Dr. Kim McKnight named director of Center for Teacher Leadership
McKnight joined CTL, a center affiliated with the School of Education, in 2017 where her leadership as director of RTR Partnerships, director of RTR-Petersburg, and director of RTR-Chesterfield have prepared her to take this organization to the next level. An effective teacher leader, McKnight is a former National Board Certified public school teacher who mentored pre-service teachers and was named the 2010 Virginia Lottery Super Teacher.
"I am honored to lead the Center for Teacher Leadership and have the opportunity to partner with colleagues who are committed to supporting extraordinary and inspiring teacher leaders,” said McKnight.
McKnight’s roles at VCU have spanned multiple departments and have led to collaborative work with local public school divisions, community organizations, and state and local leaders. For example, McKnight expanded RTR into Chesterfield County and Petersburg and helped create two pathways that allow more flexibility in candidates’ educational backgrounds to enter the field of education. RTR was designed to end educational inequities related to teacher quality by recruiting, preparing, supporting and retaining highly effective teachers for our most challenged schools. In the first three years of the program’s expansion, there has been 100% retention of graduates for both RTR-Petersburg and RTR-Chesterfield.
McKnight has a strong track record of securing external funding for community-engaged work to meet the needs of historically under-resourced communities. She cultivated a shared partnership between the Virginia Department of Education, VCU, Petersburg City Public Schools, and local philanthropic foundations including The Cameron Foundation, the Robins Foundation, and the Community Foundation that resulted in $2.2 million for six years of funding to increase the number of high quality teachers in Petersburg City Public Schools.
McKnight’s teacher leadership is also evident beyond her work with CTL. A mentor for The Teachers of Promise Institute for the past seven years, McKnight has presented at numerous conference workshops and professional development sessions for educators and families on family and teacher partnerships, effective teaching strategies, and classroom management. She was also a member of Leadership Metro Richmond’s Leadership Quest Class of 2019, where she learned more about regional issues while enhancing her leadership skills, and she is a current member of the 2021 Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, one of 35 select individuals identified as the next generation of leaders at VCU. Committed to the university, she was also nominated for the VCU 10 Under 10 awards program that recognizes the noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni.
The work that CTL accomplishes begins with strong partnerships and relationships, and teachers, students and families have always been at the heart of McKnight’s work. Her contributions to CTL have been successful because of her ability to build and cultivate long-standing relationships, effectively communicate, and engage all stakeholders in the process of implementing and sustaining teacher leadership programs. As someone who was born in the Greater Richmond area and who has continued her career here, McKnight is committed to this community and its success.
Outside of the School of Education, McKnight and her husband, Guyon, love to spend time with their two children, TJ and Ruby.
The search committee, listed below, did outstanding work on this search from beginning to end:
- Thomas Beatty, Ed.D., director, VCU Child Development Center, and committee chair
- Kendra Johnson, residency coordinator and career coach, VCU Center for Teacher Leadership
- W. Monty Jones, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
- Serra T. De Arment, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Counseling and Special Education
- Maria Pitre-Martin, Ph.D., superintendent, Petersburg City Public Schools
- Darlene Currie, Ph.D., director of teacher and leader pathways, Richmond Public Schools