OPUSD Superintendent Dr. Tony Knight announces retirement

Knight is to retire on July 1, 2021, after 17 years as OPUSD Superintendent.

Emily Francis, Editor-in-Chief

Superintendent Dr. Tony Knight is planning to retire on July 1, 2021. Knight hopes to go sailing, scuba diving, hiking and visit his daughter more. (Photo courtesy of the OPUSD district website)

After 17 years as Superintendent, 39 years in Oak Park and 42 years in public education, Oak Park Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Tony Knight is retiring. Knight announced his retirement on Nov. 13, 2020 and will retire on July 1, 2021. 

“I have been blessed to have worked in Oak Park for the near entirety of my career in education, and I am so grateful,” Knight wrote in a ParentSquare and StudentSquare blast. “Oak Park has always been a unique place where people are valued and respected and where students are first.”

The Board of Education will begin a process to select the next superintendent of Oak Park immediately and plans to keep the community informed.

“The Board will design an inclusive process that will lead to the selection of an outstanding new leader,” Knight wrote. “The Board desires a smooth transition, and I will work hard to ensure that the new superintendent is ready on day one.”

OPUSD Board President Barbara Laifman described Knight as leading with “loyalty, integrity and dedication.”

“During Tony’s career in OPUSD, the quality of the educational experience has blossomed, with a tremendous gain in the academic achievement of our students,” Laifman wrote. “Tony has also prioritized the social, emotional, and physical well-being of our students and has incorporated his love for nature, the environment, and animals into many aspects of our district.”

While Knight noted that this year has been challenging, he emphasized that this is not the reason for his retirement. 

“July seems light-years away in this unique year.  We have a heavy-lift to complete before we reach the end of the school year,” Knight wrote. “Please know that I am 100% focused on the work at hand, and I will work tirelessly to ensure the safety of all students and staff and that our students are well educated and cared for throughout. “

Oak Park High School Principal Kevin Buchanan offers his congratulations to Knight for his “amazing” career in OPUSD.

“I have been honored to work alongside him on many projects and witnessed first hand his passion as an educator and leader,” Buchanan wrote to the Talon. “He has always been a fierce advocate for students and our schools.”


Click here to listen to a podcast with Knight regarding his retirement.