Cordova High kicks off year of 'no excuses'

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 8/17/17

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on Cordova High School’s faculty members.

Seven years after she made “I Have the Opportunity and Potential to Excel” the mantra of Cordova High School, Principal Kathy Vintson is …

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Cordova High kicks off year of 'no excuses'

Posted

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on Cordova High School’s faculty members.

Seven years after she made “I Have the Opportunity and Potential to Excel” the mantra of Cordova High School, Principal Kathy Vintson is frustrated with the status quo.

“I’m tired of seeing students walk across that football field and when I hand them their diploma, I know in my heart that they still haven’t met their potential,” Vintson told students during an assembly program on Monday.

After listing several factors that she believes are hindering CHS students — poverty, abuse, past mistakes, fear, unstable home lives — Vintson declared that 2017-2018 will be a “no-excuse year” at CHS.

The theme for the next nine months will be “If Janey Can, I Can,” inspired by a member of the senior class who is gradually recovering from a car crash that left her paralyzed.

Vintson also invited three faculty members who have overcome obstacles to share their stories during the assembly program.

Kyle Cannon, who teaches 11th and 12th grade English, began his talk by trying to convince students why they should listen and learn from faculty members’ life stories.

“We’ve been through a lot. We’ve done everything you’ve done. We’ve been in love. We’ve been in fights. We’ve yelled and argued and thought our parents were stupid. We’ve done it all, but you’ve never adulted,” he said.

Cannon told students that he was kicked out of two schools in his ninth grade year.

After being expelled from a Florida school system, he earned a GED at 16 and read his first book at 23 to impress a girl who later became his wife.

Cannon, who grew up in dilapidated single-wide trailer and without a father during his formative years, cautioned the students against allowing their past to define them.

“You makes choices about who you’re going to be. You’re not your parents. You’re not the sins of your father. No matter what they’ve done, that’s on them. Your future is on you, and it really does start here,” Cannon said.

He referenced a quote from Martha Washington to encourage students to wage a daily battle against negative thoughts: “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”

“It’s not the situation that really mattered; it was her attitude and her choices in how to react to those situations. So I need you to make good choices. It’s not going to happen every day, but when you don’t make good choices, recognize it and fix it if you can. Let’s battle every day — us, you, all of us together,” Cannon said.