Bonnie and Ted Knauss

Bonnie and Ted Knauss


bonnie and ted knauss

Bonnie and Ted Knauss are the dynamic duo behind countless events at North Penn. They have dedicated nearly five decades of service to the North Penn community, spending thousands of hours giving back to the students and families of the North Penn School District in their multiple service roles. The impact these two individuals have had on the community is immeasurable, and the graciousness of their time, resources, and kindness can never be forgotten.

The role Bonnie and Ted are perhaps best known for is as Secretary and President, respectively, for the International Friendship Committee. Formed in 1962, the Committee gives students the opportunity to study and experience life in a foreign country for a school year, and vice versa, bringing foreign students to study at North Penn High School. The Exchange Program has sent and received over 650 students to 40 different nations. Bonnie and Ted have been a part of the committee since 1976 when they hosted their first exchange student from Denmark. Since then, they have hosted four students for a full year each and countless others ranging from one week to three months. 

As part of their role with the International Friendship Committee, Bonnie and Ted also sponsor the North Penn Craft Show. The first show was held in March of 1985, and the Committee has held 65 shows since. The shows are run completely with volunteers, and 100% of the revenue benefits the exchange program. The shows are among the finest traditional and contemporary craft shows in the Mid-Atlantic region, attracting artisans from 14 different states. The North Penn Holiday Craft Market has blossomed into a huge community event that many see as the true beginning of the holiday season. 

When Bonnie and Ted aren’t helping students experience a new culture, they can be seen showing off their fancy footwork. For over 40 years they have been teaching ballroom dancing as part of the North Penn Community Education program. As members of the Imperial Society of Dancing, Bonnie competed in International Competitions in the Pro/AM level. After taking lessons for over 10 years and achieving Bronze, Silver, and Gold status, Ted and Bonnie decided to give their knowledge back to the community and share in a fun, aerobic exercise program. The duo has continued to share their love of ballroom dancing with the community, meeting and teaching hundreds of people, many of whom they now consider close friends. 

Ted has also served as a Trustee for the North Penn School District Educational Foundation since 1998, helping to motivate and inspire students in the district through innovative projects and opportunities that enhance educational experiences and resources. Ted formerly served as President, and currently serves on the Governance, Development, and Grant committees. When asked about his time with the Foundation, Ted said simply “I am grateful to partner with teachers and administrators to bring joy to the North Penn students.”

Ted graduated from Temple University School of Pharmacy, starting his career as a pharmacist in an Allentown drugstore. He then held a pharmaceutical research position at National Drug Company. Most of his career was spent in pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging operations at Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company, serving as a Supervisor, Manager, and then Director of Manufacturing. Both Bonnie and Ted, along with their son, owned and operated the  North Wales Pharmacy for 18 years and the Village Apothecary for six years. 

The couple stays busy outside of their community service, sharing a passion for cooking, dancing, gardening, and their family. Bonnie has been a member of the Merrybrook Garden Club for the last 50 years. She has served as Program Director and President, displaying her passion for gardening through education and environmental efforts. They share four children who all graduated from North Penn, 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

Perhaps the best summation of this duo comes from Ted himself, saying “We are fortunate to have had mentors and people that we have learned from and looked up to for their integrity and commitments. Our daily focus is on helping others. Our personal mission is to support others by seeking and giving opportunities that will further their purpose in life and achieve their dream.” Bonnie and Ted have certainly accomplished this, touching countless lives in their endeavors here at North Penn and in the greater community.