After the January 19th, 1901 meeting of the Bossier Parish Teachers’ Association, The Bossier Banner carried the following account of the meeting.
“Some thirty or forty persons, including Miss Birdie Scott’s pupils, were also present, and seemed to take a deep interest in the meeting. One of the trustees of the Bossier City school, Mr. W. T. Colquitt, was present.”
“Miss Birdie Scott, who is the teacher at that place, on being introduced, read the following beautiful address of welcome which produced a most felicitous effect upon all present:”
“Our worthy Superintendent, Ladies and Gentlemen, coworkers in the noble cause of education: It is with pleasure and gratification that I try to avail myself of the privilege conferred on me of welcoming this noble band of educators to the classic Hall of Bossier City Academy—You may smile at the big sounding name, but friends the day is surely coming when we who stand here today will be proud to acknowledge that we were the pioneers of education in the future grand old city of Bossier.”
“A little more than a year ago, thanks to the diligence of the estimable member of the School Board from this ward, and inspired and encouraged by our worthy Superintendent, whose sympathies and efforts are always on the side of education, and whose valued help I, with many others, acknowledge and appreciate more than feeble words can ever express, we organized this school, a band of little children—five in number. Today we have a membership of twenty-seven, and daily increasing. We began in a small room given to us by one of our most progressive citizens. We moved from room to room as our members increased, until seeing that our success was assured, the same generous gentleman donated these grounds, and our citizens of Bossier City erected this comfortable building, which we have dedicated to the noble, sacred, grand old cause of education and with Excelsior for our motto, we hope to inscribe her name high on the pinnacle of Fame.”
“Again I give you greeting in the name of Bossier City and of Bossier Academy I give you sincere, cordial, heartfelt welcome.”
Next on the agenda was a paper by Miss Mary Gilmer, “on the subject of Primary Teaching, which displayed great care and skill in its preparation. Her paper was well received, and was earnestly and uniquely discussed by Mr. Alfred and Mr. Simmons.”
“The importance of grading the course of study required by law to be taught in the public schools was next under consideration—To this there was no objection—The idea received unanimous approval.”
“The meeting was imminently beneficial to all who took part.”
The Teachers’ Association minutes, as well as the minutes of the Bossier Parish School Board, both published in The Bossier Banner, provide a remarkable look at the history of Bossier Parish Schools. Visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center to read about that history.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org