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Courtney Daniell-Knapp

Courtney Daniell-Knapp

Courtney Daniell-Knapp has enjoyed 17 years at PS, teaching music at every division. As the Director of Fine Arts, she invests her time in deepening meaningful instruction and programming for students ages 3 to 14 and fostering partnerships that allow for the unique fine arts experience at PS. In addition to strengthening the arts partnerships in the surrounding museum sand theater districts, Courtney has loved assembling and working alongside the fine arts faculty. She always knew she would be a teacher, as she loves the delight and imagination of childhood and admires the courage required of adolescents. Rice University brought Courtney to Houston almost 30 years ago, but great jobs and people have kept her here. Courtney has conducted choirs of all ages at Palmer Memorial Episocpal Church and University of St. Thomas. She is mother to grown sons Emerson (PS ‘15) and Theodore (PS ‘ 17), and Kirby, the devoted dog. When not at school or at church, she loves to start needlepoint projects, finish non-fiction books, walk in the woods, and try new recipes. 


Bachelor of Arts, French, Vanderbilt University 
Master of Music, Rice University


What are your top five CliftonStrengths, and which ONE do you find yourself leaning into the most these days?
My top five strengths are Positivity, Arranger, Developer, Input, and Connectedness. I am finding myself leaning more into Developer these days, as I work to equip students, parents, and the fine art faculty to realize their God given potential. 

What’s your favorite part of the PS Mission ("Family, School and Church united in the education and support of each Child") and why?
It is “support of each child.” I love that we are ALL working together not only to educate, but to provide support to every child, every day. That support can manifest in endless ways, but what I love is that each child is buoyed by the small and large efforts of so many adults who want them to thrive. 

What was your best academic subject when you were in elementary school?
My best academic subject was a performing arts event - The Spring Play! It dominated my 2nd semester elementary school experience from PK 4 - 6th grade. I can still tell you the songs we sang each year and sing all my solos!!

What was your favorite activity as a ten-year-old? 
There was no better feeling than when Miss Judy, my riding instructor, let us CANTER on our horses across the largest pasture. Pure freedom!

What’s your happy place?  
A Forest. Most any forest will do, but in Houston I love the Arboretum and the Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow & Purple trails at Memorial Park. I love how you feel surrounded by nature, especially the tall, majestic trees! 

In the movie about your life, what actor/actress (alive or dead) gets to play you?  
Emma Thompson!

Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?  
As someone who feels things strongly, The Hunger Games premise was too uncomfortable from the beginning. I was more comfortable with the imaginative and colorful world of Hogwarts as a foil to the darkness that made itself known, as well as the strength of relationships to provide protection: between friends, between teacher and student, and between a son and his parents’ love, which never dies.