Dedication, persistent hard work pays off for A-rated Bowmar and Bovina schools

Published 6:35 pm Saturday, December 15, 2018

Bowmar Elementary School has been a landmark in Vicksburg for decades with generations of students passing through its halls for nearly 80 years.

But the current crop of students is making history of it own.

For the first time in school history, Bowmar has been designated an A-rated school by the Mississippi Department of Education, one of just two schools within the Vicksburg Warren School District to receive such designation. Bovina Elementary also received an A-rating for the 2017-18 school year.

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Built in 1939 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Bowmar became a magnet school in the Vicksburg Warren School District in 1999, a Leader In Me school in 2012 and the first Lighthouse School in Mississippi in 2014.

Bowmar was designated an historic Mississippi landmark in 1993 and will receive a marker from the state in the coming weeks.

But it’s what is happening inside those historic classrooms that have the Bowmar Bears students, faculty, parents and alumni growling with glee.

The school, which has been a B-rated school the last couple of academic years, had more than a 100-point increase in growth from the previous year — moving from 381 points to 484 points — and held a celebration of this goal Wednesday.

Third-year principal Jason Bennett is humble, giving the credit for the hard work to the students and dedication of the staff at Bowmar.

“It was all them. They worked very hard to get this designation and this A-rating reflects their hard work. Bowmar is full of tradition and expectations and the teachers and students work hard every day to try and fulfill those expectations and keep those traditions alive.”

VWSD Superintendent Chad Shealy said it was “unprecedented growth” and dedication that helped Bowmar’s students and faculty receive the A-rating

“I think it’s a great testament to the effort put forth by the staff,” Shealy said. “Not only have they spent ample time with meeting the standards, but executing with students in reaching record rates. It makes me smile from ear to ear in how it affects the community.”

Shealy is exactly right when such an accomplishment is shared with the community. We congratulate all of the students, teachers and faculty at Bowmar, as well as Bovina, for their commitment to excellence and encourage others in the VWSD to look at their example.

Great things are happening within the Vicksburg Warren School District. Vicksburg has many reasons to be proud of the achievement of students, faculty, staff and administration. And the best is yet to come.

Congratulations and thank you to all involved.