A Message from Chad Shealy
Degrees and Certifications:
Superintendent Chad Shealy
In the book, The Leader In Me, Steven Covey outlines one of the seven habits of an effective leader as, “Begin with the end in mind.” In keeping with that spirit, we have tailored our mission statement for the Vicksburg Warren School District.
Our mission statement is: “It is our goal through relevant instruction to equip every student with the literacy and numeracy skills to succeed in challenging courses, meet academic standards, and graduate from high school prepared for college and ready for a challenging career.”
This is a focused mission that highlights the two strongest elements of why students do not complete high school. The top reason why students quit school is a lack of adequate literacy skills. They struggle with reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It is our number one focus in all content areas and in all grade levels to embed these literacy components to equip our students with the foundation to be a successful learner. Another major contributor to a student being a dropout is that they do not see the relevance in the education they are receiving. How many times have you heard a child say, “Why do I need this class?” followed by the statement, “I’ll never use this in the REAL WORLD!” It seems they have a point.
What we are developing in VWSD are opportunities for students to have learning tied to future goals. For example: sixty percent of all blue-collar jobs in the year 2020 will be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related, 15 of the 20 fastest growing jobs in America are in STEM related professions, and 2.4 million STEM jobs will be available in the US within 5 years. We have an obligation to our state, city and more importantly our students to prepare them for the future. Creating a STEM educational focus is one example of how we can prepare students with post-graduation skills that are very relevant in the future market. We know that every child is different and a “canned” program will not work for every student, so we will need to intentionally seek to provide personal relevance. At the core of my belief are the facts that EVERY child can learn and EVERY child is worth the effort. The VWSD will seek to find those factors that challenge our students to meet the standards of graduation and preparing them for the future.
As we move forward in our efforts to do this, we will be challenged to understand a few universal truths about change. Change takes time and no one runs a gold metal race the first time. It is also important to remember that we will keep getting what we have gotten if we keep doing what we have always done.
We look forward to the greater things that are to come in this city and working alongside this community in improving the education for all of our children.
Vicksburg Warren School District
Superintendent Chad Shealy signed on to lead the Vicksburg Warren School District (VWSD) in October of 2013. Under Mr. Shealy’s leadership, the Vicksburg Warren School District has made great strides toward their goal of graduating all students ready for college or career and prepared for a productive life.
Under his direction, VWSD was named one of the state’s first Districts of Innovation.In his three years at VWSD, Mr. Shealy has implemented initiatives focused on improving student outcomes including adding fourteen pre-kindergarten classes, increasing enrollment at the Academy of Innovation STEM Middle School by over 300 students and creating an early college high school. Other district high schools are being transformed to the academy model and wall-to-wall implementation will be complete in the 2018-19 school year.
Mr. Shealy began his career in education as a teacher at Rosa Scott Middle School in Madison Mississippi, but gained most of his 18 years of experience in the Hinds County School District where he served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. His work at Hinds County was recognized when he was chosen as the School District’s 2012-13 Administrator of the Year and went on to be named Mississippi’s Administrator of the Year by the Mississippi Department of Education.
He is an active member of the Mississippi Association of Middle Level Educators (MAMLE) and served as the organization’s president in 2009. He also sits on the state’s Superintendents Advisory Committee and is a current board member of the Program of Research and Evaluation of Public Schools (PREPS).
A native of Byram, Mississippi, Mr. Shealy and his lovely wife, Shanon, reside in Vicksburg with their three sons. When he is not in his office, he can usually be found cheering on his sons’ baseball teams or spending time outdoors hunting or fishing.