Students weigh their options at VWSD Academy Showcase

Published 2:14 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

The Vicksburg Warren School District held its annual Academy Showcase event at the Vicksburg Convention Center last week.

The event was open to the public for one evening on Jan. 26 to allow members of the community to learn more about the College and Career Academies system employed by VWSD.

All high school students in VWSD choose one of three academies in which to narrow their focus of study. The three academies are the Architecture, Construction, Mechatronics, and Engineering Academy (ACME); the Health and Human Services Academy (HHS); and the Communication, Arts, and Business Academy (CAB).

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Tracy Esparza is the ACME and HHS Academy Coach at Warren Central High School.

“The academies are a school within a school, and they’re focused on career development,” Esparza said. “So we are looking at each subject through the lens of each academy. So for CAB, for example, we focus our core subjects: English, math, science and social studies, by looking at those subjects with (a focus on) communications, arts and business.”

The showcase is designed to allow students in the district to learn more about the academies they can choose from when they enter high school. Departments from the different academies set up booths at the event, many with interactive presentations and demonstrations.

At the event, one of the Health and Human Services departments had set up a medical dummy demonstration that its students use for medical studies. Another department had a small arena set up in which remote-controlled robots made by students battle each other.

Carly Stocks, an agriculture instructor at Hinds Community College, which partners with VWSD, had set up one of her department’s Bovine Milking Udder Simulators. She explained that it was used to train students on the proper techniques for milking a cow.

The Academy Showcase is one of the ways students learn about what each academy has to offer in order to better make a decision about which academy best suits their interests and skills.

“(The students) have been doing career exploration in seventh and eighth grade at the junior highs,” Esparza said. “This is kind of to showcase what we’re doing at the high schools if (the students) are kind of on the fence about which academy they want to belong to.”

While the academies are “schools within a school,” a single academy functions as a cohesive organization that is somewhat independent of the actual school the students attend.

“We’re not really divided by high school. We’re more in programs,” Esparza said.

The College and Career Academies system was adopted by VWSD to help tailor students’ education to best suit their needs.

For more information about the academies, you can visit