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Meet Master Sergeant Matthew Knight, United States Marine Corps Reserves and Physical Education teacher at Indian Peaks Elementary School, Denver, Colorado.  Matthew is a representative of the men and women who serve (or served) in the U.S. Armed Forces and want to again serve their country as a classroom teacher.


In his drive to become a classroom teacher, Matthew participated in the Troops to Teachers program.

Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.1

Like other service members who become teachers, Mr. Knight brings passion, a commitment to helping kids, and experience to his school. For example, in one of his field experiences in TeacherReady he describes the Field Day that he facilitated:

My principal estimated that at its peak we had around 2,000 people at our Field Day. The most important thing for me was that the kids had a great time and my principal was very happy with everything. I am happy that the kids had an unforgettable last Field Day… My biggest regret was that we didn’t have a lot of time with the media to coordinate all of our activities. [The FOX station helicopter and reporters attended!] I would have liked to have had an opportunity to talk with them beforehand so that we could have kept more of the focus on the kids and not on the broadcast.

Teachers are the most important factor that affects student learning. Matthew’s resolve to keep “more of the focus on the kids” reminds us that great teachers are eager to help their students become engaged learners. These teachers are also the ones eager to improve their teaching skills and re-energize their will because they know this will help their students. These teachers are the ones who are making a difference in the lives of their students. Thus, much like Mr. Knight is a hero to us through his service to our country, in his service as a teacher he is a hero to his students. Thank you, Matthew, and all of our troops who have chosen the teaching profession for your continued commitment to our country.



1 Troops to Teachers definition provided by http://www.proudtoserveagain.com.

Mr. Knight has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves for 26 years and in 2008 he earned his professional teaching certification through TeacherReady, the University of West Florida’s educator preparation institute. Two years ago he began teaching full-time as a certified teacher at Indian Peaks Elementary School. The mission of Indian Peaks is: The partnership of students, parents, staff and community accept the responsibility to create a safe and caring environment where educational and emotional needs are met. We challenge individuals to excel and develop positive attitudes towards themselves, education and the future.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we teach teachers and leaders how to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com to learn more about Studer Education Teacher Development Institutes (TDIs), Leader Development Institutes (LDIs), and Evidence-Based Leadership.