Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CONCORD ó Two members of the Cannon School faculty, Brandon Powers and Kristen Kuralt, have been singled out by their professional peers for excellence in teaching. Both recently received outstanding teacher awards given by organizations that represent N.C. public and private school educators.
Powers, Cannon’s lower school science coordinator, received an Outstanding Science Teacher Award from the N.C. Science Teachers Association on Nov. 9 in Greensboro. He was chosen from among public and private school teachers at all grade levels (pre-Kindergarten through college) throughout the state.
He was recognized for his creativity, innovation and high performance in teaching science and for stimulating interest in science among his students.
“Powers so richly deserves this honor because he has the unique ability to make science come alive for his students,” said Jennifer Calvert, the Cannon School guidance counselor who nominated him.Due to the popularity of his classes, Powers also offers two weekly after-school science clubs, which have waiting lists.
Powers, a Kannapolis resident, has long immersed himself in the world of science. “My childhood dream job was to become a Marlin Perkins or Steve Irwin,” he says.After pursuing a wildlife biology degree at the University of Wyoming and working as a wild turkey tracker in Kansas, Powers taught environmental education in South Carolina and received an American Montessori teacher certification.
For the past five years, he has been Cannon School’s “science guy,” teaching hands-on science labs for students ages 6 to 14.
Kuralt, a lower and middle school mathematics coordinator who lives in Concord, was named Outstanding Secondary School Mathematics Teacher for 2006 by the N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
A committee selected her from among non-public school teachers nominated by their schools. She received the award at the organization’s conference in October.
Kuralt was recognized for making mathematics exciting and for nurturing her students’ enthusiasm. She involves Cannon School students in mathematics fairs, projects and competitions that enhance their everyday classroom experiences.
She has succeeded in motivating boys and girls to excel in mathematics. Cannon School students have placed first in the nation (second-graders), in the top 3 percent in the nation (seventh- graders), and first in the region (fourth-graders) in recent Continental Math League competitions. Every other grade placed in the top 5 to 15 percent in the nation.
Kuralt has been Cannon School’s lower school and middle school math specialist for the past three years. She taught at a local public high school from 1992 to 2000, and first began her association with Cannon School during the 2001-2002 school year, during which she taught high school math.
The Appalachian State University graduate has also been an adjunct college instructor at Montreat College since 1994.