Uni High’s David Knight is named High School Teacher of the Year for 2011


We are reporting live from University High School, where it’s just been announced that science teacher David Knight is IUSD’s 2011 High School Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent Gwen Gross delivered the good news to Uni’s faculty and staff just after 8 a.m. in the school’s multipurpose room. Waiting in the wings were Knight’s wife, Pam, and his children, Taylor and Alexander.

“We’re just so proud and honored that you’re here at our school,” Uni Principal John Pehrson said during his remarks.

Knight gets the most out of his lessons by demonstrating a natural rapport with his students and a command of the subjects he teaches. He also successfully utilizes technology to inspire his classes while effectively delivering instruction. Colleagues say he’s a man of character, exuding integrity, warmth and wisdom while taking on a number of leadership roles at Uni.

Above all, Knight is known as a passionate educator and a strong advocate for students, spending hundreds of hours organizing science fair entries, advising clubs, coaching science teams and promoting summer research opportunities. Nevertheless, he was stunned by Thursday’s announcement.

“When people started walking in, my heart rate went to about 220,” he said.

And moments after Knight was recognized, there was another big surprise at Uni.

Katie Addiss (Dualan), an English teacher, was told that she is this year’s Teacher of Promise. This accolade is annually bestowed on first- or second-year educators who go above and beyond in demonstrating a professional curiosity and enthusiasm for teaching.

So, for those of you keeping score, that’s one Teacher of the Year and one Teacher of Promise from Uni. Who will be IUSD’s elementary and middle school teachers of the year? Stay tuned.

Update: To read the official IUSD news release on the 2011 Teachers of the Year, click here. To access The Orange County Register’s story, along with photos from the surprise announcements, click here.