Knott sworn in as new superintendent

Published 5:37 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Newly named superintendent John Knott was sworn in Thursday as the new superintendent for the Escambia County Board of Education.

Knott was named superintendent at the board’s previous meeting. Knott most recently served as the system’s assistant superintendent.

Current superintendent Randall Little will retire June 30. Knott will assume his new role on July 1.
Little expressed his thanks to the board and others and was given a standing ovation by the board and others in the crowd Thursday.

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“I definitely want to thank and commend the staff for making my tenure as superintendent a very enjoyable one and a very rewarding one,” Little said. “I think it went smoothly. I won’t say it didn’t have a few hiccups. You have to have a few hiccups because you want to appreciate the smoothness of it. But everything did fall into place. “One of the proudest things of it was when I was named interim, I made a legal pad list of 17-18 things that we wanted to accomplish, and we, not just me, we accomplished all 18 of them,” he said.

Little credited the accomplishment to the board’s diligence under former superintendents Buck Powell and Billy Hines.

“As of December 2013, there were 135 school systems in the state,” Little said. “Only eight had more months in reserves than this small, rural county of Escambia County. Of those eight, only five had about 5.6 or 5.7 months in reserves, so we were right there in the ballpark. That goes back to the citizens of this county. They have strongly supported this school system, and we have a strong tax-base of 17 mills. A mill, right now, generates around $300,000. That has helped us tremendously. Mr. Powell and Mr. Hines worked hard to get that. I was just able to come along and take advantage of that.”

The school board’s next meeting was scheduled for July 24.