John C. Cannon

Park Elementary School
USD 405 Lyons
Lyons, Kansas

John Cannon has served as principal of Park Elementary, a pre-K-2 school, for the last eight years, building on prior experience as a high school teacher. Over the course of his tenure, Park has transformed into a trauma-responsive school that centers whole-child approaches and 21st century learning. In partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education, Cannon led Park through a comprehensive redesign process, grounded in the pillars of individualized learning, real world applications, community engagement, and social-emotional learning. Through this process, Cannon led the school in re-establishing its mission and vision statements and identifying teaching practices that could achieve its mission while meeting the needs of the school’s diverse, high-poverty student population. These strategies included integrating time for mindfulness practices, coding instruction, cohort “families,” project-based learning, structured and unstructured play, and a specialized curriculum for supporting emotional regulation. As a result of this work, the school has observed an improved learning climate and a revitalized sense of purpose and joy in teaching and was even selected as a showcase school in the areas of social-emotional learning, community partnerships, and early childhood education. Cannon is a trauma-informed trainer, presenter, and resiliency coach, having trained numerous school districts and thousands of educators across the state. He is obtaining an Ed.D. from Southwestern College and has a M.S. and a B.S.E. from Emporia State University.