Meet the Board


Vicksburg Board of Education: Left to Right Front Row: Carol Lohman, Virgil 'Skip' Knowles; Left to Right Back Row: Tina Forsyth, Rudy Callen, Dr. David Schriemer, Wil Emmert, Deborah Harsha.

Leadership, service and education

The Board of Education is an advocate for all students, parents and educators within the Vicksburg Community Schools system. The Board is committed to creating policies and finding the tools and resources to improve student achievement and ensure that all students receive a high quality education that prepares them for the demands of the workplace, post secondary education and citizenship.

(To view a board member's biography, click their name)

Virgil (Skip) Knowles - President

President | Term expires: 2018
5985 East W Ave. - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-1312

Virgil (Skip) Knowles is no stranger to service and leadership. He has served tirelessly on the school board for 25 years. Most notably he has been the Board president for 22 years. In addition he has served on the following Board committees: Auditorium, Capital Projects/Building and Site, Personnel, Negotiations, Student Affairs, New Board Member Orientation, Board Room Renovation, Board Evaluation, Legislative/LINKS rep, and Strategic Planning rep.

When not providing leadership for the School Board, Skip is involved with the Vicksburg Community Association, Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority, Vicksburg Municipal Building Authority, Vicksburg Rotary Club, and the Vicksburg Old Car Festival and has held leadership positions in each. Additionally, he has served on the Kalamazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce.

Skip's leadership is evident by positions he holds or has held: 22 years as Board president, chairman of the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority, Chairman of the Kalamazoo County School Officers, past president of Vicksburg Rotary, Secretary of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency Board of Education, Chairman of the Vicksburg Old Car Festival, Chairman of the Kalamazoo County Schools Legislative Committee. Skip is a certified board member of the Michigan Association of School Boards.

Skip makes time to get in the classroom as he annually talks to the High School government classes and he reads to elementary classes. In the past he has been involved in the Middle School Study Committee, Facilities Improvement, Keep Good Schools for Kids Committee, Kids are the Future Committee, and Band Boosters.

Carol Lohman - Vice-President

Vice-President | Term expires: 2018
13624 South 32nd St. - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-2041

Carol Lohman has a history of utilizing her leadership by providing service to the community of Vicksburg. She has served on the Board of Education since 1984. Over the years she has served on the following committees: Personnel, Negotiations, Capital Projects/Building and Site, Technology, Board Evaluation, New Board Member Orientation, and Board Room Renovation. Carol has served actively on the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation as well as the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency representative. Additionally, she has stayed involved in the Kalamazoo County School Officers Association.

Since 1984 Carol has been an active and involved member of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church where she has participated on various committees. She has been a Kids Hope mentor for the past six years, has been involved with Rotary Showboat, and sat on the Bronson Vicksburg Hospital Advisory Board. Carol's leadership is evident in the roles she has assumed as past president of the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation and vice president of the Board of Education with 22 years of service. She is the Scholarship Chair for the Foundation as well as serving on the Public Relations Committee.

Since retirement Carols spends time at the Middle School supporting the Science Department.

Deborah Harsha

Term expires: 2020
11817 Portage Rd. - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 327-1886

Deborah Harsha is a Battle Creek native and Vicksburg resident for 20+ years. Her community involvement has been family and child focused including teaching Sunday school, being a PTA board member at Sunset Lake Elementary, teaching more than 20 Junior Achievement classes for 10 years, and serving as a member of the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation. She works locally in the field of procurement/supply chain and is an active member of the Institute of Supply Management (past membership chair and president) promoting education in the field of supply chain management.

Deborah is married to Mark Harsha and they have two children in the Vicksburg School system. When not busy with work, children and volunteering, she is busy with My Cheese, Inc., the manufacturer of Vicksburg Cheddar Spread.

Rudy Callen

Term expires: 2022
1963 East Y Avenue - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-2360

Rudy Callen was appointed to the Board of Education on January 10, 2011 to fill out the term vacated by Jean Eldred. The Board of Education received interest from two individuals in response to the posting for the open Board seat for the period of January 10 through June 30, 2011.

He and his wife Fawn have two daughters in the Vicksburg Schools, Nikki, a sophomore, and Brandy, a senior. They have been in the Vicksburg community since 1989.

Rudy is very active in his girls’ education and extra-curricular endeavors. Over the years Rudy has accepted leadership roles and volunteer opportunities to support the schools and the community. Some of those experiences include involvement on a Sunset Lake PTA project, helped build a soccer storage shed donated by the Athletic Boosters, has worked the stadium concession stand, coached youth soccer, board member of a local credit union, and mentor of student projects at the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center.

Rudy has been very involved since 2006 as a trustee with the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation. He has been active on the Scholarship, Public Relations and Fund Development Committees. Rudy’s experience in managing a financial institution will be valuable to the Board. Rudy’s background, involvement and commitment will result in great support and leadership for the District.

Wilber Emmert

Term expires: 2020
15317 Portage Rd. - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-3852

Wil Emmert has been a Vicksburg school board member since 1993. He has been on the following Board committees: Board Orientation/Evaluations, Curriculum, Personnel, Transportation, Student Affairs and Community Education.

Wil is very active in the Vicksburg United Methodist Church serving as a Staff-Parish Relations Committee member and chair, Finance Commission Vice Chair, and he has also chaired Administrative Council and has served on multiple commissions.

Wil's leadership has been tapped at Western Michigan University where he has served on the Administrative Professional Association serving on the Executive Board as president, vice president, and corresponding secretary. He has served on the Presidential Search Committee and currently serves on the Provost Search Committee at WMU. Additionally, Wil is serving a second term on the Board of Directors for the Research Administrators Certification Council. He was recognized by the Society of Research Administrators for more than 30 years of service. Wil has been active in the School Improvement Plan Development for Tobey.

Christina Forsyth

Term expires: 2022
11937 South 26th St. - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-2437

Christina (Tina) Forsyth has never hesitated to take on leadership roles. This is clearly illustrated by her willingness to serve on the Vicksburg Board of Education two separate times in her life. She has logged 12 years on the Board to this date. Tina has been on the following Board committees: Auditorium, Student Affairs, Technology, Board Orientation/Evaluation and Transportation.

Tina has spent a "lifetime" volunteering for the Vicksburg Rotary Showboat. She has a history of providing service with the FlowerFest, Main Street Revue, and an area co-op preschool. Additionally, she has helped with the annual Girl Scouts event at the Performing Arts Center.

Tina has an exhaustive history volunteering at Tobey Elementary. She served on the PTO Board, volunteered for fund raising, spent countless hours in classrooms, chaperoned field trips and lent a hand wherever needed. Tina has held leadership positions with the PTO, co-op preschool, and in stage management.

You have probably seen Tina around the Performing Arts Center as she stays active in the schools' arts and theater as well as the operation of the Performing Arts Center.

David Schriemer

Term expires: 2020
14105 Waterview - Vicksburg, MI 49097 - (269) 649-4836

Dr. Dave Schriemer is a newcomer to the Board as he joined the Board in 2005. He has jumped right in and he is active in the Curriculum, Student Affairs, and Transportation committees for the School Board.

To say Dr. Schriemer gives back to the community in the form of service and leadership is an understatement. He has coached Little League baseball and softball and has coached volleyball at the Courthouse. Dr. Schriemer teaches high school Sunday School, is involved in the Lakeland Reformed Church choir, has been in Rotary Showboat, announced for the Vicksburg Hearty Hustle 5K, which he now runs in annually and he volunteers at the Generous Hands warehouse.

Dr. Schriemer is quite noticeable around the schools as he is a Kids Hope mentor, does free sports physical screenings, free Kindergarten screenings, provides medical support on the football sideline, reads Winnie the Pooh to first and second graders, volunteered to help build Sunset's new playground, and he hosts health occupation students in his medical practice.

After all of that, he has found time to take on leadership roles as a church elder, past vice president of the Senior Pastor Search Committee, Medical Staff President at Bronson Vicksburg Hospital, and President of Family Doctors of Vicksburg PC.