Roseanne and Sydney Knight, mother and daughter, are both WESD teachers.
Roseanne has been a teacher at Sunburst Elementary since 1989. In addition to winning the Lamp of Learning Award in 1996, one of her greatest contributions to the District was bringing sports back to the 5th and 6th grade levels. Roseanne oversaw the District’s basketball program for more than 20 years and still oversees the cross country and track programs to this day.
Roseanne’s daughter Sydney is a product of the WESD and an aspiring teacher. She is in the process of completing her student teaching at Sweetwater School.
“Having my mom as a teacher has definitely been an inspiration to me,” Sydney said. “I’ve seen how fun and rewarding the profession is.”
We caught up with Sydney as she taught a science lesson to Ms. Stallman’s 5th grade class. Ironically, Ms. Stallman was Sydney’s 7th grade math teacher.
“I care a lot about kids and want them to be successful—that’s very important to me,” Sydney said.
Roseanne said Sydney’s great start was a testament to the education she received at WESD. Sydney ultimately went on to graduate from high school with a weighted GPA of 4.55 and more than 30 college credits. She was awarded more than a half-dozen scholarships and will graduate from Grand Canyon University in December 2016, having completed her four-year degree in only two and a half years.
This past summer, Sydney represented Arizona at the National Education Conference in Washington, D.C. where she was the recipient of a National Scholarship.
“In her acceptance speech she thanked her wonderful WESD elementary school teachers for their dedication and the impact that they had on her life,” Roseanne said.
Although their passion, energy, and determination are similar, their personalities couldn’t be more opposite.
“My daughter would never tell you about these accomplishments because she is very quiet and humble. I am not as humble or quiet as my daughter,” joked Roseanne.
Sydney’s goal is to teach 5th to 8th grade, with an emphasis in math. She values teacher support, a good principal, good program coaches and good veteran teachers who can guide her moving forward. She said WESD has many of these qualities.
“Between growing up in the District and coming back to help my mom over the years, WESD has always been very good to me,” Sydney added. “I think it would be great to work in the same district as her.”