Tolliver named principal for VHS

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 17, 2002

[05/17/02]A 31-year veteran of the Vicksburg Warren School District was chosen from eight candidates Thursday night to be the new principal of Vicksburg High School.

Charlie J. Tolliver, 54, principal of Warren Junior High for four years, will assume his new duties when Principal Don Taylor retires at the end of the current school year.

Tolliver “has a lot of experience and good judgment,” Superintendent Donald Oakes said. “I think he’s the guy to take the school to the next step.”

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Tolliver began his career in 1971 at Warren Junior High, where he taught industrial arts for 15 years. He then served as assistant principal there for five years and later spent seven years as principal at Vicksburg Junior High.

“I’m excited that Mr. Oakes and the board feel confident enough in me to allow me the opportunity to come in and apply my leadership at the high school level,” Tolliver said.

He said his focus as principal of the 1,120-student VHS will be student-centered.

“I’d like to build a culture and a climate that is encouraging to students, that promotes the students and gives them an opportunity to be successful,” he said.

Taylor, who announced his retirement earlier this year, said he has made no plans.

“I just plan to watch the world go by,” he said.

Taylor, 54, has spent the last 17 years at VHS, where he has been a coach and has taught chemistry and biology. He began teaching 31 years ago at Pisgah School in Rankin County and has since taught at Quitman County High School for nine years and Crowder School in Quitman County for two years before coming to VHS in 1985. He had also served as assistant principal before becoming principal of the school three years ago. He announced his retirement in January.

“Probably my biggest honor is being principal and working with the Vicksburg High School family,” said Taylor, who was paid $65,000 this year.

Vicksburg High School is one of two public high schools in Warren County. The other is Warren Central High School.

Oakes recommended Tolliver’s name to the five-member school board following an interview by a panel of community members and the district’s central office administration.

In other matters, the board:

Approved a $1,000 increase in local supplements for classroom certified teachers and licensed personnel on the teacher’s salary schedule and a $300 supplement for teacher assistants on the assistant’s salary schedule. The increases are set for the 2002-03 fiscal year, to begin July 1. Estimated cost for funding the supplements, not including costs of teacher assistant increases, will be more than $700,000.

“Some people may say we can’t afford to do this,” Oakes said. “I think we can’t afford not to do it.

“I feel like we can increase (the supplement) to reward our teachers,” Oakes said, “to provide them with motivation and esteem which will make us more attractive to recruit people into the district.”

Teachers are currently expected to receive a 6 percent pay raise from the state next year.

Accepted a bid of $98,365.00 from Precision Tech for the Time Management and Attendance System. The system includes devices that scan an employee’s palm, allowing supervisors to keep track of employee hours. The system will eliminate paperwork surrounding timesheets and reduce exposure to Fair Labor Standards Act violations.

Approved a request for permission to advertise for bids for five new vehicles for the district’s maintenance department.

Accepted a $2,000 donation from Mark A. Smith to the Vicksburg High School Football Lift-A-Thon Program. Smith, a Vicksburg native, is currently a defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns.

Approved the purchase of 15 2002-03 model school buses from Water’s Truck and Tractor for a cost of $714,000. The cost is $206,000 less than the state contract cost.

Accepted seven bids for approval of 16th Section land hunting and fishing rights. The board also agreed that two sections of land that received no bids could be re-bid at the same minimums of $4,800.00 and $887.88.

Accepted a proposal of $27,120 from a negotiation to contract Certified Public Accounting Firm Buckner, Buckner and Bridgers to perform district financial audits. The district negotiated with the firm to match the proposal amount submitted by Ruth N. Wylie of Madison.