The Lake Elsinore Unified School District and surrounding communities have lost an iconic educational leader with the passing of Dr. Vick R. Knight, Jr. on Thursday, December 5, after a long illness. He was 85.
Dr. Knight is a former LEUSD Trustee, RCOE Trustee, and Director of Curriculum for the Elsinore Union High School District prior to unification in 1989. He joined LEUSD’s Board of Trustees in 1991, and served thirteen years until being elected to the Riverside County Office of Education Board in 2004, where he served for two terms until 2012.
During his tenure, he served as Board president (3 terms), Clerk, and was most fondly known in elementary schools as the amazing “Turtle Man” and “Maya Man”, two iconic personas created by Dr. Knight expressly for elementary school assemblies. He was among the founders of California’s Spelling Bee, and graciously served as LEUSD’s Spelling Master for the District’s annual Spelling Bee until 2011.
The “Vick Knight Public Library and Media Center” at Lakeside High School was dedicated in his honor in 2005.
A true “Renaissance Man,” Dr. Knight enjoyed wide-repute as an author, educator, journalist-editor, politician, winemaker, and raconteur. He is a USC alumnus and became a 6th grade teacher in Pico Rivera in 1952. Accolades include recognition by the City of Lake Elsinore, the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce, and Canyon Lake as “Citizen of the Year.” He was elected to the Riverside County “Education Hall of Fame” in 2000.
Dr. Knight was a long-time resident of Canyon Lake, and is survived by his wife, B. Carolyn Knight, their children, and their extended families.