Mavis B. Knight, a democrat, was elected to the State Board of Education in November 2002 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008. She has extensive experience in community support efforts, with more than 30 years of volunteer service working with civic and education organizations to provide mentoring and other services to youth, families, and senior citizens. She has served as secretary of the State Board of Education and as vice chair of the board’s Committee on School Initiatives.
Knight has served on various Dallas Independent School District advisory committees and was president of the Dallas City Council of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She has held various PTA positions at the district, state, and national levels. Additionally, she has served on the board of directors of a number of organizations including Girl's Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas; Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce; Dallas Women's Foundation; Youth Services Advisory Board; the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin; Jacob's Ladder and Visiting Nurse Association of Texas; member of the Board of Directors for Education is Freedom.
Currently, she is president of the Rites of Passage Program for Girls, Inc. (ROPP). Knight has also served on the advisory board of Dallas Cable Television (DCTV) and the Women’s Advisory Council of the Harris Financial Group. She is a member of the Dallas Chapter of the Links, Inc. Scholarship Committee and International Trends and Services Committee. Knight is a member of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Scholarship Committee for the 30th Congressional District.
Knight is a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church where she has served as a Sunday School teacher and has previously chaired the Lay Teaching Committee and the staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee. Knight has chaired the Accountability Group for the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Presently she is a member of the Metro District Superintendent's Committee and the Texas President’s NAACP Award.
Knight has won much recognition for her community service such as the State of Texas Senate Certificate of Citation for Community Service; National and Texas PTA Life Membership; Texas PTA Extended Service Award; Dallas Veterans Hospital Volunteer Award; A. Maceo Smith Community Service Award; Maura Award; Women of Spirit Award; and the St. Paul United Methodist Church Community Service Award, among others.
Knight attended North Carolina Central University (NCCU) where she earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees, both in psychology. An honor graduate of NCCU, she had experience administering diagnostic reading tests and prepared study materials for the Reading Laboratory. She also has had work experience as an instructor, substitute teacher, test monitor, and social services eligibility specialist, working with the food stamp program.
She is married to Richard Knight, Jr., and they have three adult sons and nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter.