Some days, our inboxes fill up with useless messages that somehow find their way through the spam filter. Today, though, my inbox has lit up with a number of notes from teachers, coaches, and friends – each one complete with links to some interesting articles and blog posts.
As fate would have it, there’s even a common thread or two among these links.
In a nutshell:
- play and sleep are vital to every child’s development
- failure is okay every once in a while
- schools need to remember that development matters (not just achievement)
- physical activity results in brain development
Here are the links:
Cannon School is a JrK through grade 12 independent school in Concord, NC. Students in Lower and Middle School at Cannon have Physical Education class everyday!
Cannon School sophomore, Noah Edmondson, has helped Cannon’s golf team win its first-ever conference championship this spring. Noah, who has committed to study and play golf at Arkansas after he graduates from Cannon in 2015, was featured in a recent story published in The Charlotte Observer.
Below is the text of the newspaper article written by Sergio Tovar:
Getting his college decision out of the way early has helped Noah Edmondson on the golf course.
The Cannon School sophomore concedes that committing to Arkansas during the fall helped take some pressure off him.
Cougars coach Pat Whisenant has noticed.
“It settled him in,” he said. “He became even more focused than he was.”
That composure on the golf course has made Edmondson, a 16-year-old Davidson resident, stand out on the junior circuit and at Cannon.
After being an all-state selection as a freshman, when he finished tied for seventh at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association’s 3A championship, Edmondson had a good summer, winning the Bubba Conlee National Junior Golf Tournament by five strokes in June. He’s built off of that to average 35.8 strokes per nine holes as the Cougars started the season 5-0 in CISAA play.
“I feel more confident going out on the course,” said Edmondson.
The lefty said his experience – he picked up the sport as soon as he could walk, when his dad put a plastic club in his hands – has been key to his improvement.
“A lot of it is maturity,” said Edmondson. “I’m playing the golf courses smarter. … Golf is a hard sport. It takes a long time to be comfortable.”
Whisenant said he can tell that the fundamentally sound Edmondson grew up playing golf. “You can’t be as good as he is unless you do something like that,” said Whisenant. “There are very few people who can pick up golf and just be really good at it – or as good as Noah.”
Whisenant said that’s a reason why Edmondson is so consistent. His work ethic is another.
“He just works at his game,” said the second-year Cannon coach, a longtime PGA pro. “He gets focused and stays focused. Not everybody can do that.”
Edmondson points to his short game, especially his putting, where he’s noticed the most improvement.
“I feel like even if I miss the green, I’m pretty confident,” he said.
Edmondson also grew a few inches since last year and stands 5-foot-11 now, which helped him add 20 yards to his drive.
He hopes to lead the Cougars in scoring average the rest of the year. But that will not come easy.
Fellow sophomore Will Gordon, Edmondson’s good friend and practice partner, who has committed to play golf at Vanderbilt, is his biggest competition.
Gordon, who tied for fourth place at states last year to also earn all-state recognition, started the season with a nine-hole average of 36 – two-tenths of a point higher than Edmondson.
Senior Grant de Gorter, a USC Upstate signee, and sophomore Anthony Perrino had a 38.1 average heading into the April 30 match against conference rival Providence Day.
Whisenant said that Edmondson, and the rest of the team, benefits from competition.
Cannon, which returned its top four players from last year, has high goals this season, looking to compete for a state title at the NCISAA 3A tournament, which is scheduled for May 13-14 at the Champions Course at Bryan Park in Greensboro.
“Everybody agrees that we have to win a state championship before individual stuff become important to them,” said Whisenant, whose girls’ golf team at Cannon has won back-to-back state titles.
Edmondson hopes he and his teammates will be more consistent than last year, when the Cougars struggled the first day of the tournament, shooting a team score of 313, before settling down to shoot a 291 the second day. Cannon finished third in the state behind Arden Christ School and Forsyth Country Day.
Regardless of how the Cougars perform at states, Whisenant thinks the future for the program looks bright, returning Edmondson, Gordon and Perrino next year.
He has high expectations for Edmondson for the rest of his Cannon golf career and beyond.
“I think he can go wherever he wants to go with this,” said Whisenant.
This copyrighted story appeared on May 7, 2013 in The Charlotte Observer’s Cabarrus News section.
Each month, Head of School Matt Gossage addresses the Cannon School community in “Matt’s Memo.”
This month, Matt continues his exploration of Adaptive Expertise — emphasizing that our world can surely benefit when good people connect what they know to how they live.
The Collective Whole
- The habit “seek truth” found in the middle column of intersection has seemingly flown under the radar. I hope the subjects we teach and our curriculum can introduce and return over and over to life’s bigger questions dealing with purpose, the human condition, and finding meaning.
- The seeking in “seek truth” is so important. I hope we can teach in ways where students develop a hunger for understanding and a desire to pursue understanding until they fully own it.
- Learning for understanding comes with really hard work. Such learning requires more effort than memorizing material for the grade, but learning for understanding brings so much more fulfillment. I always found memorizing to be temporal, while understanding becomes permanent.
- I continue to wonder if the presence of grades becomes the “wet blanket” that smothers the learning life out of students. It is challenging to be flexible, curious, creative, and ultimately a risk taker when the grade becomes the end game.
- Assessment in the real world comes in the form of daily feedback. I am grateful that colleagues offer suggestions and recommendations daily and do not wait until I have turned the project in to tell me what I need to re-direct or re-focus.
- I love when life affords me (or I just grab) the time to think about how I handled a situation, how an initiative has changed things, and how a decision has helped or hurt. The learning that can take place when students have the opportunity to reflect on what they have just accomplished is the kind of learning that can lead to major breakthroughs.
- Assessment actually can begin when the teacher takes the time to discover what the student knows about a topic, concept, or idea as it is introduced. Teaching on top of a student’s misconception or an undetected preconception can result in weeks of frustration and little learning.
- The best support from parents and teachers focuses on the student’s effort and her willingness to tackle the new and the unexplored.
- The capacity to relate with others serves as a gateway to learning in every key stage in life. The classroom offers life’s first opportunities outside of family to share, listen, forgive, and communicate. Cannon must continue to be a place where we think relationally and acknowledge each day there is something each of us can learn.
- Even though we call out and recognize the individual habits associated with adaptive expertise, I hope we can focus on the collective whole of an adaptive expert and the mindset and inner drive that bring these habits together.
Head of School
Read Matt’s Memo online
Cannon School junior, Anna Estep, is turning lots of heads this spring as she leads Cannon’s varsity girls soccer team to what is likely to be its most successful season in school history. Anna’s overtime goal in overtime earlier this week led the Cougars to their first-ever win against conference rival Charlotte Latin. The story below was published in the Charlotte Observer last week.
(Published by The Charlotte Observer (Cabarrus News), April 9, 2013)
Cannon School’s Anna Estep said she doesn’t know why she has a knack for putting the soccer ball in the back of the net.
With 28 goals in the Cougars’ first eight games, the junior is proving she’s one of the best scorers in the area, regardless of the reason.
“She’s got good speed,” said Cannon coach Matt Barlow. “Combine that with her technical ability and her strength, and she’s just hard to stop. … She can score in so many different ways.”
Estep can finish from up close or from long distance as well as from set pieces, and with her right or left foot. She can rely on her power or her finesse. She can spin off with defenders on her back or beat them one-on-one to score.
“Everyone has fits with her,” said Barlow. “That’s why she gets so much attention defensively. Even when she gets their best defender, she still rises to the occasion and finds a way.”
Despite seeing man marks against some opponents, Estep already had six hat tricks – when a player scores three goals in a game – through Cannon’s 7-1 start. She tallied five goals in games against First Assembly, Metrolina Christian and High Point Christian. Estep also scored on two free kicks in a 2-1 win against Charlotte Country Day.
The 17-year-old, who also had eight assists to start the season, said she hopes to keep up her scoring pace against tougher CISAA competition, including defending five-time state champion Charlotte Latin.
“It does put a bit of pressure on me,” said Estep. “But I kinda like that.”
After scoring 36 goals as a sophomore, she attributes her improved performance to her offseason work. To become a better all-around player, Estep focused on developing her fitness and foot speed as well as her ability to score off set plays.
“There’s some aspects of my game that are still weak, and I still need to work on those,” she said. “But overall, I’m better as a player. That’s all you can hope for.”
Barlow agreed that’s a key for her high-scoring pace.
“We haven’t tried to make her a bigger focus,” he said. “She’s a year better player than she was last year. She’s just stepped up her game to where she’s become an even more dominant player than she was.”
Estep, who committed to play in the Ivy League at Penn, also credits her teammates, who have combined for 24 assists, with her success.
Even though Estep takes nearly 70 percent of the team’s shots and scores 75 percent of its goals, Barlow said, there’s no animosity toward her on the team.
“She’s not arrogant,” said Barlow. “She sets her goals high, she works hard, and she deserves everything that she gets.”
Estep has help from a young team that is getting key contributions from freshmen Christina Stylianou, Jena Metwalli, Katie McClanahan and Dina Fahmey. The young players have impressed Estep.
“We were a little worried at the beginning of the season, because we lost some players to injury, and obviously seniors from last year,” she said. “But our underclassmen have really stepped up, and everyone’s playing really well as a team.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Kendall Thomas, who had allowed 10 goals while recording 81 saves through eight games, has come up big for the Cougars, as have senior captains Paige Brown and Leah Baker and junior Juliana Sirois.
“As the season goes on, as the games get tougher, everyone pitches in together and works harder for each other,” said Estep.
Barlow said he hopes Cannon continues to grow to position itself to achieve its main goal: making the state semifinals, which Cannon will host this postseason.
“A great start isn’t as fun as a great finish,” said Barlow. “So we’ll see how it goes at the end.”
This copyrighted story appeared on April 9, 2013 in The Charlotte Observer‘s Cabarrus News section.
Cannon School’s international student program continues to attract students from around the world! We hope your family will consider being a host family during the 2013-14 school year.
All of our international students are carefully screened and supported by well-established student placement agencies, each of which provide a local representative to support host families and the exchange student throughout the hosting experience. You may host a student for a semester or a full year.
Current host families are excited to share their thoughts on hosting with any family that would like to learn more about the experience.
For 2013-2014, we are currently looking for host families for 3 female students in grades 10 and 11. These students are from Iceland and Germany. (Both students from Germany will be here for the Fall semester only).
Interested in learning more? Please contact Bill Diskin, director of admission and financial aid, by e-mail or at 704-721-7164 to learn more.
We hope you will consider becoming an international student host family today!
Most of Cannon School’s 906 students left campus last week wearing sunglasses.
That was after they had participated in an assembly announcing the School’s plans to build new facilities to enhance Cannon’s arts, athletics, and middle school programs. The future at Cannon is so bright, their classmates sang in the video unveiling the project, they’d have to wear shades!
With proper eye wear in place, Cannon School has entered the public phase of a building campaign that will transform the campus and offer students the opportunity to learn, play, and perform in state-of-the-art facilities.
Read more at Bright Futures!
What is the magic of independent schools? What makes Cannon School’s community so special? Answers to questions like these are often found in the little things that happen on campus every day.
The story below caught my eye yesterday. It was originally published in Cannon School’s weekly parent online newsletter, The Cupola. It was written by a current Cannon upper school student.
BUDDIES BEYOND CANNON
By: Caroline Schauder ’16
Caroline wrote the following article as part of her participation in “The Agency,” the Office of Advancement’s marketing internship for Upper School students.
A few weeks ago, Kenan Bullard, a current kindergartener, wrote in her daily journal, “If I had wings, I would fly to Florida to see my senior buddy.” As it turns out, her wish to see her senior buddy came true, but this time, Katie Shaw ’12, a current freshman at Florida State University, traveled to her.
Recently, the kindergarteners sent blank gingerbread babies, inspired from Jan Brett’s story Gingerbread Baby, to their senior buddies of 2012, who are now freshmen in college. The freshman then decorated them to represent the current school they are attending and returned them to their buddies. This is the inaugural year of the new program Buddies Beyond Cannon, started by alumni relations manager Lynda Abel with the help of parent volunteer Jennifer Kramer.
Buddies Beyond Cannon is a new alumni relations program built to maintain and foster the JrK/Senior buddy relationships built at Cannon. So far, they have had a great response, receiving gingerbread babies from UNC, ECU, NC State, UNC-W, Florida Southern, and now Florida State. Mrs. Abel and Mrs. Kramer strive to continue and grow this program in the hope of building lasting relationships between alumni and current students, and eventually connecting the past with the future of Cannon.