Home News-Free Surprise! Arcenia Anthony Named 100th Gold Star Winner

Surprise! Arcenia Anthony Named 100th Gold Star Winner

Arcenia Anthony

Submitted by: Sonja Bailes
Bossier Schools Public Relations Liaison

Chances are most people have never heard of Arcenia Anthony unless they have experienced
the hardest of times. She is Bossier Schools’ Homeless and Migrant Liaison, who works quietly
behind the scenes to pull children and their families from dire circumstances and give them

Bossier Schools Director of Student Services Bettye McCauley recalled a situation in December
when a woman with four small children was homeless and had nowhere to go. Anthony stepped
in and became nothing less than that family’s guardian angel by finding them a place to stay.
But she did not stop there.

“She went on social media and shared the need,” McCauley explained. “She commissioned
several coworkers and friends to get a truck, a trailer, a washer and dryer, beds, dressers,
clothing … she spent her whole weekend helping this family get settled in a place of their own.
Mrs. Anthony, God has a special place for you.”

Social Skills Interventionist Rachel Lowry called Anthony “a jewel to Bossier Parish Schools”
who oftentimes goes unnoticed. Yet Lowry has witnessed the many ways Anthony goes out of
her way to provide services and resources to students and their families.

“She truly has a servant’s heart,” Lowry said. “If a student in Bossier Parish has a need, Arcenia
Anthony will relentlessly work until she provides that student with what they need. She also
oversees the Sunshine Room. This is a room full of donations that range from hygiene packs to
school uniforms and school supplies.”

Many people would find it surprising that Bossier Schools has over 200 students each school
year living in a temporary housing situation. Part of Anthony’s role as Homeless Liaison is to
ensure compliance with McKinney-Vento (Homeless Assistance Act), which may involve
arranging transportation, gathering school supplies, uniforms and shoes or helping a family
access community resources for food, shelter and/or mental health help. She goes beyond the
call of duty by securing donations from various organizations to assist families with furniture and
other needs when they secure permanent housing.

The job can be overwhelming and sometimes feel disheartening, but Anthony finds tremendous
joy from making a difference and being that glimmer of hope and light.

“I enjoy my position as the Homeless Liaison because I am a people person,” Anthony
professed. “When I first started working as the Homeless Liaison, it was extremely emotional
every day because of the situations that some of the families were in and no two situations were the same. Nothing about that has changed today, but I have learned how to work through partnerships to foster help for our families.”

Anthony continued, saying “When I began my teaching career, my educational philosophy was
to be H.O.P.E. – Help Other People Excel – and this position allows me to do just that. I don’t
look at my position as a job, but as a purpose; to be that beacon of light with help, a listening
ear, and an encourager during the toughest time for a family.”

“She loves the kids of Bossier Parish and I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for the
Gold Star,” Lowry added. “She oftentimes goes unnoticed because she doesn’t work at a big
school with tons of kids and/or employees. However, once you meet her, her personality is big
enough to fill up a huge school. She is dedicated to the homeless students, their families and
really every other student who needs any kind of assistance. She is one of a kind.”

We could not agree more and it is why Anthony was surprised recently at a Bossier Parish
School Board meeting as the 100th Gold Star since the inception of the monthly employee
awards program, sponsored by Bossier Federal Credit Union. It was the perfect way to
commemorate 10 years of Gold Stars – and to celebrate Arcenia Anthony, whose star shines

Editor’s note: Bossier Schools wishes to thank Bossier Federal Credit Union for its sponsorship
of the Gold Star program for the past 10 years and recognizing the important work our
educators and school employees do to make a difference each day for the students of Bossier
Parish. The success of our school system is reflective of the support received by community
partners like Bossier Federal Credit Union, as well as Bossier Press Tribune, which has
graciously published all 100 of our Gold Stars.

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