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Theresa Bell named Teacher of the Year at Warren Central High School

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Theresa Bell once thought that computer science was the perfect career path for her. But after working several jobs, she decided to deviate from that path and join another: teaching.

Since 2000, Bell has taught English at Warren Central High School.

“Teaching was not my first calling,” she said. “I often tell my students that teaching was not predestined in my path because I initially wanted to do computer science; however, after getting my bachelor’s degree in computer science, I was with Allstate Insurance company, and they relocated out of Jackson, Miss. After they left, there weren’t any jobs available in my major. So a family member suggested that I go into teaching. I went the alternate route by taking the test and just went from there.”

During her 19 years as a teacher, Bell has touched the hearts of many students and inspired them to pursue a professional career in language arts.

“Teaching is something that I do that makes me feel meaningful,” she said. “When I have students that come back and say, ‘Mrs. Bell, I remember when we did this, and I appreciate you talking to me about that’—most of the time it’s not about a specific lesson, but it’s about just giving a kind word of advice. I just feel that I’m in the right place at the right time.” 

This year Bell was recognized as the Teacher of the Year at Warren Central High School by her peers at the school.

“We all work hard with our students and with each other,” she said. “To be named Teacher of the Year by my peers—it, too, is another sign from God that I am where I’m supposed to be.”

Bell believes that the award represents all of the dedicated instructors at the school.

“Receiving the Teacher of the Year award at Warren Central High School is such a humbling honor, especially with all of the intelligence and talent that we have there,” she said. “So many people who have never gone to Warren Central don’t know the talents that we have at Warren Central. We have really hard working teachers here who are here early in the morning to late in the evening, not just to teach but to model and mold the students who are there.”

Education

Corey Wilson is Warren Central’s Teacher of the Year

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Warren Central's Principal Eric Green, left, presents teacher and coach Corey Wilson Sr. with a basket of goodies. (photo courtesy WCHS)

Warren Central High School teacher and football coach Corey Wilson Sr. has won the WCHS Teacher of the Year award for the 2020-2021 school year.

Wilson has been teaching at Warren Central for 19 years and has helped educate thousands of students over the years. He teaches introduction to architecture construction mechatronics and engineering.

Wilson is also a football coach for the school and has helped a plenty of young athletes gain athletic scholarships. He is well respected by his students, colleagues and the Vicksburg community.

“A well deserved award for a guy that goes beyond the limit. Proud to be mentored and work with him. Great coach,” said fellow teacher and coach Ced Jackson in a text message.

Wilson will help lead the Vikings football team Friday as they travel to face Tupelo High School.

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COVID-19

Vicksburg Warren School Districts reports three new COVID-19 cases

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For the week of Nov. 2 through Nov. 6, the Vicksburg Warren School District reported two new COVID-19 cases and four individuals quarantined due to possible exposure to the virus in the same time period.

Cases were reported at the following schools:

Warren Central High School
Two new positive cases – teachers/staff

Warren Central Intermediate
Four quarantined – teachers/staff

For the prior week, Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, the district reported one new COVID-19 case, a student, at River City Early College High School.

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Education

Local educator ignites passion for science and dance in VWSD students

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April Green lives her life by a quote from William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And she is lighting students’ fires everywhere from dance floors to classroom laboratories. 

Green, a native of Vicksburg, said she has been a dancer since the age of four, but her interest in science and her desire to teach didn’t manifest itself until her high school years at Vicksburg High School. 

“There were three teachers that truly touched me; Annie Straughter, Alice Jones, and Susan Czaika. They brought out the best in me and encouraged my passion for science. They also had a way of inspiring all of us in their classes and that’s what made me first think about becoming a teacher.” 

It was in high school as a member of the dance team Gator Girls that Green’s love of dance also thrived. 

“We (the Gator Girls) went to a dance camp and a few of us were chosen to dance at a New Orleans Saints game”, Green said. “It was at that game that I knew my future didn’t lie in just science and teaching. Dance would be a big part of it, too.” 

After graduating from VHS, Green enrolled at Alcorn State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology. She soon followed that with a master’s degree in education from Jackson State University. 

Green began her educational career at Vicksburg Junior High as an 8th grade science teacher. That took care of two of her passions, but Green couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something in her life was missing. 

Green said, “I knew I wanted to open a dance studio, but I was scared to take the risk. I went back and forth with myself for a few years. I questioned whether I’d have the necessary time to invest in it and whether it would be financially wise. But my family finally sat me down and was like, ‘Look. This is what you want to do and we believe in you. We support you, so go try.’” The April Green Dance Company opened in 2015. 

As the AGDC was getting off the ground, Green’s career in education was also on the rise. Green was offered the position of lead teacher at Sherman Avenue Elementary which she held for five years before being named lead teacher at Vicksburg High School for the 2019-2020 school year. 

As rewarding as those positions were, Green missed the classroom. “I just wanted to be in a place where I could do for students what inspirational teachers had done for me. I wanted to make science come alive for kids.” 

The opportunity to do just that presented itself when Green learned that the Career and Technical Education (CTE) school needed a teacher for their Biomedical classes. Green got the position. 

CTE is a program through which Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus, through its Career and Technical Center, offers high school career and technical courses to the secondary students within the Vicksburg-Warren School District. 

“The students in the Biomedical program have the chance to take on real world challenges through case studies and real life experiences. They’re working with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs. They’re taking real case studies and working together to develop solutions,” Green said. “It’s incredible to see high school students so on fire for new knowledge and skills. And to know that I’ve had a part in lighting that fire is beyond rewarding.” 

William Butler Yeats would likely agree.

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