SUU to Everywhere

Rachel Cannon (’13/’17)

Rachel Cannon (’13/’17) | SUU to Alternative Education Leader


Originally published on July 15, 2020.

Following her undergraduate education on campus, Rachel Cannon returned to her native Oregon and plunged herself into educating youngsters. She went on to earn an SUU master’s degree in education leadership in 2017, and today is the director of alternative education for the Lebanon Community School District near Corvallis, administering the educational program for some 100 at-risk students K through 12 struggling to stay in their resident school.

She met her husband, Bobby Cannon, at SUU and was followed to campus by two siblings, all drawn, she says, by the small classroom sizes and the quality of education.

Her road to opening the district’s first alternative high school this past year was paved by what she calls an “incredible” SUU education wherein she felt confident in her knowledge of each sector of a school. She previously taught 4th grade as well as high school special education, and has found her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education and her master’s degree in education leadership to be a solid foundation for her success as well as that of her students.

She led the effort to create a program wherein these students feel at home, have their confidence strengthened, and succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally.

“Seeing students who have previously dropped out then attend, pass classes, and learn the skills needed for a future career has been truly an honor for me to be a part of,” she says, noting that she has always been passionate about working and fighting for “the underdogs” of the school system.

“My current position allows me to do this all day,” she says.

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