Vicksburg School Board Talks Tobey Elementary Plans

By Sue Moore

Vicksburg School Board meetings rotate among each of its five buildings during the school year. This gives administrators a chance to highlight activities taking place in their buildings. In November, it was Tobey Elementary’s turn. The school is headed by Principal Mike Barwegen who loves to emphasize “the Tobey Way” in his report.

“We are working on becoming a National School of Character,” he told the board. “We emphasize character traits such as patience, integrity, honesty, having a safe and caring environment with a focus on kindness.” The school received a grant from the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation to purchase a tower garden planter to demonstrate how food grows from seed to table. Two students were present to give a demonstration about the garden and its new plants that are just sprouting.

In other business, Food Service Director Sarah Dyer has instituted some new and helpful ways to make sure students do not go hungry and can learn more easily on a full stomach. She has instituted “grab and go” salad options at the high school similar to those she started at the middle school last year. For breakfast, kids can take their grab bag into class or eat in the cafeteria. A new slushie machine has been installed in the high school that dispenses 100 percent fruit juice that she said the kids really love.

Auditors from Plante & Moran were at the meeting to praise the financial position of the school system and in particular Assistant Supt. Steve Goss’ department for a clean audit for the last two years the firm has been retained. “You showed an increase in the fund balance at 10.5 percent of total spending,” an auditor said. “The state average is 13.9 percent. We would encourage you to aim for 15 percent but know it isn’t going to happen right away. Enrollment has held steady and that is a good thing.”

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