Spotlight: Cathy Knauff, Klein Cain High School

Ms. Knauff is the CTE teacher at Klein Cain High School, and in addition to teaching video game design, engineering, and electronics, she is also the credit recovery coordinator. She is the co-sponsor for the National Honor Society, the Class of 2021, and is on the Board at Klein High for Swim & Dive. Being the dedicated educator that she is, she ensures that her current, past, or any student that needs her assistance is taken care of. As a demonstration of her kindness, she takes time out of her already busy day to offer counseling to those who need guidance or just someone to listen to them.

Ms. Knauff is not only a dedicated teacher but also a kind and thoughtful one that spends her own money to purchase snacks and water to keep in her classroom for her students. She is the teacher that students go to for help and will do everything in her power to assist in whichever way she can. When her students have specific questions regarding college, post-college questions, or need help with their course selection, she is always there to help them. One student said,” She has taught me more about life [in the sense of teaching me about] balancing my money, investing in the stock market, giving to those less fortunate, having a good credit score, helping me with recommendations for college/work and ideas on volunteer opportunities.” 

Her compassionate and benevolent ways are demonstrated in the way she leads the “Klein Cain Family Serves” a project that allows students within the district the opportunity to give back to the community that continuously supports their schools by working together on different service projects. She spends much of her “extra” time coordinating with various places and researching volunteer opportunities for students, so that kids from all grade levels, kindergarten through twelfth, can all have the experience of what it is like to give back to those less fortunate than themselves.

She knows that some students struggle, especially in high school and that sometimes the students that are considered “difficult” are the ones that require the most guidance. She builds relationships with these students and makes sure they know someone cares and values them. Additionally, she works closely with the counselors on campus to help students with their credit recovery. She wants her students to be successful, and she sets expectations and goals to get them on the path to graduation. She helps students with finding vocational jobs or certifications after high school knowing that college is not for everyone. She makes learning engineering fun for her students through her innovative teaching ways. She challenges her engineering students and sparks their creativity by allowing them to work on projects such as designing paper airplanes, paper roller coasters, Lego people, balloon cars, and so much more. She was nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science; however, it was unfortunate when she had to drop out of the process due to a significant amount of damage to her home and her husband being ill. It is very apparent that Ms. Knauff does so much for her students and is deserving of this recognition for being a kind, compassionate, and selfless educator. It takes someone as special as her to shape young minds and lead them to believe that they can achieve great things.