Back to Article
Back to Article

Re-tired of Knoch

Re-tired of Knoch

(and you thought four years here was rough!)

May 17, 2019

By Sammy Jo Barnes


Room 021, 020, 514, and 311 have something in common–they will be inhabited by four different teachers next year.  Why?  Their usual occupants are retiring–Mrs. Geist, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Voltz, and Mrs. Wargo.  Their everyday presence will be dearly missed, and I think that each teacher deserves to be celebrated for their years of commitment to Knoch High School.



After subbing for five and a half years, Mrs. Geist was hired full-time at Knoch in January 1994.  She was already coaching volleyball around 1986, but she went back to college to earn her teaching certification.

“I really enjoyed working with kids,” she said.  “My favorite part about teaching is when a student becomes completely absorbed in their artwork, no matter their skill level.”

Many of you may have had art with Mrs. Geist throughout high school, or maybe as a coach.

“I will miss the students who put the time and extra effort into their work,” she said.  “So many great students over the years.”

Freshman Caden Traggiai said Intro to Art is one of his favorite classes because of the ability to be creative and have fun.

“Intro to Art is a great way to learn about all different art forms,” said Traggiai.  “(My favorite memory) was the one time Mia and Jeremiah fell asleep during the figure drawings.”

Mrs. Geist says her favorite memories come from relationships built with staff and students.

“For instance, a couple years ago, I was playing the radio during class and the D.J. dedicated a song to me,” she said.  “One of the students had called into the station while on the hall pass.



Mrs. Geist isn’t the only art teacher retiring this year.  Mrs. Adams has been at Knoch the longest out of any teacher here, but she is ready to move on from Knoch High School and relax.

“(I will miss) creating art every minute of every day for the last 44 years, and my colleagues, and of course the future of America–the students,” she said.

Mrs. Adams began her teaching career in 1975, way before any of us kids existed.

“I taught first through sixth grades at Penn, Jefferson and Clinton Elementary Schools,” she said.  “Every day I traveled to a different building and got to know so many students.”

Mrs. Adams said she knew in first grade that she would become an art teacher.

“I loved to draw,” said Mrs. Adams.  “During recess in first grade our homeroom teacher allowed us to draw on the three movable boards in her classroom.  My art career goal was settled.”

Mrs. Adams has inspired many of her students to pursue art–not a day goes by without eager students making pottery, painting, or just watching in her classroom.

“Mrs. Adams makes you love art, even if you’re bad at it, she’ll find something easier if you do struggle but want to make art,” said junior Libby Conlon.  “She’s very positive and talented; she made me appreciate all different types of art and made me interested in making them.”

Conlon says there are plenty of funny memories from art class that she will miss.

“Someone hit her BMW and I go, ‘you had a BMW?’ and she goes, ‘everyone has a BMW’”, said Conlon.  “And when we ask to go to the bathroom she always says ‘no juuling’.”

“Mrs. Adams is truly such a key factor in our lives and we’re all going miss her so much,” she said.  “She’s done so much for all of us and we’re very sad she’s leaving, but we’re happy she’ll get to throw pottery every day and get to relax.”

Mrs. Adams advises her students to be happy with what you decide to do in life.

“In the future when you choose a career path, aspire to work at a profession that you love,” said Adams.  “Working is essential to living the good life you deserve.”



Mrs. Voltz, the only calc teacher at Knoch, will be saying her goodbyes this spring.

Senior Emma West has taken calc AB & BC with Mrs. Voltz, and says her favorite memories are every day.

“Lance Cotton, Isaac Love, and Noah Cetnar will just say something ridiculous and Mrs. Voltz just goes ‘oh jeez’”, she said.

West says she feels very prepared for upcoming college classes thanks to Mrs. Voltz.

“As someone who always gets high A’s, I was really shocked when I got a 70% on my first calc test,” she said.  “Mrs. Voltz made me realize you have to really work for high grades in higher level classes, and she was the realist teacher I’ve had to this day.”

Mrs. Voltz says her years at Knoch have been rewarding, but challenging.

“(My favorite memories are) every time I see students put the work in and succeed, or the Valentines Box contest for AP Calc BC a few years ago,” said Mrs. Voltz.

“Mrs. Voltz will do anything to help you succeed if you work your hardest,” said West.  “She is truly the kindest and most helpful teacher I’ve ever had.”

Senior Frankie Ansell, who also has Mrs. Voltz for calc BC, wants to thank Mrs. Voltz for everything she has done.

“Mrs. Voltz cares so much about her students and makes sure we actually understand everything,” said Ansell.  “My favorite memory was when we made milkshakes this year.  They were so much harder to make than any of us expected.”

Mrs. Voltz started teaching in August of 1972–her eighth grade math teacher inspired her to become a teacher.

“I will miss being able to leave an impression on future math students and especially my colleagues in the math department,” she said.



Gianna Collins, who graduated from Knoch last year and is now studying at Westminster, says she absolutely loved having Mrs. Wargo as a teacher.

“Mrs. Wargo genuinely cares about the success of her students,” she said.  “You can tell that she wants all of her students to do well and achieve great things, and that’s a quality that should be admired.”

This rings true for Collins–Mrs. Wargo’s marketing class has helped her after high school.

“I’m actually taking a summer class for college in marketing, and I know that the things I learned in her class are definitely going to help me in this one,” she said.

Mrs. Wargo started teaching in 2002, but it wasn’t her first job.

“I was in the business world working as a CPA and realized what I enjoyed most about my job was explaining how and why we did certain things,” she said.  “I realized this was teaching and that’s what I should be doing.”

Collins has plenty of memories to share, but one sticks out to her.

“My favorite memory was when she would give us Lifesavers Wint-O-Green mints before every test we had,” said Collins.  “Not many teachers would do something like that, but it’s something I’ve always remembered about her.”

“I’ve had so many wonderful, thoughtful, caring students and we’ve had some really fun times over the years,” said Mrs. Wargo.  “I can’t think of one or even two specific memories because every year I think it can’t get better than this year.  Every year has been great when it comes to the students of South Butler.”


Mrs. Geist:

If you could pass any wisdom to your students, what would it be?

I would tell my students to stay true to your values, no matter what anyone else thinks.


How would you describe your years at Knoch?

My years at Knoch could be described as challenging and rewarding every day.


Favorite song?

Too many to mention. Each phase of your life can be represented by certain songs. I’m currently listening to Lauren Daigle.


Last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was “Bohemian Rhapsody”.


Celebrity crush?

Tim Tebow, Keith Urban


Mrs. Adams:

What is your favorite part about teaching?

The experience of watching students succeed at educational opportunities.


How would you describe your years at Knoch?

Exciting, always an activity


What are some of your favorite memories from teaching?

Seniors placing their hand prints onto the wall as a remembrance of their time spent in the art room. Creating the sets for the Fall Play and the Spring Musical. Fourth period ceramics class and their singing. 2016 (the year I moved to the high school) and the students who were in the Art Classes.


What is your favorite song?



What is the last movie you watched?

The Intern


Who is your celebrity crush?

Robert Redford


Mrs. Wargo:

If you could pass any wisdom to your students, what would it be?

You can always change careers if you’re not happy in your job.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Definitely the students.  They make me smile and laugh every day.


How would you describe your years at Knoch?



What will you miss most?

The teachers and students


What is your favorite song?

“Remember When”


What is the last movie you watched?

Avengers Infinity Wars


Mrs. Voltz:

If you could pass any wisdom to your students, what would it be?

Never let one difficult course change your major which will change your life path.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Teaching calculus, which is a math like no other.


Favorite song?

“When I Fall In Love” by the Lettermen


Last movie you watched?



Celebrity crush?

Robert Redford


The Knight Times • Copyright 2020 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in