Suzanne Cannon has been elected the new president of Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education.
The unanimous selection came at Tuesday night’s YPS board meeting.
This marks the third time Cannon has been president as she starts her 10th year on the board.
Chris Cunningham was elected vice president, Michele Hawthorne was elected clerk and Leonard Wells (the previous board president) was elected deputy clerk.
There is a vacancy on the YPS board after Rex Van Meter’s term expired last month and no candidate filed for the Post 5 seat in the annual school board election. Board members hope to make an appointment to that position at their August meeting.
Cannon thanked Wells for serving four times as board president, saying he’s served the district with distinction.
“He and I have served together on this board for a long time together and he is always a pleasure to work with,” she said.
The new YPS board chief also thanked YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth for his leadership and care through this global pandemic, which have been a “guiding light out of the morass of confusion and fear.”
“Your job involves so many moving pieces,” she said. “We have a strong administrative team to help with the myriad of moving pieces and things that must be done, some of the things not ever done in public education before.”
YPS administrators like Lance Haggard, Diana Lebsack, Dr. Jason Brunk, Jim Fenrick, and other members of this team have “served tirelessly” since the virus began and changed the landscape of public education, she added.
“This is truly a hard time to lead and I think I can speak for my fellow board members in saying how much we truly appreciate the time, care and love for our kids that you exhibit.”
Cannon looks forward to working with Dr. Simeroth and other YPS administrators “as we navigate the ever-swirling waters of this pandemic and the measures we must take to keep our staff and children safe.”
With two grandchildren in the Yukon school district, Cannon said she wants all YPS children to return to a normal school year this August.
“That’s what they want, it’s what we all want,” she said. “Is that what we’re going to get? Probably not.
“Due to the COVID virus and all of the things out of our control, we are all going to have to work together, be patient and kind to each other and navigate these uncertain times as best we can, together.”
Cannon advised YPS patrons to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
She closed her comments by asking people to wear a mask, wash their hands and practice physical distance.
Cannon was first elected to the YPS Board in 2011 and represents Post 1. Cannon is the owner and executive director of Counseling and Substance Abuse Services in Yukon; is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed alcohol/drug counselor.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma City University and a Masters of Human Relations degree from the University of Oklahoma.