In The Bossier Banner September 27, 1934 edition, a former Bossier Parish teacher praised N. W. Sentell for his work on the Bossier Parish School Board. In last week’s article an unnamed teacher began an account of the history of Bossier Parish schools. The remainder of the article is printed here as a continuation of the teacher’s experience in the Bossier Parish school system.
“I taught in Bossier City for three or four years, as a one-room school [teacher].”
“In this school I found six well defined grades, two or three[students] in the seventh grade and one eighth-grade boy, who had recently come from a large city school—eight grades, but not enough pupils for two teachers. After almost having nervous prostration, because I could not do the work satisfactorily, I appealed to Mr. C. E. Byrd, Superintendent of Caddo Parish, for assistance and he not only most graciously permitted me to send the seventh and eighth grades over to town, but invited me to send all above the fourth over as long as he could take care of them, or until we had a sufficient number for another teacher.”
“Mr. Byrd never lost interest in us, and for the entire seven years I taught in Bossier City, he was as thoughtful of me as he was of his own teachers. When, by my own and the efforts of my patrons, we completely furnished the little school building—desks, blackboards, a small number of books and the crowning glory of all, a piano—he was as much interested as we. It was through his influence that we received the same discount on our school furniture that he himself was getting, in furnishing one of his large buildings.”
“I have given rather lengthy pictures of the two largest schools in the parish, because then, as now, they were among the most desirable and because the contrasts between the then and now is almost unbelievable.”
“Through all of these years, at least one man has had a vision, and a sublime faith in the future of the Bossier Parish Public Schools, and he has been a leading spirit in making this vision come true—until step by step, we have almost reached the pinnacle.”
“Well done! Mr. Sentell, we are proud of your record and of our magnificent school buildings and splendid school system, also, of each and every member of our School Board. I know they will join me in giving our senior member, who has labored in the vineyard for forty years, a rising vote of thanks. Too, they’ll admit that he, more than any one person, has been instrumental in bringing about this wonderful and almost unbelievable change.”
Bossier Parish Schools pride still abounds here. To find out more about how the school system has grown through the years, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.
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