Knighton hopes to 'help students succeed'Even after 20 years as a teacher and administrator, Corey Knighton has no trouble admitting one thing. “I still get nervous,” Red Wing High School’s new assistant principal said after meeting with Red Wing staff for the first time Monday.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Even after 20 years as a teacher and administrator, Corey Knighton has no trouble admitting one thing.
“I still get nervous,” Red Wing High School’s new assistant principal said after meeting with Red Wing staff for the first time Monday.
If that’s the case, it wasn’t evident to Principal Beth Borgen.
“Corey is a talker,” she said in an email. “His zest for education and the learning process is evident in the way that he interacts with staff and students. He is out and about; he is a communicator who talks and listens.”
Knighton, who is originally from New Brighton, Minn., graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in math education. Previously, he has worked as both a teacher and administrator at schools in Bakersfield, Calif. and Roseville, Minn.
His most recent position was as assistant principal in Two Harbors, Minn. While he worked there, his family — wife Becky, 10-year-old Dustin and 7-year-old Isabelle — continued to live in their Afton, Minn., home. Knighton commuted nearly four hours each way, and stayed in Two Harbors during the week.
“We really fell in love with the (Afton) area,” he said, adding that he and his family will still live there.
But it’s not just the shorter commute that made Red Wing attractive to Knighton.
“What really drew me in is that the staff at Red Wing High School are committed to getting better every single day,” he said. “They’re doing the work. They’re really laying some good foundations.”
Looking forward, Knighton said he has a few goals for his new position.
First, he wants to help Red Wing High School use technology in more ways. While many classrooms already have things like SMART boards, Knighton said he wants to help the school make better use of students’ cell phones, tablets and laptops.
“What Corey will bring is the knowledge of technology with items that most students have each and every day — their cell phone,” Borgen said.
“It’s just another way to engage students,” Knighton said, adding that some students will never raise their hands in class.
By allowing them to use their own devices, they might interact with teachers and other students more. Knighton will also help use technology to gather test scores and other data to improve instruction.
In addition, Knighton wants to make sure that students of “all racial backgrounds, all socio-economic backgrounds find success,” he said.
As assistant principal, part of Knighton’s job duties include discipline. But don’t expect the assistant principal to be hard on misbehaving students.
“I am here to help students succeed,” he said. “Discipline does not mean I yell at them.” Instead, Knighton said, his job is to help change their behaviors.
“I believe schools are here to help kids learn,” he said. “They’re not teaching institutions. They’re learning institutions.”