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Knight believes he has shot at beating Little

By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
Aug. 7, 2003
After watching incumbent school superintendents lose re-election in Neshoba and Kemper counties, Joey Knight said Wednesday he feels good about his chances to win the job in Lauderdale County.
The key, Knight said, is meeting people one-on-one across the county, talking to them about his plans and campaigning hard just like the Neshoba and Kemper county candidates did.
But incumbent Lauderdale County School Superintendent David Little said he believes his job is safe and that voters are pleased with the progress students have made under his leadership.
Little, a Democrat now serving his second term as school superintendent, meets Knight, a Republican who has been principal of Southeast Elementary for 14 years, in the Nov. 4 general election.
At stake is a job that oversees a public education system with 10 schools that had 6,583 students during the 2002-2003 school year.
Knight said he believes voters are ready for a change of leadership and direction in public education. He said he is student-centered and will stress teacher support and community involvement.
Knight said he doesn't believe that all county schools have received equal treatment. For example, he said, Clarkdale Attendance Center has a new math and science lab that was built two years ago.
But Little disagreed. Just because one school in the district needs a new program or building, Little said, that doesn't mean that all of the other schools need the same thing.
Little said residents will have a better picture of the school district's success when results from last year's annual standardized achievement tests are released to the public Aug. 15.
Little said the results will show that most test scores have improved from the year before. He said one school didn't score as well as he thought it should; he declined to identify the school.