Growing up, Harriette Knox wanted to be a newspaper reporter, so she went to UNC and majored in journalism. “I was a reporter for a while, but that evolved into writing for marketing and public relations,” she says. “I did that for two different community colleges, a clothing manufacturer, and for Nabisco Foods before I stopped working to stay home with our son.”
Now, Canterbury is fortunate to have Harriette on staff as the school’s new marketing and communications coordinator.
Harriette brings more than a wealth of professional experience to the job. She also brings the perspective of a parent whose child graduated from Canterbury.
“I went to an Episcopal school, and it was a wonderful experience,” she says. “It was a small school like Canterbury, so the teachers really knew each student, and encouraged you to think and to try new things. We wanted Davis to have all that in a school, too.”
Davis is now a freshman at Johns Hopkins University majoring in engineering. He’s also a mid-distance free-styler on the Hopkins swim team. Currently, his goal is to graduate with a mechanical engineering degree and go to graduate school to learn how to design ships.
Harriette is married to Dr. Robert (Bob) Knox, who has practiced periodontics in Greensboro since 1990. Bob grew up in Greensboro and went to Irving Park, Aycock, and Page schools. He and Harriette met in Chapel Hill and lived there through his dental school graduation. Then they moved to New Orleans for his specialty training before coming to Greensboro in 1990.
“There’s one Canterbury story we still laugh about,” Harriette recalls. “As a writing exercise, Mary Ann Sacco had her second graders write a letter to Santa. She saved the letters. The year Davis was in eighth grade, she gave the letter back to us. It said something like, ‘Dear Santa, For Christmas I want Legos and a new mother.’ I think he was hoping he could swap me out for Mary Ann!”
Harriette is excited to be in a position that allows her to do what she loves for a place that is meaningful to her.
“Marketing the school is about finding ways to tell everyone what makes a Canterbury education so special,” she says. “The small size means every child is known and cared for. The PreK-8 setting means we focus on the special needs of young children and adolescents. We educate the whole child: mind, body and spirit. And as an Episcopal school, we value strong academics, know that diversity is important, and allow children to explore their own spirituality without telling them what to believe.”
Her job is made easier by the fact that Canterbury has parents who feel passionate about their children’s experience and are enthusiastic about spreading the word.
“Parents are actually the most important marketers a school has. People often choose schools based on what their friends have told them, so Canterbury parents are in the best position to tell people about the great experience at Canterbury.”
Being back at Canterbury has brought back memories of when she was a parent with a child at the school. “When I started working here, I got a tour of the lower and middle schools because so much has changed. At the same time, Bob and I were getting Davis packed to go to college, and I had been doing okay with that. On my tour of the lower school, this little brown-haired boy – probably six years old – walked out into the hall, and that’s when I got teary,” she recounts. “When you’re a Canterbury parent, you know your child is fortunate to be here, but you get caught up in the busyness of school. When I saw that little boy who reminded me of Davis, it really hit home how fast time flies, but also how safe and loved Davis was here compared to a big, scary college!”
At Canterbury, children get a great education, but more importantly, Harriette says, they are known and loved. “Every year that Davis was here, his teacher knew him well enough to expect the best from him and to know when to push him in places he needed to grow.”
“My favorite Canterbury tradition is Chapel Buddies. As a kindergartener, it’s great to get to know an older student. As a sixth grader, it’s a wonderful leadership opportunity. And as a parent, it’s fun to watch your child’s chapel buddy grow up and then to watch your child take on that responsibility as well.”
by Andrea Crossley Spencer
Andrea Crossley Spencer is a Canterbury parent to McKenna (4th – Hoover), a freelance writer, and a creative writing instructor in Canterbury’s after school fine arts program. Her favorite Canterbury tradition is Chapel Buddies. She loves hiking, chocolate peanut butter shakes and listening to David Gray.