Matt Cannon is a 2002 Shaker High grad and a member of the North Colonie Board of Education. He worked for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy before recently taking a position at the Albany International Airport as the director of development and government affairs. He is an avid sports fan, and can be found cheering on the Bison at Shaker sporting events. He and his wife Melissa live in Latham with their two children, Jackson, 6, and Brooke, 3.
Q: Education across the board was disrupted by COVID-19, and there are talks of changing the basic structure of how we teach students. Do you foresee any changes to a typical school day for a high school student in New York state?
A: There will definitely be changes to the typical school day to protect not only students, but also faculty, staff, and administrators. I expect to see a greater use of remote learning tools, but one thing this has taught us — and I can confirm as the parent of a Kindergartener — is just how valuable in-person teaching is for children. With just over three months until the new school year begins, there is plenty of time to create a thorough plan of action that accounts for safety and engagement. I know that North Colonie’s great leadership team, led by Superintendent Corr, will work with the state’s guidelines to make it happen, delivering the best and safest educational environment.
Q: You recently took a position at the Albany International Airport as the COVID-19 pandemic began. How has the airport responded thus far, and what’s the scene there like today?
A: In February before the region shut down, we created a task force at the airport and very quickly rolled out further steps to protect our guests. Deeper cleaning throughout the terminal and restrooms. Plexiglass shields at ticket counters and TSA check-in. Hand sanitizer was made available to all guests. We also put out a policy requiring everyone in the terminal to wear a mask to protect themselves and others. In the past week, we have seen the number of passengers increase for the first time in weeks. We remain committed to providing a safe and clean environment for all, and as our region begins to unpause, look forward to welcoming our travelers back. There is no more valuable economic development asset for our region than our airport.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite professional sports teams and why?
A: Although I could make a strong argument for the professionalism of the Shaker football program, I come from a family of passionate New York Yankees fans—and am already passing that on to my kids. That makes my least favorite team the Boston Red Sox, which is ironic since I worked for them for four seasons while I was at Northeastern University, including the 2004 ALCS which in my opinion never happened.
Q: When talking politics, your name invariably comes up as a potential candidate. Any plans on running for public office?
A: I’m flattered to be mentioned, but at this time, I’m completely focused on my job at the airport, serving on the Board of Education, and most importantly spending time with my family.
Q: Your father has always been a well-known funeral director in Colonie, and owns Cannon Funeral Home. Did you ever consider entering the family business?
A: I had the honor of working occasionally for my dad while growing up and seeing firsthand how ethical and compassionate he is when comforting a family during a difficult time. While I obviously gravitated in another direction with my career, I still enjoy helping him from time to time, and I always try to apply all the business and people skills I learned from him to my own profession.
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