Teacher Talk: Getting to Know Mr. Knierim


Sydney Olsen

Mr. Knierim can often be found in Civil War attire.

Sydney Olsen, Staff Writer

Mr. Knierim is a history teacher at Rocky Mountain High School and the Lobo Mess Club sponsor. Knierim student taught for one year at Poudre High School before coming to Rocky 26 years ago. He was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, and came to Fort Collins to go to Colorado State University as a music major when he was 18.


“I was on a pretty good scholarship when I went to CSU; I played trumpet. But after one semester of that, I found that the music theory was too much like math, and I just do not like math. So, I switched my major to history and I never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” he said. While at CSU, Knierim stayed in the marching band for another three years.


Growing up, Knierim’s parents were both teachers. Knierim himself had always wanted to be a teacher as well. “I saw the impact both my parents had on student’s lives and I knew I wanted to do something to impact others like that too,” he added.


“My dad especially inspired me to become a teacher. If we were walking down the street, former students of his would always come up and say how much of an impact he had on their lives, and I knew, because of that, I wanted to feel as though I had something to do with helping a student out in some way.”


Those who have had Knierim as a teacher would say that he has impacted lives in one way or another. His classroom is always filled with laughter and excitement. Knierim really tries to make students feel welcome in the Rocky community and wants to get to know every student, taking to time to introduce himself and talk to the students and remembering who every student is.


Lobo Mess is a club here at Rocky focused on Civil War history. The name has a meaning as well because “mess” means an informal group of soldiers. Knierim has been involved with living history since 1997 and realized other students were interested in living history as well in 2001.


“I got a second uniform after that and got one other student and we did presentations at elementary schools and that was a huge hit. I started applying for grants and in 2002 and 2003 we got some money to start the Lobo Mess club at Rocky.” There are now over 20 people in the club. In the summertime, the Lobo Mess Club works with the Fort Collins Museum.  


Knierim loves teaching at Rocky Mountain High School because he  and gets to know the students along the way–something that is very important to hi “I feel like it really gives me purpose.” he said. Knierim has been working with some of his colleagues for 20 years now and loves spending time with them adding, “I love giving people the chance to thrive and the more we thrive, the more fun it is and I’m down for that.”


Knierim can be found in his classroom in Maroon Bells, Room 414, or in his office in the Maroon Bells teacher’s office. He would love to get to know every single student at Rocky, so do not be afraid to introduce yourself, he is an amazing teacher to know.


I love teaching because then I get to help students navigate growing up.”

— Kurt Knierim, History Teacher at Rocky Mountain High School