OUR OPINION: Local educators deserve every opportunity for praise

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 13, 2023

The Vicksburg Warren School District of 10 years ago would be amazed at the District of today, how far it’s come and the hard work that paid off to reach the top-tier educational opportunities it offers students.

This Friday’s edition of The Post details as much — recognition for the best of the best educators and support persons at VWSD and ongoing coverage of the finalists for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award.

The district had a banner year in 2022: the addition of Lighthouse Schools, record graduation rates and test scores, a statewide acknowledgment in the form of a B letter grade and the restoration of VWSD’s District of Innovation status. Not only that — it also produced college tuition savings for dual-enrolled students that numbered in the millions.

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For years now, VWSD has taken an at times unorthodox approach to educating its students, prioritizing building real-life skills and personal intellect for its students over strictly educating to meet the demands of a state test. Thanks to a robust STEM curriculum, students are able to learn through hands-on activities and accomplish tasks many professionals didn’t attempt until entering college or the labor force.

By prioritizing community partnerships, whether it’s through working with parents or local businesses, VWSD strives to instill in students the value of hard work. They’re provided with tools to determine the future that best suits them: enlistment, enrollment in higher education, employment or entrepreneurship.

And instead of sitting in class daydreaming about what they’ll be one day, students have the opportunity to start learning practical skills to obtain their goals in real-time.

Our community is blessed with dedicated adults that act as teachers, administrators, mentors and classroom volunteers to ensure students not only meet their full potential but exceed it. From the crossing guard at the intersection of Mission 66 and Rosa A. Temple Drive, all the way to the most senior administrator, the passion for education is readily apparent.

You don’t have to take our word for it, either. You’re welcome to see for yourself.

Another way VWSD is ahead of the curve — and welcoming skeptics into the fold — is through its Discovery Day school tours program. There are three more opportunities left this school year for those interested in learning more about VWSD: Feb. 7, March 7 and April 4. The tours are student-led and interactive, allowing guests to speak with student leaders and Superintendent Chad Shealy and see firsthand the district’s most recent facilities renovations and improvements.

We’re lucky to have a variety of quality education choices for children in Warren County, and any time the people who make it possible can be praised for that they do, they should be.