I feel that I owe much of who I am as a teacher to the Knowles Teacher Initiative. In my early career, I quickly found confidence in the classroom, and pursued leadership roles among colleagues. The connections to Knowles programs and Senior Fellows have been a lifeline to sustain my career and fuel ongoing professional growth.”

Emilie’s Story

Emilie Cross always enjoyed her math and science classes throughout high school because she felt challenged and loved the sense of accomplishment. “I sometimes had to work hard to understand a concept, but I felt like a champion when I finally got it.” She often tutored her friends, finding fulfillment in helping others understand. In her second year at the University of Colorado (CU-Boulder), Emilie decided to combine her passion for science and teaching and major in physics and education.

Named “Outstanding Graduate” of the School of Education, Emilie graduated from CU-Boulder in 2003. She earned her MA in science education from the University of Colorado and began her career teaching in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Valparaiso, Indiana. “It was very difficult to teach at three different schools in my first three years of teaching. I grew a lot through those experiences and I am grateful for the many forms of support I received from Knowles.”

In 2006, Emilie accepted a position at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado, where she currently serves as science department coordinator and teaches both International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) Physics. “It is a joy to teach in the school district that I attended. I am glad to be giving back to the community that gave me so much.” A member of the 2003 Knowles Science Cohort, Emilie became a Senior Fellow in 2008 and achieved National Board Certification in physics in 2012. She credits the Knowles Teacher Initiative with acting as a catalyst for her professional growth. “I love being a part of the Knowles community because I am inspired to always seek excellence in my teaching. We encourage each other to find new ways of helping students learn and grow.” Emilie enjoys spending her free time hiking, biking or skiing with her husband and two children.