Tifton Gazette

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April 15, 2014

TCFEE announces addition of new academic chair

TIFTON — According to Executive Director Mike Brumby, the Julian Cannon Chair of Reading and Writing Skills Enhancement was established in 2014 as a gift from his wife, Janet Bowen Cannon.  The goal of the chair is helping students improve language, grammar, reading and writing skills to ensure their future success in the work force.

This is the 12th academic chair of the foundation.  The purpose of the program is to provide exceptional opportunities for Tift County public schools to strengthen and enrich education in specific disciplines.

 Julian Cannon attended Norman Junior College and graduated from Georgia Teachers College.  He began his career in Tifton in 1956 at Tifton High School, teaching social studies and English courses, and serving as a counselor and an assistant principal before being named principal of Tifton Junior High School in 1960.  After retiring in 1980, he served as headmaster of Tiftarea Academy, as a substitute teacher at Tift County High School and as a half-time assistant principal at J. T. Reddick.  Colleagues thought of him as a man with a dry sense of humor, yet one who insisted that teachers and administrators follow the rules, while former students remembered him as a teacher who made every student feel good about him/herself.

Two members of the Tifton High School Class of 1958, Carla Miles and Marianna Keesee, have special memories of Julian Cannon.  Miles commented, “Julian Cannon was a very special person to me because he always made me feel so special.  I realized later that it wasn’t just me he made feel special.  He made everyone feel that way.  He cared for the students, and he made us all feel good about ourselves.”

 Keesee recalls that as the newest teacher, Cannon was made junior class sponsor –the most difficult non-curriculum job – especially because the juniors were responsible for staging the junior/senior prom. Keesee remembers that Cannon worked hundreds of man-hours after school alongside junior class members, creating thousands of pink crepe paper cherry blossoms, and transforming Gressette Gym at ABAC into an oriental garden, complete with mannequins dressed as Geisha girls and a fierce dragon, drawn and painted by Cannon.

“ Today Julian Cannon  continues to be a friend of Carla’s and mine whose opinion we deeply value,” Keesee added.

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Jensen Rainey (left) and Josie Arant will both be participating in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship next week in North Carolina.

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