Betty Tolliver seeks position on school board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

[09/25/02]A second candidate has filed to run for school trustee from District 3.

Betty J. Tolliver, 52, turned in qualifying papers and said she will seek the position on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees. She will face incumbent Pearline Williams, 71, on Nov. 5 ballots in the district.

In another school board race, candidates in District 4 are incumbent John Carlisle, 54, and Jan Daigre, 40.

The filing deadline is Oct. 4.

Tolliver has two children in public schools, in the ninth and 10th grades.

A licensed social worker, she has 29 years of experience in social work and prekindergarten education in Vicksburg, 23 of them with Head Start. For the past six years, she has worked at Kings Community Center and is now the city’s assistant director of youth services.

Charlie Tolliver, principal at Vicksburg High School, is her cousin. That degree of kinship does not create a conflict of interest under state law. Only spouses and immediate family of school board members are ineligible to be employed by the district.

Tolliver said she believes she can help the district make more effective use of its resources.

“With the money that comes into the school system, we should have A-No. 1 kids all over the City of Vicksburg in everything that they do,” she said. “The money should be spent on children, not ideas.”

Asked for an example of how that change might occur, Tolliver said that schools “jump from one program to the next” without sufficiently evaluating the first.

She also identified low self-esteem as a problem among many parents, students and even sometimes school staff.

“Parents have to say, Even though I’m working, I’m going to pay some attention to my child,'” she said, adding that children also need to have goals and ideas for what they want to do in life.

“All I want to do is get in there and find out what is going on so I can make it better,” she said.

The Vicksburg Warren district was created by consolidating former separate city and county districts in 1986. There are five school trustees, one from each county supervisor district. Their six-year terms are staggered to preclude electing an all-new board at any time. There is no salary, but trustees are paid a token amount for attending meetings.