W.Va. Mathematics Teacher of the Year says education wasn't always part of the equation

April 22, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Jeremy Anne Knight assists Martinsburg (W.Va.) South Middle School eighth-grader Sarah Brotherton during math class last week. Knight has been named the 2013 Middle School Mathematics Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg South Middle School teacher Jeremy Anne Knight’s attempt to avoid taking up the family profession only led her back into the fold.

“I came from a family of teachers, so I thought I was sure of the one thing I wasn’t going to do,” said Knight, who was recently named the 2013 middle school Mathematics Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Knight, 47, said she had to join the U.S. Army to figure out that teaching was in fact her professional calling in life after all.

“I ran away from it,” said Knight, who grew up on Long Island, N.Y.

At the University of Virginia, she was in the Army ROTC Cavalier Battalion and enlisted as an officer upon graduating with a degree in English.

Her four-year stint in active duty serving with the signal corps included five or six months in the Gulf War, but Knight said she was relatively far from the front lines in a military communications role.

It was while working with others in the Army that Knight said she realized her teaching abilities and decided to change careers.

After serving as an Army reservist, Knight left the military with the rank of captain.

She said she moved to the Mountain State after meeting her husband, Scott, “a West Virginia boy.”

Knight went on to attend West Virginia State College and Marshall University and began her teaching career in Kanawha County about 16 years ago. 

There, she taught English, but always liked math, Knight said.

Knight said the couple moved to Berkeley County after her husband landed a job at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service near Shepherdstown, W.Va.

The move ultimately led Knight to her job teaching math for Berkeley County Schools, where she has taught for eight years.

In recognizing Knight, the state math teacher council saluted Knight for her contributions at the state and local level.

“Always extremely articulate, Jeremy demonstrated an understanding of both the content standards and the practice standards as she shared with teachers creative ideas and pedagogical methodologies that will be essential in effectively teaching these new standards,” the council said in a news release on the organization’s website.

“Her life experiences have provided her with a plethora of ideas to ignite the curiosity of students and encourage their continued interest in mathematics.”

Knight, who was a finalist for Berkeley County Teacher of the Year for 2010-11, received her National Board Certification in math in 2011.

“I don’t think I’ll ever go back (to English),” Knight said.

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