New VWSD Board Trustees sworn in Thursday night

Published 1:45 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

The Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting on Thursday, and the meeting began with the swearing-in of two elected trustees, Bryan Pratt and Joe Loviza.

Loviza returned as a board trustee for District 5 after winning the election in November. He was formerly the District 1 Trustee for more than a decade but stepped down in 2019 due to his moving his residence to a home in District 5, making him ineligible to act as the District 1 trustee.

The District 5 seat was formerly held by Sally Bullard, who did not run in the past election.

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Pratt was the incumbent in the last election for the District One seat and has held the position since 2011.

Shortly after the swearing-in, Loviza was unanimously elected as Vice President of the board, the position previously held by Bullard.

One of the items voted on by the board was the purchase of seven electric school buses using a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the beginning of the discussion, District 3 Trustee James Sturgis, Jr. expressed his concern about the cost of maintaining the new vehicles.

Superintendent Chad Shealy responded that his own concerns about the issue were put to rest after speaking with the company.

“When we first started going down this road, I was like, ‘We’re not doing this, this is crazy,’” Shealy said.

However, Shealy said after he and his team did some research, they were assured that maintenance costs would be covered by the company the buses will be purchased from. The school bus purchase approval passed the board unanimously.

The monthly financial report for the district was also given by the Director of Financial Services for VWSD, Cassandra Lewis.

“As of December, the estimated District Fund Balance is $14,395,499.86,” Lewis said. “Our MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) collection for December is $2,353,450. This continues to be consistent throughout the fiscal year as of now, and hopefully, it will remain throughout the year.”

Lewis also mentioned that the casino revenue for November was $58,274.82, adding that the December revenue is expected to be received by the district soon.

The next district Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. A meeting calendar and board documents can be accessed at