Burris leaving Bowmar to lead Early College

Published 10:20 pm Friday, May 20, 2016

Tammy Burris is trading in the keys to her beloved Bowmar Elementary School and getting a fresh start at River City Early College High School.

Burris isn’t the only thing new to River City Early College High School, in fact, everything is new at the school. It is a third high school option offered by the Vicksburg Warren School District that will allow students to graduate high school with two years of college credits. The school will be housed at Hinds Community College Vicksburg Campus.

“What got my attention when I heard about the job is it is going to be a high school for the kids who may not want to be involved in every aspect of high school,” she said. “That was me as a child. I went to school then went to a part-time job after school.”
For students like Burris, the early college high school has a number of benefits.

“If I could have gone to high school and gotten a two-year degree that would have helped my parents out, I would have jumped on that opportunity,” she said. “That really intrigued me, just the opportunities these children will be able to have, free of charge.”

Burris said she only wants to work with things she’s passionate about and starting this new high school fits the bill.

“That’s like here at Bowmar with the Leader in Me that I’m just so passionate about,” she said. “This particular program, I just felt like I could really get behind it because it’s something that I truly believe in. We are so fortunate as a district to be chosen because not everyone gets this opportunity. For Vicksburg to have this is absolutely phenomenal, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”



Next year, the school will accept 60 freshmen, growing by 60 more for the next three years.

The Vicksburg Warren School District will have no input on which students are accepted to the program. Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit will vet and approve applications and from those approved, 60 students will be selected randomly.

Since the high school is a new school, Burris does have some faculty positions to fill.

“If people are interested, they need to go ahead and apply,” she said. “If they are interested and feel like that’s a good fit for them, they can apply through the district’s website.”

Burris said although the future is bright, leaving Bowmar is bittersweet.

“I’m excited about the opportunity, but I’m so very sad to leave Bowmar,” she said. “We’ve started so many great things, and the faculty is wonderful, the parents are wonderful and these Bowmar bears too. I’m definitely going to miss Bowmar.”

Burris said she has already requested to be a part of finding her replacement, hoping someone with a shared vision for the future success of Bowmar will be selected.