From hospital room to classroom

Canon brings health care expertise to the high school


Russell Hill

Mrs. Cannon works with her medical dummy “Flo” to show students the proper method for placing an IV.

Adrienne George, For The Tribe

Teaching was not the first career choice of Shonda Canon.  In fact, she spent most of her career in-home health care and clinics.  Then she heard that Morton needed help in establishing a health sciences pathway in the CTE curriculum.

“I had a friend who said the school really needed help,” Cannon said. “And I have pretty much overseen continuing education of my colleagues my whole nursing career so I thought it would be fun and challenging.”

Previously, Cannon held positions as a Home Health nurse, a Clinic Supervisor, Assistant Director of Nurses, and Home Health Marketer.

“Well, to be honest, I never really intended to be a teacher,” Cannon said.  “But I like having new experiences and learning about new things. Since I have been a teacher, I have learned so much and I really do like it!”

Cannon says that she has enjoyed being a teacher almost as much as nursing, but they are different.

Mrs. Cannon shows students the differences in syringes and needles. (Russell Hill)

“Teaching is just as important as nursing because we are shaping our future adults,” Cannon said. “But it isn’t a profession where decisions are a matter of life and death. I would say teaching is somewhat less stressful.”

Cannon says that she enjoys being part of the CTE curriculum at Morton, but her classes are somewhat different from the others.

“I do have all the health science classes,” Cannon said.  “But I am the only one who offers full certifications in Phlebotomy and Certified Medical Assistant.”

Cannon said that when she learned of the need at the school, it was not a difficult decision for her to come here to teach.

“This school is close to my home and I already knew many people here in Morton so I don’t feel like a stranger,” Cannon said.

Cannon says that an important part of her teaching is involving parents and guardians in the education process.

“I make phone calls when necessary to parents with both student struggles and praises,” Cannon said.  “I also invite them to participate in specific HOSA functions, and of course, I give all parents my email on report cards so they can email me anytime.”

Cannon holds a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration as well as a nursing degree.  She teaches the health sciences courses at the secondary school and is the school advisor for HOSA – Future Health Professionals.