artistic photography and audio and video recording equipment, allowing students to create an audition tape and record original music or an original video short.

The Makerspace houses our virtual reality station complete with an Oculus Rift headset, textile equipment like a sewing machine and a serger, as well as circuitry accessories including microbits, arduinos, and raspberry pis. The Makerspace is also home to a robot prototyping kit and two FTC (First Tech Challenge) kits.

The Project Room is a space which houses the laser cutters (used for rapid prototyping) and vinyl cutters (used for customization and personalization). You can find our 3-D printers here as well, which help our students bring their digital 3-D designs to life.

Digital Media Lab All visual arts students meet in this space complete with eighteen iMacs, learning the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and Illustrator) to explore principles of graphic design. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 7

“Here, my Junior Kindergarten buddy is wearing the virtual reality goggles and visualizing that Cannon is his home for the next thirteen years. He’s looking ahead and sees me, a senior who is graduating—just like he will one day.” – Gabe Ortiz ’19

The Picture of Innovation

The Media Productions Class at Work This year, The Mill provided a new home for the Media Productions class, an arts course that has long been taught by Mr. Eric Ruddy. The space allowed for the class to dive even deeper into topics such as video and audio editing, website design, and photography. With the help of Mr. Tram Tran, Cannon’s Manager of Information Technology and a professional photographer who assists with this aspect of the course, we asked students in the class to use their developing photography skills to capture an image and present it in an innovative way. As you can see from this gallery, their skills are pretty amazing!

“I had a cool idea about taking a Cannon football player and essentially capturing the Cougar spirit. I took a picture of Gabe, a football player, in a three-point stance, then took a pic of our cougar, Calvin, and then composited the two pictures so Calvin is a shadow over Gabe to show how the spirit of Calvin the Cougar is in Gabe. I lowered the opacity of Calvin and layered it over Gabe, then made Calvin look brighter by taking a less opaque paint bucket, and put white over Calvin, then edited it in Adobe Lightroom.” – Mason Waite ’20

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“We decided to do light painting, which is the photographic technique of moving a light source—in this case, the flash on our phones—to create the crown on Sam’s head. Then we took a long exposure photo to capture the scene.” – Patrick Dodds ’19, Griffin Jones ’20, and Tyler Smith ’22

“I liked the idea of shooting someone younger with a book, so I set it up so the light coming out of the book portrays knowledge. I used a technique called bokeh, an aesthetic blur quality, to achieve it.” – Haley Bayer ’21

“I wanted to take a picture that would capture the Cannon landscape, but in an innovative way, so I decided to capture Randy Marion Field in all different types of weather—blue sky, pouring rain, grey clouds and snow. I worked it together in Photoshop.” – Caeden Otey ’22

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Innovative Approaches Middle School Uses the ThinkTank for Inventive Learning In the corner of the Middle School ThinkTank, a fifth grader leans over a 3-D printer, eyes glued on the piece of plastic which is quickly taking the form of a tiny hedgehog. A few feet away, a sixth grader finishes using the vinyl cutter to create her name in a fun font and affixes the final product to a water tumbler. She hears a quiet buzz and glances up to spot a mini-drone, which a student is guiding through a hula hoop hanging from the ceiling. Such is a typical day in the ThinkTank, where creativity and learning meet in the eager hands of our fifth through eighth graders. Since “The Tank” opened three and a half years ago, Middle School teachers have learned what an incredibly valuable resource the space is and integrated “ThinkTank learning” into their curriculum. Read on to discover how they’re incorporating innovative practices to help their students better understand everything from Morse code to pH balance.

Fifth-grade students in Mr. Paul Borowicz’s History class recently covered a unit in which they learned how geography affected the development of societies and how that translates to today. The understanding of various geographical features— such as rivers, bays, canyons, or deserts—was an important component. Mr. Borowicz had students create virtual reality landscapes that contained these features. They then toured each other’s landscapes using the VR goggles and identified what they saw in their classmates’ work. 10 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Mrs. Elizabeth Northrup noticed that her seventh-grade science students struggled with understanding the importance of pH levels, so she decided to create a project that would help them better grasp the concept. She used some grow towers (built by students in the ThinkTank several years ago for a different project) and had each student plant a row of arugula, lettuce, basil, swiss chard, and spinach. Each week, a different student was responsible for checking water levels and testing, recording, and adjusting the pH levels in the tower. The plants were then harvested and could be donated to Flik or a food bank, sold at a farmers market, or taken home for dinner.

Fifth-grade English teacher Mrs. Annalee Taylor knew that learning parts of speech might be a little dry, so she hit the ThinkTank to give the topic a creative spin. Each student took a piece of painted wood and used the computer numeric control (CNC) machine to carve a word. Students then glued magnets to the back of the words and, in conjunction with a poetry unit, created free-form poems on a magnetic wall.

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Each year, sixth-grade science teachers Mr. Donnie Hayes and Mrs. Wendy Benz and Dean of Innovation and Technology Mr. Leigh Northrup teach their students how to solder, so they can better understand phase changes like freezing and melting. By applying heat energy to a solid, causing it to melt or liquify— then watching it cool and solidify again—students get a better understanding of the changing states of matter.

Mrs. Chase O’Brien’s sixthgrade English students formed book clubs in which they read novels featuring characters with disabilities, then created podcasts to better educate the general public about these disabilities. After they finished reading their books, the groups wrote scripts in which each student played a different role—one was the main character, another was a sibling, best friend, or parent, one was an expert in the field of the disability, and one was the interviewer. The groups learned how to use audio equipment to record themselves acting out the script and then “broadcast” it to classmates. 12 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Fifth-grade science students in Mr. Jeremy Mattsson’s class use the 3-D printer in the ThinkTank to create 3-D printed atoms. After introducing the periodic table, students are assigned a specific element, then use the online software program TinkerCAD to design each atom. Each has a specific number of holes, which represent how well an atom will connect with another. After creating the models in the 3-D printer, students link together the atoms to create different molecules or compounds.

Seventh-grade math teacher Mr. Michael Helfant introduced 3-D figures in a geometry unit using a sweet treat—gingerbread! In the classroom, students used area and surface volume to design the abodes to specific dimensions. They then took to the ThinkTank and tried to replicate the dimensions using real gingerbread.

In the first and second trimester of Mr. Mike Hoffman’s eighthgrade History class, students learned about communication and rapid change as part of the westward expansion of the United States. They then visited the ThinkTank to build telegraphs, using raw materials and tools. Each group then practiced sending Morse code messages, timing how long it takes to tap out the information and comparing that to how many messages their predecessors in the 1800’s would have sent in the same duration. “It’s a great exercise in what communication looked like and how quickly technology can change,” said Mr. Hoffman. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 13

There’s an App for That How Seesaw Connects Lower School Students and Families

Wander into any Lower School classroom, and you’re likely to spy a student armed with an iPad which is directed at a piece of his own work. You’ll also hear him as he narrates his thinking process—for example, how he arrived at an answer to a math problem or how he created a 3D model of a penguin during Hub Time. So why, exactly, is this student documenting and recording his work? It’s all part of the Lower School’s initiative to use Seesaw, an interactive app that allows students to create digital online portfolios and share them with teachers and families. It works like this: a student is working on a Reader’s Theater piece, writing a script that will be presented to her class at a later date. She picks up her iPad, opens the Seesaw app, and begins recording herself reading the script she’s written. She then shares the video with her teacher and family, who get a notification on their phone and can immediately view and comment on the work. This quick visual peek into how Lower School students spend their school day is enormously helpful for both parents and teachers, who can not only see works in progress, but also provide immediate feedback and encouragement. “Seesaw is great for student ownership and agency,” said Melissa Fox, Lower School Dean of Studies. “Our kids can decide what they want to share and then look back over their portfolio throughout the year to see how they’ve grown.” “Parents are getting a clearer picture of what their children are doing in class every day. They may hear about it later, but the app allows children to talk about what they are doing in real time.”

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A Different Approach to Junior Kindergarten Peek into one of the two Junior Kindergarten classrooms nestled at the end of the Lower School hallway, and what you see is sure to put a smile on your face. Pearl Norris is quietly playing with a set of Russian nesting dolls. Samuel Moncada leans over a water table, pouring liquid from one container to another. Mrs. Courtney Weber is snuggled in the corner, reading a book to a small group who listen in reverent silence, eager for her to turn the page.

name while the other fifteen will head off with Mrs. Powers and an assistant for a lesson in geography or science, while the other fifteen will join Mrs. Weber and an assistant for handwriting and literacy. Then the groups will swap, with the teachers doing the same lesson with a different group. Later, both Mrs. Powers and Mrs. Weber teach a math lesson. The next day, sticks are pulled again, so the groups are different.

What may not be immediately obvious, though, is the intentional and innovative approach employed by JrK teachers Mrs. Rendi Powers and Mrs. Courtney Weber, as well as assistant teachers Mrs. Donna DiMaggio and Mrs. Lori Dorfman. Knowing that early childhood education is profoundly important in setting a foundation for all future learning, the teachers have crafted a day that allows for children to explore, discover, and learn, all the while encouraging autonomy, independence, and self-governance.

“This approach allows us to teach to our passions, and the kids to go deeper into their learning,” said Mrs. Weber. “It’s really exciting that we can both teach what we love.” The approach also allows all students to get to know each other better, resulting in more friendships.

A Structure Like No Other Each morning, JrK students enter one of the two classrooms, unpack, and hang backpacks in an assigned cubby. But that’s pretty much where the single-classroom concept ends. The thirty students are considered one class, with four teachers. Each morning they drift from one room to another through the always-open interior door that connects the two spaces. This allows them the opportunity to explore and learn, as well as get to know twenty-nine other children. The entire group gathers for a morning message, and then the teachers randomly pull sticks with each student’s

Flexible Schedules Both Mrs. Weber and Mrs. Powers are very clear—the first part of the year is dedicated to the children learning the importance of routines. After students understand the concept, though, the teachers are free to tweak their schedules and allow flexibility in the lesson time. This might look like taking more time for a lesson on the Kapok tree that includes a science experiment. “We have the option of changing the schedule to accommodate learning—so it is what’s best for the child,” said Mrs. Powers. “It allows us to look and say, ‘Maybe this is going well, but it can be better,’ and then make those changes,” Mrs. Weber continued. With this intentional and thoughtful commitment to making an already-excellent program even better, it’s easy to see why it’s always a great day in JrK! Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 15

CANNON NAMES NEXT HEAD OF SCHOOL Cannon School is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has appointed Mr. Christopher Jones as the seventh Head of School. The board’s unanimous vote took place on October 1 and was based on the Mr. Christopher Jones recommendation of the Search Committee. Christopher’s appointment will be effective July 1, 2019, and we look forward to welcoming him, his wife, Allison, and their two children, Ella (age 9) and Ryan (age 6), to the Cannon family. Christopher was thrilled to learn of his appointment and shared, “Allison and I are humbled by my opportunity to serve Cannon School as your Head of School. Our family cannot wait to be Cannon Cougars and join you in the Charlotte area just as we embark together on Cannon’s 50th year. I am ever grateful to the Search Committee, Matt Gossage, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Cannon family for the kind and open welcome we have felt. Matt’s impressive mark on Cannon will rightly be long lasting. I am honored to begin my journey of growth at Cannon with the benefit of his counsel in the coming months.” Christopher currently serves the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Lab) as the Associate Director of Schools. Lab is an independent, nonsectarian school enrolling more than 2,160 students in Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12. We look forward to welcoming Christopher and his family this summer!

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Grandparents Day It is such a joy for us to celebrate Grandparents and Special Friends Day each year. In addition to a musical program, our students in grades JrK - 4 enjoy spending time and learning from the older generation through interviews, games, and activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the young and young-at-heart!

Winterm Upon return from winter break, Upper School students spend a week in Winterm, an opportunity for students and faculty to come together and learn in a nontraditional environment. There are dozens of on- and off-campus course offerings, as well as domestic and international travel experiences. Classes are designed around a love of learning and passion for knowledge without the pressure and constraints of grades and assignments. From an immersion experience in Spain to a diving class to a Habitat for Humanity build, we love how our students better learn about themselves through this experience.

News One of the highlights of “The Summit @ Cannon” was a keynote panel made up of prominent community leaders. Their frank discussion inspired similar conversations amongst Cannon faculty, staff, and parents.

Cannon School Self-Study Once every five years, Cannon School is required by our regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), to evaluate our programs in relation to our mission. The process began in August with a survey to community members in order to gather data to inform the process. In October, Self-Study Chairs Fabio Hurtado and Kate Weinstock organized “The Summit @ Cannon,” a highly successful day of professional development that allowed our community to come together and dedicate time to three critical areas: our people, our learning programs, and our place in the community. In December, faculty and staff had the opportunity to gather

and reflect on that day, and in February faculty and staff will use professional development time to give feedback on the data collected over the year that has been synthesized by the Administrative Team and the self-study committee. All of the information gathered from the self-study will be used in preparation for a future site visit from SAIS, as well as to develop a new strategic plan for the school. Many thanks to Fabio and Kate, as well as members of the selfstudy team—Deanna Dobbins, Melissa Fox, Christiana Holyer, Paula Hylton, Joe Trojan, Stephen Wildfeuer, and Julia Finneyfrock. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 17

The Big Picture

The start of the Color Run, in which students race around campus completing challenges—and getting doused with rainbow-hued powder along the way. 18 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Each fall, Upper School students come together for House Games—a day of friendly competition in which our four “Houses” compete in athletic and mental contests.

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A Different Kind of Coach Academic Coaching and Learning at Cannon

When you hear someone say “ACC,” you’re likely to think of athletes who hail from a university like Clemson, Duke, or Florida State. Here at Cannon, however, ACC means something very different—although there are coaches involved. Academic Coaching at Cannon, or ACC, is an innovative twist on an old Cannon idea. For years, Upper School teachers have done grade checks throughout the year. Any student whose grades had slipped to a certain point were assigned to a mandated study hall, in which he or she was required to spend drop periods working in a quiet room, studying. Mrs. Tere Hurtado, Upper School Learning Specialist, and Mrs. Jessica Kulp, Upper School Learning Support Coordinator, knew that there had to be a way to help these students that felt more aligned with the Cannon School mission. Inspired by a program they learned from visiting 20 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Academic coaches Mrs. Sarah Miller, Mrs. Jessica Kulp, and Mrs. Jenny Weakland gather to plan the week ahead.

another school, they created ACC. It works like this: students who are struggling are identified and referred to the program. (This may be due to lagging grades, but also if the student has experienced a long-term absence due to illness or extenuating circumstances.) The student and one of the seven “coaches” create a support plan together, identifying goals they would like to accomplish. Then the student meets with a coach during every one of his or her drop periods for the next three weeks. The academic coaches are an essential piece of the puzzle. Made up of English teachers Mr. Richard Smith and Mrs. Sarah Miller, math teachers Miss Erique Berry and Mrs. Jenny Weakland, and language teacher Mrs. Claudia Velandia—as well as Mrs. Hurtado and Mrs. Kulp—these faculty members are in a unique position to help. One of them facilitates every single one of the student’s sessions, so that child is never relegated to an empty room to chip away at homework. At the beginning of a cycle, a coach talks to the student to really understand his or her needs. “We’ve found that often, the real issue is not necessarily that someone is struggling with chemistry, but instead he’s having a hard time with executive functioning skills, like organization or planning,” said Mrs. Hurtado.

Each day, a coach is in room 606—the Academic Coaching Center—to help the student. One glance inside, and you’ll know immediately that this is no ordinary classroom. Two cozy armchairs flank one wall bordered by colorful student artwork. A massive drafting desk is tucked into a corner. Bar-height tables are lit by hanging pendant lamps, while several large, round tables occupy the middle of the floor. The entire place feels inviting. And that’s exactly how it was designed—to feel like a space you’d want to enter. Everything about the design was intentional, and coaches work with students to decide what part of the room would be best to use if they were highlighting notes or spreading out flashcards. “We want the kids to understand the best way to get things done and choose where that work happens,” said Mrs. Hurtado.

At the end of the three weeks, the coaching team confers with the student’s teachers and advisor to decide if more help is needed. That’s a shorter duration than in the past and can be especially helpful if the student had been deemed arts or athletics ineligible. Mrs. Hurtado said that they find most students can return to their regular course of study and credits this to the relational approach of the coaches. “The old system of just sitting in a study hall wasn’t relational. There was no nurturing, no journey of growth,” said Mrs. Hurtado. “With academic coaching, our kids have one more person who is 100% behind them. These coaches are just phenomenal people. When each student finishes the threeweek cycle, a coach sends them a note of congratulations, saying ‘great job—and we’re still here if you need us.’”

Eye to Eye A Mentoring Program for the 1 in 5 Who Learn Differently Paint, plaster, and magic markers are not exactly what come to mind when you think about learning differences and ADHD, but some Upper School students here at Cannon are looking to change that. They serve as mentors for Eye to Eye, an award-winning national program that pairs high school-aged students with learning differences with middle school-aged “buddies” who have been identified as having similar disabilities. Through the universal language of art, mentor and mentee gather after school once a week and connect while creating projects together. By opening conversations in this environment, the younger students can learn to see their own strengths by connecting with a buddy who has been through a similar situation. This is the inaugural year for the Eye to Eye program at Cannon, which Upper School Learning Specialist Tere Hurtado discovered after seeing a TED talk featuring founder David Flink. This past summer, Lydia Pinto ’19 and Will Zandhuis ’20 spent a week at the Young Leaders Organizing Institute, held at Brown University, to be trained as chapter leaders. Since then, they’ve led their first

Will Zandhuis ’20 and Lydia Pinto ’19 lead Cannon School’s Eye to Eye program.

group of Upper School mentors and Middle School mentees through the program—with great success. “The kids ask us, ‘Did you have this program when you were growing up?’ It’s great for us to tell them that although we didn’t have it, it’s a great opportunity for them to one day become leaders like Will and me,” said Lydia.

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School counselors Mrs. Anne Hoffman, Mrs. Megan Thompson, and Mrs. Jennifer Calvert agree that student wellness should be thought of holistically.

Very Well The Importance of School Wellness

What does it mean for a child to be “well?” This is the question we posed to school counselors Mrs. Jennifer Calvert, Mrs. Megan Thompson, and Mrs. Anne Hoffman. Although these women work with different students— Lower, Middle, and Upper School, respectively—they all agreed that wellness should be thought of in a holistic sense. That means taking care of the whole child—physically, mentally, and emotionally. When these key components are in balance with each other, optimal wellness occurs. Whether your child is in kindergarten or getting ready to graduate, here are some tips from our counselors about staying healthy and being ready to learn in every sense. 22 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Wellness in Lower School Sleep. Mrs. Calvert suggests that elementary-aged children get a minimum of ten hours of sleep a night as their bodies grow and develop. “This is critical, not only to their mood, but also their ability to focus on academics,” she said. Exercise. Study after study shows how essential it is for little ones to move, and move often. “Because we understand a young child’s need for exercise for health and focusing, we offer PE daily and recess every day for free play,” said Mrs. Calvert. Pursue passions, but don’t overschedule. It’s wonderful for kids to participate in an art class if they love to draw or play on a soccer team if they dream about being the next Mia Hamm, but be careful as to how much out-ofschool time is spent on these pastimes. Too much of a good thing leads to burnout and stress. Mrs. Calvert suggests one or two activities a week is sufficient.

When these key components are in balance with each other, optimal wellness occurs. Foster responsibility, even at this young age. There are plenty of ways parents can help grow responsible kids. One is to ask them to help around the house in a developmentally appropriate manner. Mrs. Calvert also urges parents not to rush in and save their child when he leaves his homework or project at home. “I’m a firm believer in logical consequences,” she said. Encourage kids to live our Cannon core values. “In my opinion, kindness is the most important. If you have a kind child, you have a child who shows respect, passion, teamwork, courage, and integrity,” said Mrs. Calvert.

Wellness in Middle School Sleep. Sleep is crucial to overall adolescent wellness. A good night’s sleep (9 1/4 hours of sleep is the ideal number for adolescents) can help strengthen learning and memory, give you energy for the day, and help increase mood and mental well-being. Sleep allows the adolescent brain the time and energy to sift through the day’s events and information and store what is necessary into long-term memory. The more you learn, the more you need to sleep. Nutrition. “Nutritious food will fuel kids’ bodies and minds,” said Mrs. Thompson. “Not eating healthy, wellbalanced meals can affect kids’ attention, focus, and mental clarity. It can lead to feeling grouchy and grumpy, which can in turn affect levels of stress, feelings of competence, and can negatively affect communication between peers.” Help them manage stress. The emotional ups and downs of adolescence can be difficult to navigate. Mrs. Thompson recommends parents help their children understand tools and strategies so they can learn to cope with stress. This includes cutting back on too many extracurricular activities and reinforcing tangible stress reduction techniques such as engaging in a mindfulness exercise (simply breathing deeply in a comfortable position and noticing your thoughts and physical feelings, what you smell, what you hear, what you taste, and what you see). Time management is also important. Parents can help their child plot out assignments, tests, projects, etc. on a large monthly calendar. “Oftentimes when students see how all their work is more spread out than they think, it becomes

more manageable. Students can then create a list in which they order the tasks that need to be completed.”

Wellness in Upper School Begin by listening. From a notification message on your phone to the ping of an e-mail, we live in a society in which we are constantly distracted by technology. But Mrs. Hoffman feels that it is only through the act of active listening that we can truly hear our children’s thoughts and emotions without judgment. Once we’ve truly heard our kids, we can invite them to be part of the discussion of managing their own wellness. Provide guidance for setting limits. Society has conditioned our children to live in fear—fear of a bad grade, a lost game, or of not living up to expectations. Parents can help their children avoid this by encouraging them to set limits. “As parents, we need to remember that although students this age may look and often behave as adults, they still need adult guidance for setting limits,” said Mrs. Hoffman. “Their job, as they grow towards independence, is to push the limits and boundaries and our job, as adults, is to keep holding them accountable and remind them of the boundaries and expectations.” Limit technology/electronics. Research shows how electronics interfere with sleep and contribute to anxiety and depression. Mrs. Hoffman suggests limiting technology use and making sure that all technology is switched off long before bedtime. Sleep. Just like our other two counselors, Mrs. Hoffman cannot emphasize enough the importance of sleep. She cites neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker, who calls sleep “the Swiss Army knife of health.” When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 8 – 10 hours for teenagers. All three counselors agree—by taking care of the “whole child” from the beginning, you can avoid unhealthy pitfalls down the road. As Mrs. Hoffman notes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 23

The Case for the Multi-Sport Athlete

2. They develop character. Sports are a wonderful character builder for all athletes, whether they play one sport or four. But by exposing kids to several different coaches and teams, they are developing a better understanding of how to work with a lot of different people. “When you go into the work force, you don’t get to choose your boss,” said Coach Powell. “Here, you don’t get to choose your coach. Playing for multiple coaches, you will be led by people with different philosophies and adapt to different leadership styles.” 3. They have the opportunity to play different roles. Some student-athletes will shine in one sport, playing the role of superstar. So, it can be humbling when the season switches and suddenly, he or she is no longer the MVP. “In life, we all need to learn to lead and be led,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Pat Moyer. “You need to learn how you can make a team better, even if you aren’t the best one out there.” Sané Davis ’19 concurs. She cheers and plays basketball and soccer and is quick to point out that basketball is her best sport. “I actually like not having to be the best on the soccer team—it takes some of the pressure off,” she said.

Gabe Szilagyi ’19 celebrates a great Cougar play.

Any parent who has run the Saturday morning relay race—shuttling one kid from soccer to tennis, then another from volleyball to cheerleading—can attest that having kids who play multiple sports can be exhausting. However, studies also show there are major advantages for kids who are multi-sport athletes. Cannon School’s Athletic Department has long advocated for our student-athletes to play more than one sport. They believe there are many benefits for multi-sport athletes, including: 1. Fewer overuse injuries. For kids, whose bodies are still growing, the repetition of the same movement over and over can stress muscles and cause injuries. “It’s proven multi-sport athletes are injured less than other athletes, because they are using different movements,” said Shawn Powell, Strength and Conditioning Coach. “Playing one sport, year-round, makes it so you have a really good chance you will have an overuse injury because you are doing the same thing over and over again.” 24 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

4. They have the opportunity to develop more friendships. “There’s nothing closer than a teammate,” Gabe Szilagyi ’19 responded when asked what he thought was the most important lesson athletics taught him. “The greatest thing about being a three-sport athlete is that you create a bigger circle for yourself, with more friends,” he continued. Sané agrees. “I had the opportunity to become friends with so many people from all the classes, from freshmen to seniors.” 5. They develop better time management skills. Gabe and Sané both spoke to how playing three sports “forces” you to manage your time well. “Going to school and playing three sports—it’s like a full-time job,” said Gabe. “I know I have to take advantage of the time Cannon gives me, like during student choice or a drop, to do my work. Time management has been my biggest challenge—but also my greatest accomplishment.”

Sané Davis ’19 drives the ball up the court.

The Musical Morrisons Sisters Excel in State and National Ensembles By Erin Kidd, The Independent Tribune Molly Morrison ’21 and Anna Ruth Morrison ’20

Concord, N.C. - The Morrison family sure is musical. Sisters Anna Ruth and Molly Morrison said their mother and grandmother were singers growing up and the Cannon School students are continuing that tradition by excelling in the arts inside and outside of school. First off, there’s Anna Ruth, who has been playing the viola since the fifth grade. The junior takes lessons outside of school and plays in the Cannon orchestra. And this year she made 4th chair and performed with the North Carolina All-State Orchestra. Over 270 high school students auditioned for the orchestra, and only about 70 were selected. To audition, Anna Ruth sent in a video of her playing the viola. When she received word that she was chosen, she was ecstatic. “Any audition is nerve-racking, but especially a video because you can’t see the people you audition for so you don’t know who they are. You don’t know if they are going to be really judgmental,” Anna Ruth said. “So, it was nerveracking, but when I found out I got in I was really excited to get the experience.” The orchestra came together for the first time at Forsyth Country Day School one weekend in October, and rehearsed Friday night and Saturday during the day before sharing its performance that night. Anna Ruth said the rehearsal schedule was intensive but performing with other students who have a similar love for music made all of the work worthwhile.

SINGING ALL THE WAY TO DISNEY Not to be outdone by her older sister, sophomore Molly Morrison also auditioned via video and was selected to participate in the 2018 All-National Honor Choir in November. The concert was held in Orlando, Florida, so the choir also got to visit some Disney parks during the trip.

Molly said her audition song had to be in another language, so she “pulled out” some Italian. She filmed the audition with her voice teacher and was beyond surprised when she found out she was selected. “It’s national, so I was really surprised. To get into it you had to be in allstate ensemble,” Molly said. “About 1,000 people from North Carolina auditioned alone, and there were 49 states represented.” Molly made the all-state ensemble her freshman year, which qualified her to audition for all-nationals. About a month before the concert, officials with the choir sent members about seven pieces to memorize and review. When they all came together in Florida, they refined the pieces to give what her sister Anna Ruth said was a “moving” performance filled with “beautiful” music.

Keeping the Music Alive With a few years of high school left, both sisters said they plan to continue perfecting their musical craft and hope to continue performing in college in some form. And their little brother— who is in the third grade— is starting to catch the music bug. The sisters said he recently began learning to play the piano. They say anyone who is considering trying out for an ensemble should go for it. “The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘No’ and you try again for another thing or it motivates you,” Molly said. “One year I didn’t make it into all-state, so it motivated me more the next year to practice harder and I got in the next year, and I knew my hard work paid off.” “I wouldn’t trade my experiences in the orchestras for anything,” Anna Ruth said. “It’s really hard work and takes a lot of time, but the end product is amazing.” Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 25

The Cannon Fund A vibrant Cannon Fund enhances

Laser Cutter IN THE MILL

the educational opportunities for our students today but also protects and increases the value of a Cannon degree in the future. Gifts enrich the Cannon experience for every student and faculty member by providing critical operating

RESOURCE ROOMS in Upper School Library

support that is not covered by tuition alone. Here are examples of Cannon Fund dollars at work:


Language Arts Supplies


SMART Boards


Textbooks Resource Materials


26 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019








Tysinger Track












security access panels


Updated lighting in CPAC Solar Shades

in Campbell Gallery


phone system

Professional development FOR FACULTY/STAFF


Nurses’ Station



Make your gift today by visiting Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 27

Alumni Profiles Whether it’s creating new solutions to age-old problems or reframing challenges as opportunities, many of our alumni are busy in careers that require innovative thinking. Read on to learn about six of these outstanding young people who are busy changing how we see the world.

Kelci Deddens ’08: Engineering Challenges into Opportunities Over the years, industrial engineer Kelci Deddens has had several interesting “offices”—the Lockheed Martin Missile and Defense Center, Boeing’s Satellite Development Center, and currently, the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Such is life in the consulting world—one never knows where a client might take them.

her land her first job at Boeing’s Satellite Development Center in California. She now works as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy, technology, and engineering consulting firm. Kelci is an Acquisition Strategist for the GPS Directorate for her current client, the Los Angeles Air Force Base, working with her company and the government to support a new program startup within GPS and ensure they run as smoothly as possible. She will soon start a new project in a systems and test engineer role supporting various programs that also fall under GPS. “This is my favorite thing about consulting: the ability to try new roles and projects that allow you to constantly be challenged and learn new things,” said Kelci. “In my career so far, I have learned what keeps me most fulfilled in a job is the challenge.” Kelci Deddens

Kelci studied industrial engineering at the University of Central Florida (and she gives a shout-out to Mr. Alex Segura, her college counselor, for helping her with that decision) and while there, discovered a work-study opportunity at the Lockheed Martin Missile and Defense Center. The two-year internship was instrumental in helping 28 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Kelci’s new opportunity will certainly be a challenge, as she doesn’t have a background in systems or test engineering— but she’s not worried. “When facing a new assignment or problem on a project that you have no specific knowledge or background information about, the most rewarding feeling comes right after you realize you’ve figured it out,” she said. “You have spent much of your time digging up knowledge and data with the help of countless resources around you and your analysis and understanding of it all finally clicks.”

Alumni Profiles Samantha Sarett ’08 Has Work Down to a Science Whether she is pipetting samples or culturing cells, Samantha Sarett knows one thing for sure: there’s a pretty real possibility of failure. As a scientist for Exicure, a biotechnology company that focuses on improving the delivery of nucleic acid therapies to the location and cells of your body where they can be useful, Samantha is well-versed in experiments gone awry.

We have a feeling that we will soon be reading about some of Samantha’s spectacular failures…that turned into fantastic success stories in the biotechnology world.

Matthew Hargis ’08: Not Your Garden-Variety Career When Matthew Hargis did his farm internship while studying sustainable development at Appalachian State University, he was quick to tell his professors: he liked farming, but he would never do it professionally. “How wrong I was in that statement,” said Matthew. Samantha Sarett

After studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, Samantha discovered that she was particularly drawn to the application of materials science to medical problems. After completing a Ph.D in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, Samantha worked for a larger biopharmaceutical company before deciding she wanted to try doing research at a smaller, specialized, and innovative biotechnology company. At Exicure, one can find her designing and coordinating the scientific experiments that make up a research and design project (usually involving reviewing scientific literature and planning timelines), as well as doing experiments.

Matthew began his career back in 2014, transforming four unused baseball fields into the thriving, 2.5-acre Drew Farm, smack-dab in the heart of Detroit. The farm serves as a unique post-secondary school for 18 – 26-year-old cognitively and physically impaired students who work alongside farm staff members and learn farming and foodprocessing skills. During his four-year tenure managing the farm, Matthew oversaw the use of organic growing practices to produce as much as 22,000 pounds of food a year for school cafeteria consumption. Nowadays, Matthew acts as the Farm to School Supervisor for the Detroit Public Schools Community District, which consists of eighty-two school gardens and three larger farm sites—including Drew Farm. “My role now is to continue

So just what does Samantha enjoy most about her work? “One is that I constantly need to and am encouraged to learn new things that are at the forefront of scientific knowledge and medical technology,” she said. “The other is that I get to work with awesome, smart, and scientifically curious people that I can both teach and learn from.” Of course, there are challenges—like the experiments gone awry mentioned earlier. “Far more often than not, the new things you try in science are not successful. It’s definitely taken a while to get used to the idea that the failure of an experiment is not a personal failure,” said Samantha.

Matthew Hargis Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 29

Alumni Profiles innovative plans for the program’s long-term sustainability and success. My vision is to increase our farming operations to provide more fresh, local, and organically grown food for DPSCD students as well as to further improve our school garden program to strengthen participation and provide that service district-wide,” he said. While he spent many of his days on a tractor while managing Drew Farm, you’re now more likely to find Matthew meeting with stakeholders, working to manage grant funding, and researching future initiatives. Despite his new administrative role, he says he still finds time to get his hands dirty! He also takes the time to look at the progress already made. “In a world where food access and insecurity are huge concerns, as well as systemic food safety, teaching people how to grow their own food empowers and strengthens individuals as well as communities.” Though he was at first reluctant to make the move to the Motor City five years ago when his girlfriend got a job there, Matthew believes it to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made. “I came to Detroit for love but stayed for opportunity. I felt and still do feel like an urban pioneer.” Matthew invites any alum who find themselves in Michigan to reach out and connect with him at Matthew.hargis@ You can learn more about the DPSCD Farm-to-School program at

Maren Meyers ’11: “Building” a Sustainable Future A typical day for Maren Meyers is a very busy one—not only is she a Sustainable Business Associate at the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE), she’s also an MBA candidate in Colorado State University’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program. 30 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Maren Meyers

After graduating from the University of WisconsinMadison with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and English, Maren earned her LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) certification and worked at a small sustainability and green building consulting firm in Madison, gaining experience working with clients across a range of industries to measure, improve, and report their sustainability performance. In her position at IBE, she works with a real estate investment firm to manage the sustainability data for their US and European building asset portfolios as well as their sustainability reporting timeline. Maren also works with her team at IBE to provide advice to their client about how to improve their sustainability performance and communicate their social and environmental efforts to key stakeholders. “On a daily basis I work with architects, engineers, managers, sociologists, designers, lawyers, and more,” she said. “I love how this field relies to an equal extent on the social and the scientific. For example, we work to improve and act upon available energy, water, and waste data, as well as facilitate the creation of corporate strategies and goals. It’s fascinating to see how day to day human behavior translates into concrete performance metrics.” In her program at CSU, Maren is tasked with a venture creation program that is integrated into the curriculum. She’s currently working on a business plan that would help mitigate the carbon emission contributions from construction in emerging markets. “We are working off of the knowledge that an enormous amount of building is taking place, and will continue to increase, in developing countries,” she said. “Many of these places don’t have mandatory building energy codes or incentives to build with long-term efficiency in mind. If we could, say, open up markets for sustainable building materials in these areas or make it incredibly easy to manage buildinglevel energy use, global carbon emissions could be cut significantly.” Although Maren admits that working in the context of these huge global problems can feel daunting, the loftiness of her work is inspiring. “In working at the intersection of business and environment, we have a real chance to improve our world at scale, which to me feels like the most important thing to be working on.”

Alumni Profiles Davis Gossage ’12: Making the iPhone More “App”ealing

Megan Wellborn ’13: Innovating Products for the Masses

When interviewing for internships, most college students run through the usual dog-andpony show—employ a firm handshake, make eye contact, answer questions thoughtfully and confidently. When Apple visited the Duke University campus in Davis Gossage 2015, Davis Gossage’s experience was far from an ordinary interview. The Electrical/Computer Engineering and Computer Science major participated in a recruitment “hackathon” in which he was given access to the iTunes song catalog and had 48 hours to build an interesting music discovery application. He and his team built an iPad app that showed song recommendations for people after learning more about their tastes. Davis was hired for an internship with Apple Music that summer, then returned after graduation to work full-time on Apple Media Products.

We may not necessarily think of our trash can, mop, or food storage container as “innovative”—but that’s actually Megan Wellborn’s job. As an Assistant Innovation Manager for Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Megan sees the product Megan Wellborn development process through from start to finish. “I am responsible for uncovering consumer needs and thinking about how Rubbermaid could innovate to address those needs, as well as solve any issues consumers may have with our products,” she said.

Most of Davis’s time is spent working on the podcasts app for iPhone—writing code, screening bugs, and collaborating with other teams to ensure the best user experience. “I’d say the most interesting part of my job is dealing with engineering challenges that only occur when dealing with the scale of Apple and the number of iPhones in use every day,” he said. “I find working on something that benefits so many people to be the most rewarding part of my job, even if it impacts people’s lives in a small way.” Davis enjoys an added job benefit—he can catch a glimpse of someone on the BART or in the park using the podcasts application. “Seeing someone using the app I work on while I’m out in public always make me smile.”

Megan was offered the position after completing an internship with Newell Brands (the owner of Rubbermaid) between her junior and senior year at Wake Forest University. “Once we come up with several ideas around a need, we test them with consumers to determine if it is a valuable idea worth pursuing,” she said. “If an idea passes certain criteria, then it becomes a new product development project. I am responsible for project managing from the development of the ‘must-haves’ of the design to the launch into the ‘real world.’” On any given day, Megan can be found researching new market trends, meeting with consumers to talk about frustrations, analyzing competitive data to recommend the product offering, pricing and positioning, or working with partners across different groups in the organization to deliver on the goals of the project. As is the case of so many people in innovative careers, Megan enjoys the ideation aspect the most. “I find it exciting that I am able to think about a problem, come up with an idea to solve it, and be involved in every aspect of the development process. It’s very rewarding to ultimately see your hard work in stores or out in the field where people are using your product.” Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 31

Class Notes 2006

Kelsey Ross

Kelsey Ross completed her master’s degree in landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and began working as an associate designer at TBG Partners. On a personal note, she recently got engaged to her partner, Matthew Bostwick. The couple lives in Austin, Texas with their two dogs, Baci and Blanco.

Ashlyne Reid

Ashlyne Reid recently published her first cookbook, Granny’s House: My Southern Childhood, in addition to opening a small catering business called Southern Apron Catering. She is also working full-time as a Senior Financial Analyst at Bank of America. Ashlyne is a 2010 graduate of UNC Greensboro, where she received a B.S. in finance and economics, and a 2012 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, where she earned her Master of Accounting.

2009 Kalyne Reid earned her master’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University in May 2018.

2007 Lindsey Dortch Brock lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, Phillip, and hilarious toddler, Cora Mae. She is a psychotherapist in private practice working primarily with millennial women struggling with relationship issues. In October, Lindsey and Phillip ran the Tuna Run— a 200-mile relay road race—with a number of Cannon alumni and quickly remembered that they both turned 30 this year!

Katie Wiebusch Grissom

2008 Justin Weaks recently received critical acclaim for his solo performance in Long Way Down, a play based on Jason Reynold’s award-winning novel. The show ran for just over a week at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

32 | CANNON | Winter/Spring 2019

Rebecca Dayton

Katie Wiebusch Grissom was chosen to be a member of Charlotte Agenda’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2018. She was featured because of the work she does bringing new restaurants, shopping, and other retailers to Charlotte. Katie is the Director of Merchandising and Leasing at Asana Partners and is the youngest director in her company. A 2013 graduate of Wofford College with a degree in finance, economics, and Spanish, Katie is currently pursuing her MBA from UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School and will graduate in 2019. Rebecca Dayton now works as an assistant athletic trainer at Miami

Class Notes University in Oxford, Ohio. At Miami, Rebecca is responsible for the care of the field hockey and track and field teams. This fall, both the men’s cross country and field hockey teams won Mid-American Conference (MAC) titles. The field hockey team went undefeated in regular-season conference play and won the MAC tournament before a heartbreaking loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Fellow Class of 2009 graduates get together for Michael Lloyd’s wedding in Littleton, New Hampshire.

Pictured from left to right: Drew Glenn, Sam Jaszewski, Michael Lloyd, Fil Sexton, Jordan Rubens, and Kristian Andaas (All Class of 2009)

2010 Leah Davis earned a B.S. in Supply Chain and Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University. After graduating, she spent two years working in oil and gas procurement in Houston, Texas. Although Texas was great, she chose Leah Davis to pursue her Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management from MIT and graduated in 2017. For the past fifteen months, she has been working as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group’s Denver office and loves the work! Leah works primarily in the consumer, food, and beverage space and spends most of her weekends skiing or hiking.

Lauren Hunstad recently joined the Charlotte office of the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. She litigates intellectual property disputes in federal court and prosecutes trademarks for clients in the United States and internationally. Ashley Rivenbark, who has been working at a global consulting firm for the past two years, recently transitioned from her role as an Anti-Money Laundering specialist to a Learning and Development Coordinator within the firm. Within her new role, she facilitates employee onboarding and leadership development programs, as well as curriculum development around the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives. Ashley’s passion for diversity and inclusion extends outside of her working hours, when she creates and co-hosts a podcast through the US State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society. The podcast deep-dives into issues of identity and global experiences by interviewing Critical Language Scholarship alumni who discuss how various facets of their identity shaped their adventures abroad. The first episode, “Missing the Point, Scoring the Shot: Mycal Ford’s Experience as a Black Man in China,” can be found online. In October, Seve Gaskin married Beth Nelson in a beautiful fall wedding in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Seve and Beth were first introduced in 2010 by Rosemary Sirois ’10, who was also one of Beth’s bridesmaids. Seve’s groomsmen included three Cannon alumni: Chris Gaskin ’15, Zach Rossitch ’10, and Andrew Krusell ’10.

Nelson-Gaskin Wedding Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 33

Class Notes Many Cannon alumni, families, and even former teachers were also in attendance. This spring, the couple plans to move from Washington, D.C., to Durham, NC, to pursue graduate degrees in business (Seve) and law (Beth).

2015 Sydney Frankenberg, a cyber security major at the US Naval Academy, recently interviewed the CEO of Microsoft as part of a fireside chat with 200 faculty and midshipmen.

Maddie Colcord studied public health, disaster management, and Spanish at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2014, she moved to Charlotte where she worked in public health and hospital administration. Maddie then completed a one-year post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at the University of Virginia and returned to Charlotte to do clinical research in orthopedic trauma. She is now a first-year medical student at UNC Chapel Hill.

2014 After graduating from University of Miami with a Bachelor of Music in Music Teacher Education in 2018, Jesse Ojanen began teaching music to students in grades 2-8 at Albanian College in Tirana, Albania. Angela Poffenbaugh graduated in 2018 from Ithaca College with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in sociology. She recently got a job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, as a reporter, anchor, and producer for the station WJFW. Angela writes, “My favorite part Angela Poffenbaugh about the job is the fact that I’m doing what I absolutely love. I’m getting paid to meet people, learn their stories, and then put it on TV. I just think that’s absolutely wonderful.”

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Sydney Frankenberg

Tyler Haritan recently found out he has earned a spot in the Navy’s flight school. He will be commissioned as a Navy officer after he graduates from North Carolina State University this spring.

2018 Nicki Cusumano just published her third book, Death’s Smile. This book is quite different from the first two she published during her time at Cannon. Nicki is in her first year of college at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Alumni Events

We had a great turnout for our annual Alumni soccer game, held in August.

2008 and 2013 Cougar alumni enjoyed their reunion at VBGB’s this past December! The annual Alumni Holiday Gathering was held at Fox and Hound in December and gave alumni from all grades a chance to catch up.

Our Alumni Jazz Jam this past December was a hit, and everyone enjoyed tunes from our jazz band alum. Winter/Spring 2019 | CANNON | 35

Share Your Favorite Memory Cannon School will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2019-2020. This magnificent milestone is really about you—our students, parents, alumni, teachers, coaches, families, and friends who have boldly learned, laughed, and looked forward to the future together. Do you have a special Cannon School or Cabarrus Academy memory to share? Or do you want to tell us how Cannon has shaped who you are today? Visit, and share your memories. Your stories inspire us, and we may reach out for more information or share them on the web or social media.

Profile for Cannon School

Cannon Magazine Winter/Spring 2019  

Cannon Magazine Winter/Spring 2019