Convocation was more than I expected

Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I’ve been to a lot of school functions as a parent and as a reporter, but what I witnessed Friday was utterly amazing.

I’ve never been to a convocation to kickoff a school year, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect — only what I’ve been told — when I went to the Vicksburg Convention Center Friday to cover the Vicksburg Warren School District event to celebrate, encourage and inspire teachers, faculty, administrators and employees.

I saw photos from the 2017 convocation and the excitement that took place as part of the school system being selected the only Ford Next Generational Learning school district in Mississippi.

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I wasn’t sure how organizers could top that celebration. And though I didn’t see last year’s convocation first-hand, I’d have to say the extravaganza that I watched Friday was even more spectacular.

To say I was blown away is an understatement.

Before the event, Christi Kilroy, public relations specialist with the school district, came up to me and said “I hope you don’t mind being on the front row.”

At first I thought to myself, “I hope there’s no Nickelodeon slime involved in this.”

Fortunately, I did not get slimed and to my knowledge, no one else did either. But there were plenty of excited teachers and staff who let their presence be known, firing off streamers and confetti that rained down on those assembled, only after t-shirts were fired from an air cannon into the crowd.

Once Superintendent Chad Shealy and other local officials made their opening remarks, the real fun began and all I could do was sit back and admire the tremendous talent on the stage of the convention center.

Music, dancing, singing filled the convention center. And this wasn’t just some school play we’re talking about. This was a magnificent production on the level of many first-class stage productions.

From a gospel choir, to the talented student dancers on the floor and in the aisles, the convocation was incredible.

I couldn’t agree more with special guest and motivational speaker Ron Clark when he said he had never seen anything like it because I hadn’t either. It certainly was not what I expected.

Vicksburg has plenty to be proud of with the rising test scores and graduation rates Shealy pointed out, but there is a plethora of talented people who had to have worked tirelessly to put on such a production. Kudos to all those involved.

They certainly set the bar high for next year’s event, which I am already looking forward to and have assigned myself to cover.

Here’s to a great school year.

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at