|Knippen ready to slow down and enjoy grandchildren|
|Wednesday, June 05, 2013 12:04 AM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
The 40-year teaching veteran spent Monday cleaning her room at St. John’s High School and entering the last of students’ grades before officially retiring.
“That’s the cleanest that cupboard has been since I started teaching here,” Knippen said as she pointed to the corner. “I still had things in there from the last teacher.”
The Leipsic native has taught Language Arts to high school Blue Jays for that past 38 years. She was hired by Principal George Adams after teaching a year each at high schools in West Central Ohio.
“My husband is from the area so when he got a job around here, he wanted to move back,” she recalled. “I was just fortunate they had an opening. For the last 38 years, I’ve taught freshmen through juniors.”
Knippen has enjoyed watching her students grow and succeed.
“There is no feeling like them coming back and telling me they aced freshman comp because of my classes,” she said. “No feeling like it. I appreciate the chance to teach and make a difference in students’ lives.”
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And students knew that if they have her class, much was expected.
“I feel I’ve always set very high standards. I’ve always had great expectations for my students,” she said. “If you have low expectations, that’s what your going to get. I set my sights high. The majority of students want to do well and they’ll rise to the challenge. I have a strong sense of accomplishment from teaching.”
Knippen will miss the camaraderie of her fellow teachers the most.
“There have been a lot of great people here over the years,” she said. “There is such a spirit here — a feeling pride in being St. John’s.”
Now, Knippen would like to know what it’s like to have a weekend with no papers to read or lessons plans to get ready for Monday.
“Teaching is a lot of work,” the mother of three said. “there’s a lot of preparation and then papers to grade. I’ve been so busy I can’t imagine having free time. It will be nice. However, my husband thinks I need to find something to do.”
That something to do is named Braden, Olivia, Ava and Aiden, Knippen’s grandchildren.
“I see us spending more time making trips to Columbus to see the grandchildren I have there,” she said. “I’ll more than likely be babysitting more and now I’ll have time to take them to the park and the movies, etc.”
She is also looking forward to spending more time with friends from high school.
“Now that our kids are grown, we get together,” she added.
she also volunteers for funeral dinners at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fort Jennings and is glad she will no longer have to juggle her schedule to do so.
And there’s just one more thing …
“Shopping. I love shopping,” she said. “Before I always had to consider if what I was buying could be worn to school. Now, I can buy more casual clothes.”
Knippen resides in rural Fort Jennings with her husband, Dan. Their son, Joe, resides in Fort Jennings and their daughters, Christine and Sandra, live in Columbus.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, June 05, 2013 12:21 AM|