Teacher on weekdays, hero on weekends

by Darius Davila | Staff Writer
On a typical day you can find Mark Cannon in his classrooms teaching English. However, what most don’t know is that this highly eccentric high school english teacher does a lot more than just grade papers. Mr. Cannon leads a double life serving and protecting our country in the Military Reserves. However, serving in the Military Reserves and being a full time teacher does have its challenges.

“The biggest difficulty is probably planning for when you go on prolonged orders longer than a week, just to arrange for a sub and create plans that aren’t a waste but that are actually educational is time consuming,” Mark Cannon said.

Sometimes, by meeting the needs of others we can meet our own needs.

“I’d love to be all patriotic and give a patriotic reason to why I decided to join the Reserves, but the truth is it was partially patriotic because my dad was in the military but mainly I joined to augment the teacher salary,” Cannon said. “In fact, it was summer vacation and I needed money, I was getting payed $19,000 a year as a teacher and they convinced me to enlist in the Reserves.”

Despite the struggles of maintaining two very important jobs, Cannon has extracted valuable lessons from serving in the reserves.

“Sometimes the weekends suck, because it’s five days of being at school and two days of the Reserves so I get worn out by the end of it all, the time I’d rather be spending at home I have to spend taking care of other things. I don’t have any regrets about joining, but there are times I wish it was over,” Cannon said. “I’ve learned personal responsibility, and teamwork but I don’t recruit or promote being in the Reserves.”

Some of Cannon’s past students greatly appreciate his style of teaching and believe the Reserves have influenced him.

“I would say that being in the Reserves does benefit Mr.Cannon, it keeps him physically fit and it gives him that extra authority in the classroom. He has been one of my favorite teachers because of his attitude of teaching people, and the way he teaches is very easy to understand. He is also just a really great guy to talk to, you can just go up and talk to him about anything and you can’t do that with many teachers,” senior Thomas Levonius said.

Fellow teachers respect what Mr. Cannon does and have learned a lot from him.

“The best teachers are the teachers that are organized and plan ahead. Mr. Cannon is organized in his own way, he operates in a controlled chaos sort of way, his system may not make sense to us but it makes sense to him. This is my first year teaching sophomore pre-Ap and he has been teaching it for years so he has  been helping me with the curriculum, and i’ve learned a lot from him he is very helpful,” English teacher Daniel Farias said.

Mr. Cannon isn’t the only teacher who serves in the reserves, but Criminal Justice teacher and wrestling coach Miguel Avila does as well.

“Me and Mr. Cannon serve in different units and jobs in the Reserves, I am a military intelligence agent and its usually pretty easy going. It is not as hectic as being at school and having to deal with students and grades, I am just sitting at a desk having meetings,” Coach Miguel Avila said. “I’ve been in the Reserves since I was twenty-five and it has without a doubt been good to me. It helped me pay for bachelor and masters degrees and I got to travel and see different parts of the world.”

Cannon has almost completed his term in the Reserves, and he is ready to finish what he started.

“I am three years away from my pension, although they won’t pay you anything until you turn sixty because they’re hoping you die. I take pride in being in the Reserves and I want to finish it I am too close now to give up,” Cannon said.

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