Danni Knot and Her Road to Success

Tanysha Sanchez, Staff Reporter

Dani Knott, a battalion CO, swim team alumni, volleyball star, and role model to not only her cadets, but to the people around her trying to find their way. Knott is a senior here at Gloucester High School and has not only gone through high school with a stellar GPA, but she also did so with the majority of her high school career being on zoom calls. The class of 2023 is just now having their first normal year of high school, just as they are about to leave. However, this did not slow her down. How did she get to where she is? How is she so easily proficient at undertaking this immense amount of responsibility? 

When asked about her goals, Knott replied, “I have always been the type to help people out.  I don’t know why that’s like my main goal in life, but I’ve always liked it. I would love to go to the Coast Guard and then, hopefully after that,  go to the State Police Academy. And maybe after I finish with that, start a bakery.¨ Knott said “So I’m going to take a year off [after high school] to help my dad with his non-profit that focuses on helping prevent veteran suicide. After that, I’m probably going to work for a little bit and then hopefully I can apply for the Coast Guard Academy. If I don’t make that I’ll just go to the normal Coast Guard for 4 years. Then kick my career off at the police academy from there.¨

Knott reflected on her time in ROTC at Gloucester and said, ¨I guess you could say we’re a smaller school in a way and I think that probably helped me out a lot because instead of having a 200-person unit or more than that probably would have pushed me more towards the back burner of not just ROTC specifically, but all of high school.” In regards to her experience with learning during COVID Knott said, “So I actually just wrote a literacy narrative in my English class about this and, when COVID hit it was at the end of my freshman year and I  kind of let that push me into a period where I didn’t really talk to anybody. I didn’t really talk to my friends anymore so that put me into a little bit of a depression for about a month. During this month I had no influence from anybody around me.  This kind of made me realize that if I was myself it would make anyone mad; this is my personality so that kind of gave me time to reflect on myself. So I feel like that helped me out a lot¨

Knott was candid about the time she actually spent in GHS. ¨I don’t really have a lot of memories in Gloucester because, as I mentioned earlier, I spent most of my high school experience online.  I had my whole sophomore year over Zoom, except for one time. When she gave me a drill test. If I were to answer that question I would say that my best moment at Gloucester was when I was named the CO of our battalion.  I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much. I remember that it was very heartfelt and you could feel everyone getting teary-eyed.”

Knot credits her teachers for the success she has enjoyed this year.¨So I have to say, I didn’t really start coming out of my shell until I started interacting with my teachers. They definitely help me out with getting back to socializing. They help me out by giving me tips for how everything is done and how to handle the situation[s] and that helped me a lot.” Knott said her decision to become involved in ROTC was influenced by her brother. “So I was originally going to do band because I was in band in middle school and my band teacher practically signed me up for high school band.  I didn’t like marching band so I signed up for ROTC, because I knew what it was through my brother,  he did all four years. I was like okay I’m kind of interested in the military I might as well.¨

Knott has the following advice for achieving goals, ¨I had to learn how to trust myself because I think that almost anyone can reach this point if they believe that they hold certain abilities.” 

Knott is also on the swim and volleyball teams. “So I actually started swimming quite a while ago, 10 years ago actually.  It all started when my mom said, ‘You’re doing swimming because your brother is doing swimming.’ She kind of forced me into the summer swim team and then I realized that I really like swimming.  People talk about the “runners high” and I always say to myself I feel that but in the water.¨ Knott said she got into volleyball because of anime. ¨So over COVID, when I wasn’t talking to people, I started watching this anime called Haikyuu, and it seemed like a really fun sport. The Gloucester team,  however, does not have the nicest people, which is weird for such a teen sport. However, the sport itself is amazing.  I like it a lot but it doesn’t beat swimming.” Knott is a shining example of what hard work, confidence, and persistence can accomplish.