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Duluth parent named to national PTA board

Local Parent Teacher Association member Bonnie Cannon has been elected to the board of directors for National PTA, the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the country.

Bonnie Cannon
Bonnie Cannon was recently elected to the National PTA board of directors. (Photo submitted)

Local Parent Teacher Association member Bonnie Cannon has been elected to the board of directors for National PTA, the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the country.

"I joined my first PTA unit in Cobb County, Ga. in 1986. Never did I think that I would ever do more than just volunteer when a warm body was needed. It wasn't long, however, before I was sitting on, then chairing a committee," Cannon said. "And now I'm on the board."

As one of only 29 members on the board, Cannon has demonstrated her commitment to making a difference for the education, health and welfare of all children.

"Bonnie is an exceptional advocate for education and issues affecting children, and we are proud to have her on our board of directors," said Otha Thornton, National PTA president. "Her leadership, dedication and passion will be tremendous assets to National PTA, our members and our board as we work together to support and take action for children and families across the country."

Based in Washington DC, National PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to being a voice for all children, a resource for families and communities, and an advocate for public education.

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Cannon will work with the staff of National PTA to continue and build upon programs and priorities that benefit families nationwide and improve the lives and futures of our nation's children. Cannon will serve a two-year term in the volunteer role.

"I joined the PTA because my mother was unable to volunteer at school when I was a child. She was a trooper who worked at home and raised nine children," Cannon said. "It also gave me a way to get to know my children's teachers and school principals. I continue to serve because PTA is the perfect conduit between parents and schools and schools and the community."

Cannon has been an active member of PTA for more than 28 years. She has served as president of Minnesota State PTA, president of Ordean East Middle School PTA and president of Lester Park Elementary School PTA. In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors, Cannon currently serves as president of the Duluth Council Parent Teacher Student Association.

Her proudest moment on the PTA so far happened this spring when the Duluth PTSA Council won a $10,000 Smart From the Start grant from the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.

"In addition to classroom instruction the grant provides for out of school activities for the families, we are partnering with Olive Garden on healthy cooking classes for parents; the master gardener from Home Depot will teach two sessions on creating a potted vegetable garden; and we will hold two Boot Camps at the YMCA," Cannon said.

Cannon has three grown sons and a daughter in ninth grade at East High School.

"Each [of the boys] attended a public school with an active PTA. My daughter too has always attended a public school with an active PTA. I believe there is a connection between the two. As I always say, 'When you volunteer for the PTA, every child benefits. And the child that benefits most is your own,'" Cannon said.

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