Our community owes so much to Loviza’s commitment to public education

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019

There was something fitting by the way Joe Loviza stepped away from his seat on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees Tuesday.

During a meeting he was leading, Loviza stood up, addressed the audience with a few words, thanked those whom he had served and resigned.

As he said, he did not want to leave, but the rules that govern the workings of the board dictated he must.

Recently, Loviza moved to a new home, a home outside of the district he represents, which meant he could no longer serve on the board.

Following Loviza’s resignation, his fellow colleagues on the board spoke glowingly of his service to the district and the students. Superintendent Chad Shealy recounted how Loviza played a key role in helping recruit him and his family to Warren County, talking of how Loviza took him hunting and fishing.

After each person spoke, there was applause from those attending the meeting. Loviza then handed off the gavel to another trustee, rolled back his chair and stepped away.

As he walked toward the door, the meeting moved along with board attorney Briggs Hopson leading the selection of a new vice president.

He shook hands on the way out as Board of Trustee member Sally Bullard was elected vice president and took control of the meeting.

Quietly, without much fuss, Loviza stepped to the door and simply left.

Those few moments marked the end of Loviza’s tenure on the board, spanning more than a decade. It also marked the end to some degree of his involvement in public education in Vicksburg and Warren County that spanned the better part of six decades.

For some, they might not know he served as mayor of Vicksburg for one term, but most know him for his work in public education, whether that as a teacher and administrator in the public school system, or his involvement with Hinds Community College, which has a building on its Vicksburg campus named in his honor.

Loviza will undoubtedly remain involved in the community.

He serves on numerous boards and civic organizations, and still serves in a capacity with Hinds Community College.

For Loviza, who will turn 80 in February, Tuesday’s departure from the board of trustees was not something he wanted to do but needed to do. Thankfully for our community and our children, serving in the capacities he had over the decades is something our community needed him to do.

While his tenure on the board of trustees is finished, we are certain his impact on Vicksburg, Warren County, and our public education system will in some way continue.