The Chancellor Award is given each year to a member of the St. Thomas More Family who is recognized for their long term generous contribution to the school in various ways. This year the award goes to Thomas Knitter.
Tom Knitter devoted more than 40 years of his life to Pio Nono and Thomas More high schools as a teacher, coach, principal and president. In 1994, after nine years as assistant principal and seven years as principal, he became the first layperson to serve as the school’s president. He served as president until 2001. As an administrator, he oversaw Thomas More’s change to a co-ed school in 1989, helping to revitalize the school’s shrinking enrollment. Under his leadership, Thomas More earned national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence during the 1997-98 school year. He also helped lead a capital campaign in the early 2000s that added a new wing including several classrooms and necessary upgrades to the school building.
Tom also boasts a coaching career in wrestling that has already earned him a spot in St. Thomas More’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the wrestling room was named in his honor in 2001. Even after his retirement, he stayed involved at St. Thomas More as a development associate and substitute teacher and in 2007, he received the Catholic School Champion Educator Award from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Tom considers his family his greatest accomplishment. He married his wife, Josie, in 1970, and they currently reside in The Villages, FL. He is proud of his children Aimee (Andy) and Kevin (Tammy), and his four grandchildren: Katie, Emily, Madison and Matthew.
He continues to stay in touch with many of his former students and colleagues. A former student said of Tom, “Mr. Knitter was an inspiration to all those who met him. His energy and tireless work and motivation has touched so many.” One of his former wrestlers stated, “It was long after I left the wrestling room for the last time that I realized that take downs and pins were not what I was really learning in there. Thanks for instilling priceless life skills through the program!”
We thank Tom for his decades of service to our school and we are honored to have had him as a leader of the St. Thomas More family.