Good evening Board of Trustees. My name is Miles Knight and I graduated with an Associates Degree in Science as well as a degree in the arts in 2016 at College of DuPage. During my time at College of DuPage, I had several roles I took on: a Student, a coach of two wrestling teams, President of the Student Education Association, I was even a part time Chappy Mascot (“Go Chaps”). As a student at COD, I was lucky to have professors that cared so much about my success in the classroom that they would take time out of their day to have extra office hours or answer my frantic emails at 3:30 in the morning. Very true story, thank you Dr. Hill in the math department. I also must commend the physics department. They helped me develop a growth mindset and showed me what the true meaning of hard work is. They supported me at my lowest lows as well as my highest highs.
One of the coaching jobs I had during my time at COD was brought as an opportunity from my professor April Zawlocki. She took the time to see what my interests were and to recognize how she could help me progress toward my goals. She didn’t just see me as a student ID number or grade, but as a person with dreams, goals and passion.
Along with April, I had several teachers, counselors and the student life office support me in re-establishing the Student Education Association. That club started with only one other student and I. By the end of my 2 years as co-president I am proud to say that we had 10-12 consistent members each semester and at a maximum of approximately 20 members. That club supports passionate future educators by providing professional development and volunteer opportunities as well as opportunities to discuss current political events. This club’s growth and accomplishments would have been nothing but a dream without the support of the full-time faculty at the College of DuPage.
After COD I went on to Northern Arizona University where I achieved a 4.0 GPA and graduated Summa Cum Laude this past May with a degree in Physics and Secondary education in physics. I remembered feeling nervous my first semester at a University. I thought about how I would compare to those who started their career there. But through the determination I developed at the College of DuPage I felt more than prepared for any challenge that came my way at the University. I even found myself better prepared than my classmates who had not started in a community college. Now, straight out of college, I am teaching Honors Physics and Chemistry at Metea Valley High School in Aurora. Ranked 29th in the state of Illinois by U.S. News.
All of these accolades stem from the amazing faculty here at College of DuPage. The full-time faculty most definitely deserve a contract that reflects their support, dedication and hard work. Thank you for your time today and thank you faculty for everything you have done for me.