San Jose Schools
San Jose Prep & San Jose Primary
Sarah Thurlow is a native of Jacksonville, and she has served public education for 16 years. She has documented experience and success in evaluating and selecting curriculum, providing relevant professional development, fundraising, recruiting and retention for diverse programs, school operations, emergency management, and all aspects of instructional leadership. She previously taught high school chemistry for 8 years before beginning her work in administration. She has served as Dean of Students, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Director of Education for other schools before joining the San Jose Schools family. She holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a minor in chemistry and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Florida. Her previous experience was in schools with strong rigor and college preparatory coursework. She has a passion for teaching and learning and an understanding that building relationships with all stakeholders is the framework of highly effective leadership.
San Jose Early College at Cecil
Michelle Knapp has more than 20 years in education and is a native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida. She began her teaching career at Eugene Butler Middle School in downtown Jacksonville, FL, in 1998, where she designed their first foreign language curriculum. From there she went on to teach at Ridgeview High School in Clay County, teaching all levels of Spanish including International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes, as well as becoming Clay County’s first National Board Certified Teacher in World Languages. She became an assistant principal of curriculum at Orange Park High School, a school which at the time had more than 2,800 students. During her time at Orange Park High, Mrs. Knapp designed student programs which were implemented in other Clay County high schools. Following her time at Orange Park High, Mrs. Knapp became the inaugural Vice Principal at Oakleaf High School, participating in the construction, instructional design and operational design of the school. In 2013, she was named Clay County’s Assistant Principal of the Year and then went on to become one of three finalists for the Florida Department of Education’s Florida Assistant Principal of the Year award. Mrs. Knapp then went on to become the inaugural principal at Virtue Arts and Science Academy, and all girls, college prep, public charter school in Jacksonville, FL. While at Virtue Arts and Science Academy, Mrs. Knapp designed and implemented college prep academic curriculum, a fine arts program, and leadership and character development programs for middle and high school girls. Mrs. Knapp then became the inaugural principal of St. Johns Classical Academy, a public charter school in Clay County, FL which focuses on classical education. St. Johns Classical Academy is the third school Mrs. Knapp opened.
Mrs. Knapp is happily married with three children. In her free time she enjoys travel, the arts, checking out new foods and visiting family in her native Puerto Rico. She really enjoys participating in her children’s activities. She and her family are actively involved in local community activities.