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Dr. Carl Knox

Educator, USD 497 Superintendent

Liberty Memorial High School




Dr. Knox moved to Lawrence when he was 14 years old and graduated from Liberty Memorial High School in 1935, where he played first chair trumpet in the band. He enrolled at KU and 1939 received a bachelor's degree in history. He played trumpet in the KU band.

Following graduation, he began his education career in Tonganoxie as a high school teacher. He taught math and instrumental music. After his third year of teaching in 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for service in World War II. He left the armed services in 1945 with the rank of captain and with a Bronze Star citation.

He returned to Lawrence working on his master's degree at KU and spent one year as vice principal at Lawrence Junior High in 1945-46.

After earning his master's degree, he spent 5 years as superintendent of Baldwin schools. The district was beset by disciplinary problems, and he described himself as "the toughest boot that ever sat in an office".

Then he was superintendent in Eureka from 1951-1956, where he began the first special education program for high school students in the state. He was known as a very strong supporter of special education. During this time, he began working on his doctorate in education at KU. He received the doctorate in 1956, he was one of only five people in the entire state to hold a Doctor of Education degree at the time.

He was hired as superintendent in Olathe. He served that district until 1962.

At age 45, in August 1962 he began what would become a 22-year tenure as superintendent of Lawrence Schools. He called the Lawrence job "the long-range goal of my life. When he retired, he was honored by the district with the Lawrence High School indoor swimming pool in his name. (CARL KNOX NATATORIUM).

Dr. Knox was on boards of Holcomb Recreation Center planning group and Penn House. He also was a pioneer with Bert Nash Mental Health Assn. and Phi Delta Kappa.

He was truly dedicated to his profession.

Dr. Carl Knox
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