Teacher of the Month January 2011 - Denise Knorr

10:09 PM, Jan 11, 2011   |    comments
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  • Denise Knorr Jan. 2011 Teacher of the Month
  • Denise Knorr Jan. 2011 Teacher of the Month

ELK GROVE, CA - A wrong diagnosis and caring teacher helped Denise Knorr decide she wanted to become a teacher in the second grade.

"I had an eye problems and they determined it was a learning disability," Knorr recalled. "They held me back in the second grade. Fortunately, I had a phenomenal second grade teacher who got my eyes fixed along with a great doctor but my teacher changed my life about how I felt about myself, life and school."

Today Knorr teaches sixth grade at John Erhardt Elementary School in Elk Grove where she tries to make a difference in students' lives.

"I want them to get the whole educational experience but I also want them to understand there's more to life than self," explained Knorr.

For the past 11 years Knorr's class has spearheaded a canned food drive. They kicked the 2010 project off with a pot-luck and walk-a-thon.

"The kids walked for two hours without stopping.  They earned 1600 dollars on our walk-a-thon," Knorr said.

The fundraiser and a trip to a supermarket turned into an academic lesson.

"I created a math lesson," Knorr said. "At the store they had to buy the best deals and the food had to be nutritionally sound."

Students, parents and firefighters helped box up more than 18,000 cans of food and put it on a truck bound for a food bank.  The students also had an opportunity to visit the food bank .  Therer they met some of the needy people who received food the students' collected.

"These 11 and 12-year-old students collected enough food for 770 families to eat for six months. I can do all the fundraisers and have the students watch the food put on a truck and drive away.  But it does them no good unless they can make the connection," Knorr explained.  "I had students and parents crying when they met those people because they realized just how much that food meant to them."

Knorr said she hopes her students remember the teamwork that enabled them to help so many.

"I want them know, they can do whatever they want," Knorr said.

By Karen Massie kmassie@news10.net


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