November 24, 2020
Woodard Elementary School registered nurse Denise Knippers, second from right, was awarded the Superintendent’s Challenge Coin for making thousands of masks for the Cy-Fair community and surrounding areas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining Knippers from left, are Roy Garcia, CFISD chief officer for school leadership; Christina Cole, assistant superintendent for school leadership; Ben Knippers, Denise’s husband; and Susan Brenz, Woodard principal.
Nov. 24, 2020—Woodard Elementary School registered nurse Denise Knippers was awarded the Superintendent’s Challenge Coin for making thousands of masks for the Cy-Fair community and surrounding areas in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Knippers was surprised by Roy Garcia, CFISD chief officer for school leadership, and Christina Cole, assistant superintendent for school leadership, on Nov. 4 where she was presented with the coin.
“I started making masks because I couldn’t sit back and do nothing,” Knippers said. “I felt like I needed to give back because I wasn’t in the thick of it all like nurses and hospital workers. I was completely shocked and was blown away by the honor. There are so many people out there helping, and making these masks was a team effort from so many people.”
Knippers sent masks to New York, Virginia, the Woodlands and Galveston, and made masks for local organizations, including the Houston Police Department. She also made masks for all Woodard administrators and teachers and continues to make masks for those who request them.
Woodard principal Susan Brenz, left, nominated Knippers for the honor. The Superintendent’s Challenge Coin is awarded to individuals who go above-and-beyond to help others in the Cy-Fair community.
In addition to making masks, Knippers started working for the CFISD Health Services Call Center, which she continues to do today.
“I wanted to help in other ways since we were out of school,” said Knippers. “I love Cy-Fair and I wanted to be part of something bigger than me. It was just an additional way to help the community.”
Knippers was nominated for the honor by Susan Brenz, Woodard principal.
“As a campus nurse, Denise is at the core of education,” Brenz said. “Her leadership is a selfless sacrifice of her time and talents and because of her support and participation in the Health Services Call Center, our community is better prepared to mitigate the situation posed during the pandemic.”
The Superintendent’s Challenge Coin is awarded to individuals who go above-and-beyond to help others in the Cy-Fair community. The coin is inscribed with the words “Superintendent Outstanding Performance Award” on the outside ring, circling the coin’s meaning. It states: “This challenge coin is presented for extraordinary contributions to the students and state of our district.”