2 school board members out

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2002

[11/06/02]The two incumbent Vicksburg Warren County School District board members up for re-election were ousted Tuesday by first-time office-seekers.

The results mean every time voters have had a chance to make a change on the board of the 9,000-student district since 1998, they have.

In District 3, Betty J. Tolliver received 1,436 votes to Pearline Williams’ 661.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In District 4, Jan Hyland Daigre received 1,545 votes to John Carlisle’s 1,180.

The five school trustees are elected from supervisor districts, but serve staggered, six-year terms so there is never an all-new board. Only one trustee, Zelmarine Murphy, has survived a re-election contest. She had no opponent two years ago.

Tolliver, 52, was excited as the results came in. “I plan to put children first,” she said. “I’m looking forward to bringing our children into the 21st century.”

She has two children enrolled in the school district and said she wants to bring staff, teachers, parents and students together.

Tolliver is a cousin to Charlie Tolliver, principal at Vicksburg High School, but that relationship is not considered a conflict under state law.

Williams, 71, had held the seat for District 3 for 12 years, almost since the consolidated district was created in 1986. “I’ve done what I can do,” she said. “I’ve given it my best shot. I didn’t win, but I feel good because I tried.”

She also offered best wishes to the winner. “I congratulate Ms. Tolliver,” Williams said. “She’s done a splendid job.”

Daigre, 40, also has two children now in public schools and said good schools are a solid foundation for the community.

“I think the community would falter without public schools,” she said. “We’ve got to support them.”

Daigre said the biggest issue facing the board is accountability.

“I’d like to look at the budget,” she said. “I think taxpayers have said that raising the budget is not an option.”

School spending has risen markedly in Warren County including as a result of a tax increase this year. The schools however, have not achieved better than an average rating from state officials. School board members are not paid a salary, but receive a stipend for attending meetings.

Carlisle, 54, said he has no plans to run again for the seat he held since the district was formed from formerly separate city and county districts.

“I’ve had a good time and I hope I represented the people in my district the way they’ve wanted me to,” incumbent Carlisle said. He also praised his successor. “They’ve got a good person in Jan. She’s got her work cut out for her but I feel she’s up to it.”

In the 1998 election, Kay Aasand beat incumbent Howell N. “Hal” Gage and Chad Barrett won over incumbent Dr. Robert Ford.