Cannon School students received a double dose of politics last week, after a U.S. Congressman and Senator visited the school, discussing everything from renewable energy to the current federal budget stalemate with students.
U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell spent time at the school April 19, talking to juniors about American history, government and current events, while Sen. Richard Burr stopped by April 14 to recognize seniors Avery Olearczyk and Brianna Ratte for successfully spearheading an effort to install a renewable energy solar panel on the roof of a Cannon building.
Kissell spoke with the class about his work in Congress and the importance of continued youth involvement in public service.
“I believe that we must work to make sure that the generations that come after us have the opportunity for a better life than we did, and I know that these engaged students share that sentiment,” Kissell said. “Their commitment to service and involvement in our community is a sign of the true dedication to a quality education that is embodied here at Cannon School.”
Burr praised Avery and Brianna, who worked with more than 50 scientists, engineers, businesspeople, local and state politicians and school administrators during their endeavor, for their commitment to educating Cannon school and the surrounding community about renewable energy. He also explained the importance of weaning the country off of Middle Eastern oil.
“We are looking into renewable energy technologies because we don’t want to be reliant on one of the most unstable parts of the world, which is in many ways our biggest competitor,” Burr said.
Since the completion of its installation on March 24, the solar panel has generated enough energy to power 28 cell phones all-day for 112 days, or one laptop computer all-day for two days.
Both Kissel and Burr also conducted question-and-answer sessions with students.