The Jackson County Board of Education appointed Chris Knight on Friday morning to serve the remainder of the late Cecil Gant’s term. Friday’s meeting was the last opportunity for the board to appoint Gant’s successor. If the board would not have come to a decision, State Superintendent Eric Mackey would have chosen Gant’s replacement.

Knight works as a salesman for Pepsi, and he has never been involved with the Jackson County school system. Board member Mike Matthews nominated Knight to represent district 2. Board Vice President Angela Guess seconded Matthews’s motion for Knight to fill the vacant seat. Matthews and Guess voted for Knight, Board President Chad Gorham abstained and board member Charles West cast the deciding vote that appointed Knight to the board of education.

West, whose nomination for Linda Smith was not given a second, said he voted for Knight because he did not want to leave the appointment up to the state superintendent.

Knight said he was looking forward to serving on the board of education. He said it was an honor to be nominated and chosen by the rest of the board. He said the circumstances of which he was chosen were unfortunate, but he is ready to get to work.

Knight said it is a plus not being involved with the school system in the past. He said being in the business world gives him a different perspective. He said that doing the right thing for all the children in the school system was his main priority. He wants to do the best he can to help students grow and be successful.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Knight. “I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.”

Matthews said he nominated Knight because he has never been involved with the schools. He said that would allow Knight to look at things from a different perspective. Matthews said the other three members of the board are t top-quality people in their fields, and that he and Knight would be able to give a different outlook on things.

“I think he’s going to be someone that will work for the whole district,” said Matthews.

Knight will begin serving the remainder of Gant’s term immediately.

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