MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Community Action Headstart Center was dedicated Saturday morning, September 21 to one of Mobile’s most influential and iconic education figures, Jimmy Knight.
Inclement weather did not stop more than 200 friends, family members, students, and parents from honoring Knight. The event was supposed to be held outside the center, but rain moved the event inside Friendship Missionary Baptist Church off Cody Road.
West Mobile Headstart is located on 10th street in the Mobile Terrace Area. The preschool was dedicated to Knight for his years of service to the community and his life-long commitment to educating.
In the crowd, were some familiar faces including FOX10’s very own Eric Reynolds, who interviewed Knight in 2012 on “The Interview.” Also in attendance was Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.
"I think it's a well deserved honor to name the Headstart Center after Mr. Knight. This is the community he grew up in. He dedicated a lot of his time to community action. He worked there for some 17 years. I think it's fitting. You can look at how the community turned out. They're real, real excited about this center being named for him and appreciative for all he's done,” said Mayor Jones.
Mobile County Public School Superintendent Martha Peek was also in attendance.
"Mr. Knight has truly been an inspiration to me throughout my career. He is outstanding educator, a man of great integrity, and a person that's always been there to be a role model for everyone and also to help people with sincere interest and kindness. So it's an exciting occasion,” said Peek.
Knight said it was gratifying to know his 18 years of work with Headstart helped so many people.
“One of my reasons for leaving the school system and going over there was to work for those citizens who are less fortunate than we are most of the time. And it was something I wanted to do. And I just thought it was one of the best jobs I'd ever had. Provided service to those that are less fortunate. It gives the kids a head start, especially kids that come from homes below the poverty level. And you know, when I watch the national news and see where they want to cut Headstart, it's almost a shame and a disgrace,” said Knight.
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