By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
After four-plus decades in education, Haughton High School Principal Gene Couvillion is retiring.
“I went to school here when it was 7-12 grade. After graduating, I came here to teach,” said Couvillion, who will retire Friday, May 31 after 42 years serving as a teacher, coach and administrator at Haughton High School.
“So 48 out of the last 52 years, I’ve been on these school grounds. I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t.”
A native of Bossier and Haughton High School Graduate, Couvillion taught social studies at Haughton High fresh out of college. Soon after becoming a teacher, he then moved positions and coached for more than 18 years. After coaching, he served as assistant principal for a short time and then has served as principal for the past 23 years.
“I’ll miss the students and faculty,” Couvillion said. “The faculty is a wonderful group of people. I actually hired all of the faculty, except for two people. And they are almost all Haughton graduates themselves. That’ll be something I miss, this is my family away from my family.”
Some of his most memorable moments have been watching his students progress from grade to grade and eventually graduate, attending “outstanding colleges” throughout the country and becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers and athletes.
“Those things are very rewarding,” Couvillion said. “For the past 23 years, I have probably given out around 4,600 diplomas.”
Looking back at the more than four decades spent serving Bossier Parish schools and his community, Couvillion wants to thank those same institutions for the opportunity to growing his career as an educator.
“The school system has been great for me. The’ve given me opportunities that I never thought I could get,” he said. “I also want to thank the community for the opportunity to serve them in the capacity I have. Thank you for being the good place it has always been. It’s been a ride. Go Bucs!”
Following his retirement, Couvillion will stay in the local area and spend some much needed time with his family.
“I entered into coaching in 1977. There was a lot of things I missed with my kids that my wife took care of, and now that generation has grown and is having their own kids. And now there are some things I have missed with my grandkids,” Couvillion said. “There just comes a point where you say you want to get back to your family and not have anymore missed opportunities.”
Hearing of Couvillion’s retirement, Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey expressed his sincere gratitude to a man he calls a “Haughton Icon.”
“Gene Couvillion has been at the high school as a student, coach, and administrator for 42 years. That’s a pretty big footprint and nothing less than amazing to have that kind of longevity in this day and time,” Downey said. “His common sense approach and ability to address various situations and defuse potential problems has always been appreciated and admired throughout the parish. I don’t think there is much he hasn’t handled. Gene is a good guy, a smart guy and he will certainly be missed.”