Bowmar Avenue enjoys a rich history

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 12, 2014


Bowmar Avenue Elementary School, completed in 1939 as one of Mississippi’s premier International style structures, recognizes its 75th year in the Vicksburg community. Bowmar Avenue Elementary served the community as a neighborhood school for almost a half century.

In 1988 the Vicksburg and the Warren County School Districts consolidated into the present Vicksburg Warren School District.

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During the consolidation period, Bowmar Avenue Elementary School, along with Grove Street Elementary, was selected to become a magnet school. Students were required to apply for entrance for the 1989-90 school term. The newly recreated magnet school achieved racial balance in proportion to the community’s racial composition in what had become a predominately African American school. All of this was achieved under the U.S. Department of Justice’s oversight. The school initially received federal funds to purchase computers to support the magnet theme, computers, and thinking skills. Bowmar Avenue Elementary School remains a magnet school today with an application process and selected by lottery.

In 2011, the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce funded and implemented a new initiative that was producing significant results in other parts of the United States. The “Leader in Me” program shifted the leadership roles to students in several key areas. Based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, the “Leader in Me” program engages the students in student-led parent/teacher conferences, tracking data, setting personal and academic goals, public speaking, creating action teams and actively working together to resolve disputes.

In May 2014, Bowmar Elementary, along with Bovina Elementary, was recognized as a “Lighthouse School” by FranklinCovey Education, designer of the “Leader in Me” program. Only 101 other schools nationwide share this elite milestone, Bowmar and Bovina being the first among Mississippi schools. With that distinction, Bowmar hopes to shine the light for other schools in our district and state as they begin their “Leader in Me” journeys.

We are excited to be partnering and supporting Dana Road, Beechwood, and Redwood this year as they commence the “Leader in Me” process. Our hope is that all schools in the district will.