Hometown Heroes

Chris Knutsen named August 2020 Queen Creek Hometown Hero by Independent Newsmedia

FUSD superintendent transcends typical administrator role

Posted 7/30/20

The Superintendent of the Florence Unified School District, Chris Knutsen, has been named the August 2020 Queen Creek Hometown Hero by Independent Newsmedia.

Mr. Knutson was nominated by Jeanine …

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Hometown Heroes

Chris Knutsen named August 2020 Queen Creek Hometown Hero by Independent Newsmedia

FUSD superintendent transcends typical administrator role

A view of Florence Unified School District Superintendent Chris Knutsen serving up some BBQ to fellow educators.
A view of Florence Unified School District Superintendent Chris Knutsen serving up some BBQ to fellow educators.
Submitted Photo
Posted

The Superintendent of the Florence Unified School District, Chris Knutsen, has been named the August 2020 Queen Creek Hometown Hero by Independent Newsmedia.

Mr. Knutsen was nominated by Jeanine Rogers, a resident of San Tan Valley and proprietor of Rogers Family Enterprises.

“Chris is very involved in volunteering, and is an outstanding leader!” Ms. Rogers proclaimed of the local educator, who is a Hometown Hero worthy of celebration.

“Chris just recently smoked 600 pounds of meat to feed staff at the Banner Ironwood and Banner Goldfield Hospitals. He wanted staff at these hospitals to know how important and appreciated they are by the communities that they serve. Chris also fed hundreds of teachers/staff/politicians when the Red for Ed walkout ended.”

Independent Newsmedia --- publishers of the Queen Creek Independent --- is featuring a local Hometown Hero each month. Also, a homegrown Hometown Heroes Award celebration will be hosted at the end, honoring all Hometown Heroes Award winners of Queen Creek. The community is encouraged to join the celebration, which includes the acknowledgment of recipients and achievements.

Mr. Knutsen, an English teacher, school administrator, and current superintendent, earned his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and his master’s degree at Northern Arizona University.

Mr. Knutsen has been an educator for 27 years.

“Chris is an amazing leader --- he is passionate about education and providing the best teachers for his students,” Ms. Rogers said of Mr. Knutsen’s efforts.  “He has created a program to tap into a new teacher resource --- Chris targets retirees from the private sector, engineers, directors, administrators, etc. and he trains them up to be teachers. Many want to give and be productive and are outstanding resources for the students.”

--- Jeanine Rogers

Ms. Rogers says she knows first-hand a retired chemical engineer is teaching math withing the Florence Unified School District.

“Chris leads with humor and is very involved in the betterment of his district and especially his students,” Ms. Rogers said of the local educator. “During COVID, he has recorded and posted videos that encourage and inform. He has fun! He is creative. When the district budget was cut, he got resourceful and purchased needed desks and equipment from Craigslist!”

Ms. Rogers contends Mr. Knutsen is a dedicated servant leader to all who are employed at FUSD.

“Chris also works tirelessly to make sure his staff has on-going training for staff development, he works on curriculum development and also has a program in place to help his students enter --- not only --- the universities but he encourages the trades.”

Nominations sought

Submissions will continuously be sought from the Queen Creek community in multiple categories. All nominations sent to aznews@newszap.com will be reviewed, and monthly winners will be selected based on their community contributions.

In addition to a lifetime achievement award, for a longstanding community member who has consistently stepped forward and exemplified a passion for giving back to the Queen Creek community within any category, there will be the following Community Heroes categories:

  • Educator: Teacher who has inspired students beyond their own learning expectations.
  • Volunteer: Person who has donated their time and skill to assist or improve the community.
  • Veteran: Former military person who continues to serve within the community.
  • Healthcare: Influential medical professional who is a leader and provides top-notch care for the community.
  • Emergency Responder: Person who steps forward during an emergency.
  • Spiritual: A spiritual leader who displays their own good and unlocks the potential in others.
  • Entrepreneur: An individual who launches an idea into a new business and serves the community.
  • Trailblazer: Business that is spearheading innovative or new products and serves the community.
  • Leader of tomorrow (17 or younger): Youth who shows leadership and involvement within the community.

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