VWCCA Awards: Vicksburg Warren School District honors students, teachers and community partners

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022

The awards ceremony for the Vicksburg-Warren School District Career Academies was held this past Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

The awards give the school district the opportunity to recognize teachers and business partners who have contributed to the success of the Academies program. The event began with remarks made by Associate Superintendent Dr. Cedric Magee.

“The work we’re doing would not be possible without the support of our business and community partners,” Magee said. “It is impossible to prepare our students in our community without wisdom, insight, and help.”

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Magee also mentioned statistics that show a significant increase in graduation rates in the school district.

“Our partnerships are working, and we have the results to prove it. Last year, despite COVID-19 and all of the challenges that the pandemic brought, the district had its highest four-year graduation rate ever at 88 percent,” Magee said. “To put that in perspective, only five years ago the graduation rate was 72 percent. Ten years ago it was a mere 58 percent.

“Our kids are engaged,” he added. “You have made learning relevant. They’re excited about their futures.”

Magee added that the graduating class of 2021 seniors collectively walked away with 12,951 hours of college credit, which were free of charge to them and their parents.

The semi-formal event was student-led and included a seated dinner. The Masters of Ceremony were high school seniors Christian Summers of Vickburg High School and Zion Nixon of Warren Central High School.

“We are here to recognize members of our community, parents, teachers and students for their contributions over the past year to the Vicksburg Warren College and Career Academies,” Nixon said.

The Career Academies is a program run by VWSD and designed to provide students with specialized skills that will serve them in their future education and professional careers.

The academies are split into three categories: ACME (Architecture, Mechatronics, Engineering, Auto, Construction, Manufacturing, Computer, Engineering, and Design); CAB (Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Communication, Arts); and HHS (Culinary Arts, Education Professional, Medical Professional, Public Health and Safety).

Students are able to enroll in one of these academies. Each contains the required core curriculum as well as career-based learning that aligns with the student’s interests and strengths.

Dr. Terrence James, Director of Career and Technical Education for VWSD, gave closing remarks at the ceremony.

James extended his thanks to all of the awardees. He also thanked the students involved in making the event happen.

“Of course, we had our MCs. We have our photographer who has done a fine job. We had students come around helping out with meals. We had students handing out programs.” James said. “(And) behind the scenes, we had students that came up with the budget for this, also the programs.

“There are students written all over this (event),” James added. “As a matter of fact, this was a student project. So thank you, students, for your wonderful jobs.”

Awards were given to the following individuals and organizations:

Parent of the Year Award Recipients

Warren Central – Omar Nelson

Vicksburg High School – Tara Goodman

Teacher of the Year Award Recipients

Warren Central ACME – Hajuana Rhodes – Biology

Vicksburg High School ACME – Kaynetra Tucker – History

Warren Central CAB – Eli Morgan – English, graphic design

Vicksburg High School CAB – Ann Brogdon – Visual Arts, Yearbook

Warren Central HHS – Jason York – Soccer Coach, Hydroponics program

Vicksburg High School HHS – Rhodilyn Nix – English

Student of the Year Award Recipients

Vicksburg High School ACME – Aisha Williams

Warren Central ACME – Garrison Owens

Warren Central CAB – Alice Trinker

Vicksburg High School CAB – Symone Schatilly

Warren Central HHS – Layla Brown

Vicksburg High School HHS – Serena Logan

Business and Community Partner Award Recipients

VWCCA Premier Partner Award – Mike Smith – Staffing Solutions, Ltd.

VWCCA Foundations Award – Carl Hearn – Batesville Company

VWCCA Legacy Award – Brother Blackburn – Blackburn Motor Co.

Headliner Award – Shelley Tingle

Also recognized was VWCCA’s newest corporate sponsor, Ergon Refining Inc.