Cannon School

Cannon School

Go Beyond
5801 Poplar Tent Road
Concord, North Carolina
United States
Type Private
Established 1969
Headmaster Matthew E. Gossage
Faculty 95
Number of students 995(2015–2016)
Color(s) Maroon & Gold          
Athletics conference NCISAA
Mascot Cougars

Cannon School an independent, nonsectarian, college preparatory institution serving students in junior kindergarten through grade 12.[1] The school enrolls approximately 900 students for the 2012–2013 school year.[2] Cannon School is located in Concord, North Carolina in Cabarrus County, on a 65-acre (260,000 m2) campus on Poplar Tent Road near the Cabarrus/Mecklenburg county line. The school is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[3] and the Southern Association of Independent Schools.[4]

The current head of school is Matt Gossage, who took the position in 2006.[5]

About the school

Cannon School is made up of three separate "divisions":

Campus facilities feature approximately 60 classrooms, two media centers, a multipurpose auditorium, a lecture hall, four computer labs and a technology center, four music suites, three art studios with a dark room and pottery area, six science labs, a full-service dining center, a dance studio, and two gymnasiums.

Recent additions include an enlarged Upper School building with 18 new classrooms, state-of-the-art science labs, an arts wing featuring spacious and light-filled art studios, enhanced sports facilities that include a new track and athletic field with stadium lights, and a new entrance.

Cannon School has developed a sister school exchange program with Tianli International School of Luzhou, Sichuan, China. Each year, since 2004, local families host Chinese students and teachers in their homes during week-long visits to Cannon School and other points of interest around the Carolinas.[6]

More than 50 percent of Cannon students live in the Lake Norman area while one in five come to Cannon from Charlotte, Kannapolis, and Salisbury; one-quarter live in Concord. Cannon’s 19 buses cover four counties with pick-up points in the Concord, Davidson, Huntersville, Mooresville, University City, and Salisbury areas. Buses stop in The Point, The Peninsula, Greenfarm, River Run, Skybrook, Highland Creek, North Stone, and numerous other neighborhoods.

Educational philosophy

The Cannon School community instills academic excellence and personal responsibility, inspires athletic and artistic accomplishment, and promotes a respect for diversity within a challenging and safe educational environment.

Core values: Courage, Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Passion, Kindness


Cannon School was founded in 1969 as Cabarrus Academy. The school was located in the historic downtown Concord residence of local textile entrepreneur J.W. Cannon. In 1994 the school relocated to its current 65-acre (260,000 m2) campus in the northwestern corner of Cabarrus county, and in 1998 the Cabarrus Academy was renamed Cannon School.

Originally a school for junior kindergarten through eighth grade, Cannon expanded throughout the 1990s and graduated its first senior class in 2002. (Note: First "new" senior class. As Cabarrus Academy, the school did graduate seniors in its earlier years.)

Cannon School instituted an enrollment model in November 2006 that capped overall student enrollment at less than 1,000, but expanded the middle school and upper school.


Cannon School offers small class sizes with a 9:1 student/teacher ratio. More than half of Cannon School's 95 full-time faculty members hold master's or doctoral degrees.

In 2009, 386 Advanced Placement (AP) exams were administered. The average combined SAT score of Cannon students between 2002 and 2008 is 1340, more than 200 points higher than Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cabarrus public schools, as well as above the state and national average scores. Cannon students averaged above the 90th percentile in every category on the national Education Records Bureau standardized test for students in grades one through eight.

Cannon School offers Mandarin Chinese classes in the Middle School and Upper School.

The school provides before- and after-school enrichment programs.


Teachers at every grade level engage in interactive instruction through use of iPad and iPad 2s, video, audio, multi-media, graphics, SMART Boards, or computer lab equipment.

Cannon's wireless laptop environment enables Upper School students to learn and communicate 24/7 on laptops provided by the School. In addition to computer labs, every Lower School and Middle School classroom has Internet access.

The Upper School Library provides access to powerful electronic research databases.


Junior Kindergarten-Grade 4 students receive extensive art and music instruction by full-time instructors in large, light-filled studios. Students in Grade 5-Grade 12 can choose from 11 choral and instrumental groups, and numerous visual arts, drama, and dance class offerings.

Cannon students have received regional and state awards for visual arts and excellent ratings in band, choral, and orchestral competitions. Cannon was one of 40 U.S. high school drama programs to perform at the renowned Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.


The Cannon School athletic program fields more than 30 sports teams in the Middle and Upper Schools, including 18 varsity teams. Teams compete in football, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, track and field, cross country, lacrosse, golf, baseball, softball, cheerleading, and volleyball. Cannon's sports teams are known as the Cougars - their colors are maroon and gold. (In early years, when the school was still Cabarrus Academy, the mascot was the road runner.)

Cannon School began fielding Middle School and junior varsity football teams beginning in the 2008-09 school year and a varsity team in 2009-10.

The Cannon School Cougars compete in the 3A division of the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA), and is currently a member of the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA), along with Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, and Providence Day School. Though their opponents are predominantly other independent schools, Cannon occasionally schedules games with nearby public high schools.

State champions 2001–2011 in basketball, cross country (three-time), tennis, softball, swimming (five-time), golf (three-time), and track and field (four-time); four-time Wachovia Cup winner; individual recognition of students and coaches including Wendy’s High School Heisman nominations and All-Area recognition by the Charlotte Observer. Athletes have been awarded locally and nationally for exceptional academic performance.


  1. "Cannon School to host open house". Salisbury Post. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  2. Groover, Jessica (22 August 2011). "Cannon School opens with higher enrollment". Concord-Kannapolis Independent-Tribune. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  3. "Institution Summary". Southern Assoc. of Colleges and Schools. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  4. "SAIS Member Schools (search)". Southern Assoc. of Independent Schools. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  5. "Several county private schools are available". Salisbury Post. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  6. Groover, Jessica (5 February 2010). "Chinese students share culture with Cannon School". Concord-Kannapolis Independent-Tribune. Retrieved 9 December 2011.

External links

Coordinates: 35°24′32″N 80°40′25″W / 35.4089°N 80.6735°W / 35.4089; -80.6735

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