Cannon School graduates hear sincere message

(A similar version of the following story was originally published at DavidsonNews.Net and

by David Boraks

CONCORD – Seventy-six seniors of the Class of 2014 celebrated Cannon School’s 13th Upper School Commencement on Friday, May 23, 2014, at the school’s Poplar Tent Road campus.

NASCAR driver and Cannon parent Jeff Burton, delivered commencement address that urged graduates to be ready for a life of hard work.

Cannon School's class of 2014 with speaker Jeff Burton.

Cannon School’s class of 2014 with speaker Jeff Burton.

Jake Flynn of Davidson, son of Kristin and Brian Flynn, delivered Cannon’s valedictorian address. Vanessa Dane of Mooresville, daughter of Paula and Michael Dane, delivered the salutatorian address.

Burton is not only a Cannon parent, but along with wife Kim last year helped lead a $7 million campaign to build new arts and athletic facilities at the private school. He told graduates to dream, but be prepared to work.

“You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy.”

He told the new graduates not to be afraid. “Every single failure – you’re going to have them – it’s an opportunity for an educational experience,” said Burton, who lives in Huntersville and drives for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Cannon School is a private independent school in Concord, with grades junior K through 12.  Its 900+ students come from Concord, Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville, Charlotte, the University City area, Kannapolis and Salisbury.