Mrs. Knuth of Harlem High School doesn't expect recognition for what she does. That was obvious when we surprised her with her Teacher of the Week award.
"She is so in touch with the kids it's unbelievable," says Joe Lennon, Regional Alternative School Director, which includes Harlem High's Night School. "She doesn't work for me one night a week for the extra pay. She works for me because she loves these kids."
Knuth is a Consumer Science teacher by day, Night School Interim Director by night. Working countless hours to help students who need stability, and an alternative way to learn. Already making an impact, one of her new students nominated her.
"It's very heartfelt," says Knuth. "These kids are at the point where they're not going to receive their normal diploma, but we're working to change that. And especially this young man, I haven't known him very long. So it's a complete and total surprise."
Her goal is to make every student feel included, whether they go to school normally during the day, or with another group at night.
"She really goes to bat for these students," Lennon says. "Because they're all good kids at heart. But you know, they're really guilty of making some poor decisions before they come to us. And Carolyn is determined, with each and every student, to make sure that they are successful and they learn."
Knuth says she does it out of the kindness of her heart.
"I do it because it's the right thing to do, not because I expect to get rewarded," says Knuth. "Not because I expect to get paid. But it is nice to get paid. It's the right thing to do. And I'm just that type of person. We're a community here at Harlem and a community includes all students."
Mrs. Knuth says she plans on making sure all of her students receive their high school diplomas.