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School Board District 1 - Tina Cannon

Article Date: 
22 June, 2012 (All day)

With a strong background in finance and a focus on volunteer service, Tina Cannon hopes to make a difference on the Morgan County School Board.  Cannon is running for District 1. Cannon is a professional accountant who worked at a public accounting firm for many years.  She left the firm to spend more time at home with her children.  She and a partner run their own accounting firm, where she provides services to businesses and is able to work out of her home and be close to the needs of her children.  The change has also allowed her to do more volunteer work.
She moved to Mountain Green about 12 years ago when her husband was working for ATK and she was working in Salt Lake.  They were drawn by the beauty of the Morgan Valley.  Cannon has four children, all in Morgan Schools.  
She comes from a family of teachers.  Her parent and two sisters are all educators.  She has gained special insight into the special education programs in Morgan as she has worked with one of her children who has autism.  “He was able to blossom… His pre-school teacher gave him the ability to be in a group.  His kindergarten teacher gave him structure.  His first grade teacher gave him social skills…He is proof of what a good school system can do…I really feel strongly that public education is important…With that involvement in special education, I have become very, very aware of the budget constraints and where the problems are.  There are tough decisions that have to be made.”
Cannon began volunteering when her children entered school.  She has volunteered in the classroom, in the PTSO, and as an IEP coach.  When the Americorp program was eliminated due to budget constraints in the district, Cannon stepped up and arranged for volunteers to fill the gap.  She organized volunteers to help students with reading, math, and other areas.  “Grandparents work really well.  One gentleman makes that the first hour of his day.  He comes and volunteers over at the school, in math, four days a week.  He is fantastic… One hour a week saves the school about $400 a year.”  Cannon believes that as budgets shrink and demand grows that this is an area that can help.
Cannon expressed concern about the decision process for the Trojan Center.  “People always ask me about the new Trojan Center.  It’s a hot topic…I have a hard time understanding the decision process that went into not putting such a major capital expense up for public input, if not a vote.”  She believes that the district could explore ways to use the Trojan Center as a venue to generate revenue for the district.
Cannon taught in an immersion program earlier in her career and sees the benefits of the program.  She is concerned about the ability to recruit quality teachers who have the skills to teach the subjects as well as have the fluency in the language.  She expressed that this may not be the right time for Morgan to begin an immersion program.  
Cannon also commented on the breakfast program. She understands that the program helps those less fortunate.  She is concerned that some of these programs may be counter productive when they are put in place to help those that are struggling, and then the district considers a tax increase on these same struggling families.
Cannon believes that her background in accounting could help the district as it comes to grips with the challenging financial situation ahead.  She is not convinced that taxes are the only way to meet the budget needs of the district.  Her experience in accounting and her experience in organizing volunteers to provide support to educators are assets she believes will provide a good foundation if she has the opportunity to serve.