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Shealy’s exuberant plan

Published 10:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Chad Shealy is awfully busy on the speaking circuit this first full week of summer.
Shealy shared essentially the same positive message of change VWSD at Vicksburg Kiwanis on Tuesday, at Triad on Wednesday and this morning at Port City Kiwanis.
After seeing Shealy’s exuberance when speaking about our local school district, I’m impressed.
Shealy, when faced with the diverse crowds, offered inclusive plans based on rigid examination of data and professional development along with a commitment to continue reforms and make Vicksburg Warren School District one of the best in the state.
His predecessor told us to “don’t stop believing,” but as far as I remember, Dr. Elizabeth Swinford never gave community with much of a plan to believe in.
Perhaps because of his good-hearted nature and aggressive but overwhelming plans of reform, members of the community have taken fondly to Shealy.
Maybe it’s because he is a champion of the unsung heroes of our public school district.
“Every voice is important,” he told Vicksburg Kiwanis on Tuesday. “People are important, no matter what their role is. That means my custodians have a voice, my bus drivers have a voice. The people who have been systematically overlooked have a voice. The teachers have a voice. When you’re looking at what to do, the people with the boots on the ground are the first people to look for, because they know what to do.”
Or perhaps it’s because he’s not afraid to face the crowds, ask for everyone’s opinions and be a shameless promoter for the school district, in the best sense of the phrase.
“We need to encourage people when we are out and about. No one else is going to do it for us,” he told a group of senior adults and emergency personnel at the Triad meeting Wednesday.
Shealy’s biggest accomplishment so far in Warren County is having two schools under his watch named Lighthouse Schools. It’s sort of like President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light award in the early 1990s, these schools should serve as examples to others across the country.
“We have the first two in the state of Mississippi,” Shealy said Thursday. “We have people from all over who are calling and want to see what’s going on in Vicksburg.”
That’s the right kind of national attention we need.

Josh Edwards is a reporter and can be reached by email at josh.edwards@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545.