by Efe Tanci“Graham Knoll always aimed high academically and personified the highest standards of service, leadership and character.”–Carolyn Phillips, S.T.E.P. director
“I want to change the world, change how people react and think and make the world a better place.”
That is how Graham Knoll ’07, M.A. ’08, describes his passion for teaching. He began his career after earning a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English Education through the Scholar Teacher Education Program (S.T.E.P.) at Adelphi University.
Upon receiving his degrees in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, he taught English for one year at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia (the alma mater of basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain). Knoll’s passion then led him to go to Japan, where he spent three years teaching through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, which the Japanese government offers to qualified teachers in English-speaking countries around the world. Although the experience of living and teaching in Japan was a major challenge, Knoll made the adjustment with the help of his colleagues and students and because of his motivation to teach.
Knoll currently teaches fifth- and sixth-graders at the Bayside, New York, campus of Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, and he continues to touch students’ lives by transferring his knowledge to them. He credits Adelphi’s professors and the University’s education curriculum in shaping his career.
“When I got into student teaching, I felt ready—it wasn’t as big of a step to go from student teaching to actual teaching,” he said. “They pushed me when I needed to be pushed and made sure I knew I was prepared for everything.”
Because of Knoll’s passion, those who met him at Adelphi were certain he would succeed. “Graham Knoll always aimed high academically and personified the highest standards of service, leadership and character,” S.T.E.P. director Carolyn Phillips said.
As a person who hopes to change the world through teaching, Knoll is already on his way with multinational teaching experience and a strong sense of pride in his students. “It is very nice being able to watch students understand and learn about the world and be more curious about it,” he said.