New Faculty Spotlight: Kristen McKnight

Teacher – Third Grade Girls
Department and Program Affiliations: 
Lower School

Asst. Coach, Varsity Swimming

Academic background: 
B.S., Elementary Education, The Pennsylvania State University
M.Ed., Curriculum & Instruction, Vanderbilt University, Peabody College

How long have you been at Norfolk Academy? 
This is my first year!

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator: 
Teaching has always been a strong passion of mine. It probably began the first time I ever offered help to a classmate at school. This passion grew as I began teaching swim lessons and coaching summer league swim teams in high school, and when I got to college and began taking education classes, I couldn’t get enough of them! I think when something is deeply rooted in you, the passion leads you to where you are meant to be, and for me, that has always been teaching. As the old saying goes: “If you are doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” 

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy? 
I am most excited about experiencing a new community of learners. I have only taught at one other school so far, so I am excited to meet my students and learn from my new colleagues. 

Norfolk Academy is unique because… 
...from my experience so far, I have never been in a school that has felt so much like a community. The faculty is incredibly warm and welcoming, the students I have met are friendly and helpful, and I already feel accepted into this wonderful Bulldog family!

Last book read: 
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom… for about the 10th time.  

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working? 
I love running and swimming, and sometimes I compete in triathlons. I also enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring new places. I love tap dancing - which I have been doing since I was 3 years old - and often will try to find masters classes. I am also a bit of a comedian - I have been performing intermittently in improv comedy shows since high school and am looking to break into the stand-up comedy world. Last but certainly not least, I love to cheer on my Nittany Lions every fall during college football season! WE ARE!

Favorite food? 
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese 

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you? 
It would definitely be an animated film, and they would cast Kristen Bell as my voice. 
Fun fact your students might find surprising: 
I lived in Switzerland from ages 9 to 14. While I was there I learned to speak French and was able to travel to some amazing new places like Tunisia in Africa and several cities throughout China.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”