Northwestern State has a long-standing tradition of preparing quality educators and leaders. The Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development honors alumni whose outstanding professional achievements warrant special recognition. Since 2000, over 70 education alumni have been inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Educators.
Judy Lincecum Stewart earned a degree in math education at Northwestern State in 1976 and took graduate classes at McNeese State University and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1982-86. She taught in nine parishes and all but two of her more than 37 years in the classroom were in public schools teaching math and social studies to middle schoolers and algebra and senior math in high schools. She spent one year teaching elementary math in a private school and another year traveling throughout Louisiana tutoring students who had not passed the fourth grade math LEAP test.
Stewart taught and coached gifted math students for Literary Rally and State Mathcounts and at one point developed a team that successfully competed in competitive math tournaments. She and her husband Bart Stewart have three children and nine grandchildren.
Dr. Connie Melder earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at LSU in 1977, a master’s in special education at NSU in 1984 and a doctoral degree in curriculum in and instruction at Louisiana Tech in 2014. She began her career as a classroom teacher and hearing impaired program coordinator for the Natchitoches Parish School Board from 1977-85. She was supervising teacher at NSU Middle Lab from 1985-2001 and joined the faculty at NSU in 2001.
Since 2007, Melder has been director of field experience and clinical practice and an associate professor with NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development. Melder and her husband Sonny have three children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Steve Horton earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with concentrations in news editorial and public relations and a minor in business administration and a bachelor’s in secondary education-English and journalism in 1988. He earned a master’s degree in journalism at LSU in 1990 and a Ph.D. in vocational education with a concentration in adult and extension education and a minor in mass communication at LSU in 1998. Horton is the fourth generation of his family to earn teacher education degrees at Northwestern.
Horton began his career teaching at Captain Shreve High School, then taught journalism and served as director of student publications from 1990-97 when he was named director of Alumni Affairs. He then served as a professor and head of the Department of Journalism from 1999-2005 before serving as vice provost and chief academic officer, dean of the Graduate School and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2016. He is currently the executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Sciences and the Arts. Horton and his wife Emilyn have two children.
Dr. Larry Gracie graduated from Northwestern State in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s in counseling and student personnel administration from Texas A&M-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) in 1971. He heard a Ph.D. in education management system and design with a concentration in higher education and student development at Florida State University in 1976. He began his career at the University of New Orleans in 1971 working with student activities and in financial aid and from 1976-77 was director of sponsored research and special projects for the State University System of Florida. At North Carolina State University, he served from 1977-1994 as as coordinate or student affairs research, dean of student development, associate director of university planning and analysis and director of space planning and management.
Gracie served as district executive for the Boy Scouts of America from 2006-2008 and was dean of curriculum, interim president and chief academic officer and vice president of instructional services with Pamlico Community College from 2008-2013. Gracie and his wife Joan have five children, 10 grandchildren and many pets.
Billy Crawford graduated from NSU with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and English in 1968, earned a master’s degree in school administration in 1972 and completed 30+ hours of additional courses in education and administration at Louisiana State University. He began his career as a teacher in Vernon Parish in 1969 and from that time until 1995 served as a coach, counselor, assistant principal and principal in Leesville, Anacoco and Hornbeck. In 1995 he became a consultant to the Louisiana State Department of Education working with 15 Louisiana high schools to improve the teaching and learning process.
He then served as assistant superintendent of the Louisiana State Department of Education in the Office of Student and School Performance and as a consultant to Ascension Parish Schools and Waynesboro, Mississippi Middle School. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Crawford served as a school counselor at Hurricane Katrina Elementary School in Scotlandville for evacuated children in shelters from 2005-06 and at a counselor in the New Orleans Recovery School District. Crawford and his wife Callie have four children and seven grandchildren.
Paula Hickman is executive director of the Community Foundation of North Louisiana where she is responsible for the Foundation’s leadership, management, strategic planning and development. She helped create and incubate Step Forward, a cradle to career initiative that has engaged over 1,000 in the Shreveport-Bossier area to collectively drive excellence in education so that children of the area are prepared to compete in a 21st century global economy.
Hickman holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and juris doctorate from LSU Law Center. Although not an educator, she has always valued education as a pathway to a better life. She is a co-founder of VOA LightHouse, an educational enrichment center for children in Shreveport’s most impoverished area through which thousands of children have received support to obtain education and eventually employment. Last year 100 percent of participants stayed in school, 80 percent had a grade point average of 2.0 or better and 100 percent avoided involvement with teen pregnancy and the juvenile justice system.
Hickman has volunteered support to numerous organizations, including Providence House, Glen Retirement System, Centenary College Planning Giving Council, Volunteers of America, Shreveport Symphony, Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier and KDAQ.
David Thrash has been principal at Bossier High School since 2006 and has also served as principal at Haughton Middle School, assistant principal at Haughton High School and as a teacher and coach at Benton High School and Ringgold High School. He graduated from NSU in 1983 with a degree in social studies and health and physical education, earned a master’s in health education at Louisiana Tech and +30 in education leadership at Centenary College. Thrash spent 15 years teaching middle and high school at Benton where he was head baseball and football coach and led both groups to the state semi-finals.
Thrash’s awards include being named Louisiana Principal of the Year, Bossier Parish Principal of the Year and Bossier Press Tribune Readers’ Choice School Principal finalist. He is a member of several professional, community and leadership organizations, including the Bossier City Lions Club, Bossier Association of Principals, Louisiana Association of Educations and National Association of Secondary School Principals. Since 2012, he has served on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association school relations committee and has also served as the 3A District chairperson for LSHAA. He has served on the Bossier Parish School Board since 1985.
Robert Silvie is currently assistant principal at Captain Shreve High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business and office education in 1975 and a master’s in business and office education in 1977 at Northwestern State and completed +30 hours at NSU, Southern University, Louisiana Tech, Centenary and Louisiana State University. He began his career as a classroom teacher at North Caddo High School and Woodlawn High School from 1975-1996 before serving as assistant principal at North Caddo from 1996-2005 and interim principal from 2002-03. He served as principal at Fairpark High School from 2008-09 before his current position at Captain Shreve. He has also taught as a part-time instructor at Louisiana Technical College and served as part time bookkeeper for Project Uplift.
During his career, Silvie has served on the Caddo Parish Schools Discipline Review Committee, mentored assistant principals for the Louisiana Department of Education, evaluated and reported on the JUMP program, assessed intern teachers and served on the state curriculum guide writing team for business education subjects. He has prepared and published faculty and student handbooks, coordinated LEAP remediation plans, prepared schools for accreditation and accumulated several hundred professional development in-service hours. He has been named PTA Educator of Distinction, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and KMSS Teacher of the Week. He has been involved with several parent/teacher student associations and holds membership in several professional and community organizations.
Edwina Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Grambling State University in 1957 and a master’s degree in elementary teaching at Northwestern State in 1967. She also holds certification in supervision of student teachers, +30 professional development hours and additional graduate hours earned during her career. In her first years of teaching from 1950-1970, she taught home economics at Gooch School, fourth grade at Clarence Jr. High and language arts and math at North Natchitoches Elementary and spent a year as a math demonstration teacher at Northwestern State. From 1971-1992, she was at NSU Middle Lab teaching math and language arts, supervising pre-student teachers and was a substitute math instructor. From 1992-96, she worked as adjunct faculty, workshop planner and presenter for Red River, Avoyelles, DeSoto, Sabine, Winn and Natchitoches parishes.
Lewis’s post-retirement includes work with Natchitoches Parish LEAP test preparation, the Natchitoches Literacy Council, St. Anthony Catholic Church, the Natchitoches Parish Library Trustee Board and Natchitoches Parish Vocational/Technical College Board of Directors. She is also involved with the NSU Alumni Association, GSU Alumni Association, Natchitoches Parish Retired Educators Association and the Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging. She has received many honors, including being named the Middle/Junior High School Teacher of the Year for the parish and state, Iota Mu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Dedicated Service Award, Louisiana Delta Great Retired Teacher of the Year, Natchitoches Business and Professional Woman of the Year, the Mayor’s Distinguished Service Award and a Natchitoches Treasure distinction.
Mack Daniel Knotts earned a bachelor’s degree at Northwestern State in health and physical education in 1961, a master’s in health and physical education/administration in 1963 and +30 at Louisiana Tech in 1973. As an undergraduate, Knotts was a member of the Demon baseball team, Phi Epsilon Kappa Fraternity and Kappa Blue Key Honor Fraternity. He is also a member of Northwestern State’s N Club Athletic Hall of Fame.
He began his career as a coach and teacher at St. Mary’s High School and Haynesville High School and served as principal at Haynesville Elementary and Jr. High from 1970-81 and principal at Haynesville High School from 1981-1992 before serving as a Bossier Parish School Board member from 1998-2010. While a School Board member, he served as chairman of the Insurance Committee and as president and helped generate support and secure funding for several schools, including Parkway High School. After retiring, he worked as an insurance agent and was a volunteer basketball and baseball coach and recreation director in Haynesville. He lives in Bossier City.
Dr. Raymond Gilbert, a former Natchitoches resident, was a retired professor who served on the NSU faculty from 1970-1990 where he taught graduate courses in music and educational psychology and was sought after as a professor because of his dedication and commitment to his students.
Born in 1922, Gilbert was a native of El Dorado, Arkansas. Following service in the U.S. Army, he studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1949 and 1951. He began his career teaching voice and piano, both private lessons and in public schools, in El Dorado where he was also coordinator of the El Dorado High School fine arts program, a church music director and frequent vocal performer. He moved to Natchitoches, earned a doctorate in education at NSU in 1970 and for more than 40 years was involved in church, community and philanthropic endeavors. He was also highly involved with many educational organizations, serving in several offices. He received many honors during his career, including the French Legion of Honor Medal, the Outstanding Lion Award and a Natchitoches Treasure designation. He passed away June 16, 2016.
Douglas McLaren earned an undergraduate degree in 1957 and a master’s at Stephen F. Austin in 1961. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Logansport High School before serving on the DeSoto Parish School Board as director of Special Services, director of Integration and Reapportionment and later Superintendent of Schools. He retired in 1983 to go into private business.
During his tenure as an administrator, McLaren initiated and implemented the Four Phase program that garnered national recognition and oversaw the building of North DeSoto High School. Prior to that, during his years as a classroom teacher, he taught grammar at the junior high level and coached football and girls basketball, where he was able to impart life lessons among his students.
Dr. Grady Harper earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Louisiana College in 1955, a master’s in art education at NSU in 1957, a master’s of fine arts at Stephen F. Austin University in 1969 and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1969. He taught art at the junior high level beginning in 1955 and at the college level from 1959 until his retirement in 1990. Harper was a professor of art at Northwestern State from 1969-1990 where he served as chairman of the art department for three years, before serving as director of Northwestern Abroad, the university’s student international travel program.
Harper enjoyed a long, successful and influential career as an educator and visual artist. He took art to the community with adjunct workshops, exhibits, demonstrations and international art study abroad programs open to students and the community. During his career, Harper exhibited art in numerous galleries in the southern United States and in private collections nationwide and was recognized with many awards and accolades. He was admitted to numerous juried exhibits and art shows, often receiving awards or acknowledgements for work submitted. He served on the editorial board for Louisiana Life magazine from 1981-85 and authored many published works on painting techniques and art education.
Fred Fulton earned a degree in health and physical education at NSU in 1965 and a master’s in health and physical education in 1972. He completed post M.Ed. hours in educational administration, supervision and reading. Fulton began his career in Sabine and Beauregard parishes before joining the administration at Northwestern State as dean of students and director of student life and later as vice president for student affairs. His last service was as superintendent of schools for Slocum ISD in Elkhart, Texas.
Fulton worked in the public schools systems as a classroom teacher and coached track, cross country, football and basketball before moving into administration as assistant principal for instruction, principal at DeRidder High School and assistant superintendent for instruction and personnel/director of curriculum for the Beauregard Parish central office. He noted that one of the most rewarding days of his career was his appointment to director of student life at Northwestern State.
Marvin Learohn Caldwell grew up in Winnfield and earned a degree in health and physical education at NSU in 1970, a master’s in school administration and supervision at Louisiana State University in 1975 and +30 hours in school curriculum at Louisiana Tech in 1978. He spent his career in Caddo Parish as a teacher and coach and later as supervisor of health and physical education. He was also an adjunct professor at LSU-Shreveport. Caldwell wrote and published over 30 physical education and motivational books and presented workshops and programs at the local, state and national levels for students, teachers and the public.
Caldwell served on Louisiana Department of Education committees developing curriculum guides in health and physical education, served as director to YMCA and Kiwanis camps and developed a recreational and fitness program for daycares. He also created the “Every Child A Winner” program that ensured every child had opportunity for success through creative physical education activities. He earned many honors in Caddo Parish, including Coach of the Year, Educator of the Year, Outstanding Young Man of the Year, and NSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by the Department of Health and Physical Education.
Stuart Bird graduated from Northwestern State with a bachelor’s in music education in 1974 and earned a master’s in music education at NSU in 1980. He earned superintendent certification at Stephen F. Austin University in 1999. He began his career as a band director in Sabine and Natchitoches parishes before moving to the Carthage, Texas, ISD, where he became a high school principal, serving from 1990-2000 when he was named principal at Jacksonville, Texas, ISD. He was named Jacksonville superintendent in 2002 and since 2012 has served as superintendent of Troup, Texas ISD, where he has overseen improvements in the district academically, in areas of technology and instruction and set in motion the process to replace three facilities.
Bird had much success during his years as a music educator where bands under his direction consistently earned first division ratings in marching and concert competitions. He was named NSU’s Alumni Band Director of the Year in 1992 and has been active in numerous professional organizations that advance music education and he continues to mentor young administrators, teachers and band directors.
Anna Swafford Bernard graduated from Northwestern State with a degree in elementary education in 1963. She earned a master of education/reading specialist at Louisiana State University in 1975, +30 at LSU in 1977 and an education specialist degree in administration and supervision at LSU in 1978. She began her career as a classroom teacher in elementary and middle schools and later served as an assistant principal, principal and supervisor. Since 2000, she has acted as an educational consultant, first for the Louisiana Department of Education and currently for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.
During her career, Bernard has represented colleagues at national conventions, served as an officer on several professional associations, worked with Louisiana Department of Education leadership and evaluations teams and served as a trainer, mentor, principal and supervisor for East Baton Rouge Parish schools.
Michael J. “Mickey” Murphy functioned in a number of educational roles, as a dean, regional director, civic leader, mentor and president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College Board. Murphy began his career as junior high school teacher before moving into student affairs at NSU and later instructor and counselor at Concordia Parish School. He then spent many years as instructor, counselor, assistant director, director and campus dean at Louisiana Technical College in Bogalusa when the technical college system was transferred to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Murphy earned an associate degree from Panola College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in student personnel services at Northwestern State University.
Elouise Sanders spent her career teaching social studies and English in Webster Parish, during which time she was involved with school organizations, programs and athletics at Doyline High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies at Northwestern State in 1949 and a master’s in education in 1958. Sanders is a member of the Louisiana Education Association, the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Former classmates, family and friend established a scholarship in Sanders’ name for a Doyline High School student to attend Northwestern State.
Julia Chambers Hildebrand was a kindergarten and elementary classroom teacher and supervisor of elementary instruction and director of curriculum and instruction in Natchitoches Parish before her retirement in 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Northwestern State in 1962, a master’s in elementary education in 1967 and completed certification as a reading specialist in 1972. During her career, she served as an evaluator of student teachers, a trainer for the Louisiana Teacher Assessment program and was a BESE program evaluator. She is past president of the Natchitoches Parish School Board where she served as chairman of the education and personnel committees.
Edward Hearron is headmaster and founding member of Word of God Academy in Shreveport. During his career he has been a teacher, coach, principal, parish director of middle and high schools and headmaster of two private schools in Caddo Parish. Hearron earned a bachelor’s degree in upper elementary education at Northwestern State in 1960, a master’s in education, administration and supervision from Louisiana State University in 1967 and 30 hours above a master’s in administration from LSU. He has served as an officer and member of several professional organizations and made many significant contributions to education. During his career, he was named Caddo Parish Educator of the Year and Educator of Distinction, among other leadership honors, while his schools were named Schools of Excellence.
Dr. Karen Jane Mayes Griffin is principal at Winnfield Senior High. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and mathematics at NSU in 1970, a master’s in mathematics education in 1974 and a doctorate in secondary education in 1982. Over the last 45 years, she has been a high school teacher of mathematics and English in Winn and LaSalle parishes, assistant principal and principal at Winnfield Senior High and an adjunct instructor for Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech. She holds memberships in several educational and athletic organizations. During her career she has been named Louisiana Teacher of the Year, Region VI LACUE Administrator of the Year and Louisiana State Principal of the Year.
Dr. Sara Peace Ebarb has served as superintendent of schools in Sabine Parish since 2010. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Northwestern in 1983, a master’s in counseling at Louisiana Tech in 1986 and a master’s degree plus 30 in supervision in 1995 and administration in 1989. She earned her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in 2008. Prior to her current position, she worked in administration for the Caddo Parish School Board and as a principal, assistant principal, counselor and classroom teacher in Caddo Parish. She was also an adjunct instructor for LSU-Shreveport and Centenary College. Ebarb has earned many professional honors during her career, including being named Louisiana PTA Educator of Distinction, regional and district Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.
John R. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in upper elementary education in 1959 and a master’s in education administration in 1966 at Northwestern State. He taught in Grant and East Baton Rouge parish schools from 1959-66 before joining the staff at Louisiana State University as director of short courses and conferences. In 1977 he was the founding dean of the Division of Continuing Education and from 1982-86 was director of governmental relations for the Louisiana Bankers Association. He later served as executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and as vice chancellor for advancement at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dr. James Rougeau earned a degree in health and physical education at Northwestern State in 1958, a master’s and specialist degrees in administration and supervision at McNeese State University in 1973 and 1982 and a Ph.D. in administration and supervision at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1989. He began his career as a teacher and coach in Sabine Parish before serving in the U.S. Army from 1958-1980. He returned to the public system as teacher and coach in Calcasieu Parish and served as principal at schools in Sabine, West Feliciana and DeSoto parishes until 2000. Rougeau said his most memorable experience as an educator was training soldiers at the Venezuelan Military Academy, where success or failure in real-life situations depended directly upon the quality and effectiveness of his instruction.
Dr. John Basin Robson, who was born in 1899, earned a teacher’s certificate from the Alabama Normal School in 1920 and Artium Baccalaureus (AB) in chemistry and biology from Louisiana State Normal School, now Northwestern State University, in 1928. He earned a master’s in chemistry and biology at Louisiana State University in 1937 and a Ph.D. in secondary education and psychology at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in 1944.
Robson began his career teaching at West Point, Miss., and was a teacher and principal at Natchitoches High School, Vowell’s Mill, Cloutierville and Robeline until becoming a supervisor in Natchitoches in 1934. He went on to serve as state supervisor and was named Dean of Education at Northwestern State in 1945. He served as head of the Department of Education and Psychology at Northwestern State and Louisiana College and returned to NSU as director of instructional programs and materials for the North Louisiana Supplementary Education Center. Robson passed away in 1968.
Sally Tanner Namie graduated from Northwestern State with a double major in elementary education and library science in 1972. She earned a master’s degree in reading at Louisiana State University in 1979 and Plus 30 in instructional supervision at Centenary College, Louisiana Tech, LSU-Shreveport and Northwestern State. She earned a master of library and information science degree from LSU and additional certifications at Louisiana Tech.
Namie has spent her career with the Bossier Parish school system in classroom and administrative capacities and is currently assistant superintendent of curriculum and academic affairs, where she has channeled her love of math to creating programs focused on exposing students to science, technology engineering and math (STEM). She supported STEM curricula for elementary through high school students and is a recognized leader in implementing programs that prepare students for college engineering classes.
Carol H. Hebert earned a degree in business education in 1971, a master’s in business education in 1980 and Plus 30 in adult education in 1997 at Northwestern State. She began her career teaching computer skills at the high school level in the fast-changing world of technology while sponsoring Future Business Leaders of America organizations at Natchitoches Central High and St. Mary’s School from 1976-1997. She then moved to the Louisiana Community Technical College System and was coordinator of ACT work keys testing for Louisiana Work Ready project. She was also engaged in curriculum development and workforce development and worked with students to provide services and assistance in completing educational goals.
Hebert is currently the chief of staff/special advisor to the chancellor at Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Alexandria and is assisting in the transition of the technical college into a comprehensive community college. Prior to that, she was campus dean, chief academic officer and technical division curriculum coordinator at Northwest Louisiana Technical College in Natchitoches, having spent several years there in other administrative capacities related to student affairs and workforce development.
Susan Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1974, M.Ed. in reading in 1978 and +30 in 1980. She began her career in the elementary classroom before moving into administration in Red River and Natchitoches parishes, serving as principal of Coushatta Elementary, the NSU Elementary Lab School and Riverdale Academy. She is currently school improvement specialist/principal mentor for JBHM Education Group. Taylor cited her years of working with and mentoring new teachers and designing and implementing successful practices as among the most rewarding of her career. Taylor has been recognized as Woman of the Year, Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year for Red River Parish and was Student Teacher of the Year at Northwestern State. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma honor society for women educators. Taylor has been married to Joe F. Taylor for 47 years and the couple has two daughters and four grandchildren. Both their daughters earned degrees in education at Northwestern State.
Dr. Cathy Seymour earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies and journalism education at Northwestern State in 1974, a master’s degree in secondary reading in 1976 and a doctoral degree in elementary education and administration in 1981. She began her career in classrooms in Natchitoches Parish before moving to Centenary College to direct the English Language Center and later serve as an assistant principal in Caddo Parish. She joined the faculty at Northwestern State’s College of Education in 1999 and director of clinical experience and associate dean until her retirement in 2007. She is currently an education consultant for Pearson Publishing and JBHM Education Group.
The honoree is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi and numerous other professional organizations related to education, accreditation and professional development. Seymour said many of her most memorable teaching experiences occurred while working with students in alternative school environments and watching pre-service teachers evolve from students to competent educators. She has been married for 42 years to Dr. Dan Seymour. They have two children and are expecting their first grandchild.
Dr. Sandra McCalla earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Northwestern State in 1960. She earned a master’s in instruction and curriculum and mathematics with computer science in 1968 and Ed.D. in education leadership at Texas A & M University in 1987. She was a teacher and principal in Caddo Parish for 28 years before joining the faculty at Northwestern State as a professor and director of the Division of Education. She returned to Caddo Parish as principal and has served as principal at Captain Shreve High School since 1994. She also works as an adjunct instructor for Louisiana State University-Shreveport.
The honoree said accepting the Blue Ribbon School award on behalf of Captain Shreve High School from the President of the United States at the White House was among her most memorable experiences in education. McCalla has earned several honors during her career, including Caddo Parish Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year, Louisiana High School Principal of the Year, Louisiana Principal of the Year, Louisiana Student Councils, and the National PTA Life Service Award. McCalla has been selected to numerous leadership activities, authored several publications on student leadership and made numerous presentations on education leadership.
Dr. James Haley earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and social studies at Northwestern State in 1959, a master’s in education 1964 and doctor of education degree in 1976. After working as a teacher and coach for several years, he moved into administration as a principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent in Beauregard Parish before joining Northwestern State University’s administration as vice president for University Affairs.
The honoree has been affiliated with numerous professional associations, serving as president of the Southwest Superintendents Association and the Louisiana Superintendents Association, the executive committee for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and the Governor’s Advisory Council for Drug Free Schools and Communities. Haley said hearing from former students and how he made a positive impact on them is one of the most rewarding aspects of his long career. Retired since 1995, he currently does consulting and inspection work. He has been married to Marilyn J. Haley for 32 years and has four children and seven grandchildren.
Dr. Cila Chavez earned a degree in social science and mathematics at Northwestern State in 1963, a master’s degree in educational administration at the University of New Orleans in 1967 and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Northern Colorado in 1980. She began her career as a teacher in Orleans Parish. Prior to beginning her own consulting business, she was a teacher and administrator at the middle, high school and university level. During her career, she served as superintendent of Littleton Public Schools, director of the North Central Accreditation for Colorado and assistant dean of the University of Colorado’s College of Education, among other education enterprises.
The honoree has lived in Colorado for more than 40 years. She has served in leadership positions in numerous community organizations and earned the Phi Delta Kappa Leadership Award twice. She was named one of the top 100 educators in the United States and was a finalist for the Colorado Superintendent of the Year. She also authored a book, “Spirit Moves: Attributes for Transforming Leadership.” Chavez has three children and two grandchildren.
Dr. Thomas Paul Southerland was a mathematics teacher and coach in Rapides Parish for six years before becoming Principal at Cherokee Elementary School and Alexandria Junior High School. He then began working for the Rapides Parish School System as the High School Supervisor of Instruction and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. In 1966, Southerland began working for Northwestern State as the Dean of the College of Education.
Rep. Joe Salter was a teacher in Sabine and Vernon Parishes before serving as Principal of Florien High School for 11 years. He served as Assistant Superintendent of Sabine Parish Schools for 17 years until his retirement. Salter serves in the Louisiana House of Representatives, District 24.
Dr. Hoyt Reed began his career in education as a classroom teacher and coach at Pleasant Hill High. In 1955, he became Principal of Marthaville High School until 1965 when he began working for the State Department of Education in Baton Rouge. In 1967, Reed joined the faculty in Northwestern State’s Department of Education. After serving as the Superintendent of Natchitoches Parish Schools, he helped implement and then became Director of Northwestern State’s Department of Continuing Education until his retirement in 1981.
John McConathy was an educator in the Bienville and Bossier parish school systems for 31 years. He was first a classroom teacher and coach, then became Bossier High School Assistant Principal. He served as Business Manager for the Bossier Parish School Board before becoming the Assistant Superintendent and being elected Superintendent of Bossier School in 1971. McConathy served as Past President of the Louisiana Association of School Business Officials, Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and the Fourth District School Superintendents.
After spending over 14 years as an associate professor in the College of Business, Elise James became the Secretary/Treasurer, then Coordinator of the NSU Foundation. She later served as a coordinator and Director of Alumni Affairs until her retirement in 1997. James was honored for her service to NSU with an induction into the Long Purple Line and was presented with the President’s Distinguished Service Award.
Lucile Hendrick served as Dean of Women from 1963 until her retirement in 1974. Prior to her service at Northwestern State, she was a teacher at Vivian High School, North Caddo High School and Byrd High School. Hendrick is a charter member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta and an honorary member of Purple Jackets. She has been inducted into the Long Purple Line.
Dr. Thomas Hennigan served in several positions at Northwestern State, including as Director of the Audio-Visual Center, which he designed and implemented. He was also the Head of the Department of Educational Media and Professor of Educational Media. Hennigan was also President of the Louisiana Association for Education Communications Technology. He was inducted into the Long Purple Line in 1999.
Dr. Gloria Durr is the Board of Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Sciences at Stephen F. Austin University. After graduating from Northwestern State, she taught at a range of schools from junior and senior high schools to two higher education institutions, including Northwestern State. She has been instrumental in the accreditation of several SFA human science departments and the establishment and directorship of the SFA Center for Economic Education.
Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey is a former Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Northwestern State. She had served as Chairman of the Department of Education for one year, Head of the Department of Elementary Education for seven years and Director of the Education Resources Information Center’s Reading Resource for eight years. Under Bailey’s direction, Northwestern State initiated its graduate program in Reading in 1966 and awarded its first master’s degree in Reading in Louisiana in 1967. Bailey was inducted into the Long Purple Line in 1998.
Dr. Robert A. Alost was President of Northwestern State for 10 years until his retirement in 1996. He worked with Jimmy Long to open the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and served as its Director from 1982-1986. Alost was the Dean of the College of Education from 1975-1982. At the time of his induction, he was working as a financial advisor for AXA Equitable Insurance.
Jimmy Berry was an educator for more than 35 years. He retired in 2000 after serving as Principal of the Northwestern State University Middle Lab School for 25 years. Berry was Vice President and President of the Natchitoches Parish Principals’ Association, demonstration teacher for the Northwest Supplementary Education Center, and instructor for Northwestern State, where he taught elementary education and media courses. He was one of the founders of the Louisiana Middle School Association. Berry is a member of the Natchitoches Parish Dixie Youth Program, Mystic Krewe de Saint Denis and was a member of the Natchitoches Area Jaycees.
Camille Stroud taught English in the public schools for 26 years and retired in 1987. She served as Chairman of the English Department at Natchitoches Central High School, Supervisor of Observation-Participation students and student teachers for Northwestern State and worked two years as adjunct professor of English at Northwestern State. Stroud is a member of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association.
James Kenneth Corley is a social studies teacher at Haughton High School. He has been an educator for more than 40 years as both a public-school teacher and principal. Corley retired from the Louisiana Air National Guard and the United States Army in 1991
Maxine Aycock Southerland has been President of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, Director/Curator of the Louisiana State Museum for History of Louisiana Education. She was Associate Professor of Home Economics at Northwestern State, Head of the Home Economics Department and a teacher in several Louisiana public high schools. Southerland was also head dietician at Charity Hospital in Pineville.
Dr. Earl D. Speights is a retired department head and professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He graduated from Northwestern State in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, a master’s from Northeast Louisiana University in 1957 and a doctorate from University of Arkansas in 1968.
Dr. B.L. “Buddy” Shaw served as a Louisiana State Representative for District 6 beginning in 1995. After graduating from Northwestern State in 1955, he taught and became principal at several schools in north Louisiana. In 1969, Shaw represented Louisiana at the United States International University in San Diego. He was Principal at Byrd High School from 1970-1986. During that time, he led efforts to establish a Math Science Magnet at C.E. Byrd High School. In 1993, he became President of the Caddo Parish School Board. In 1994, he became President of the Louisiana School Boards Association.
Dr. Leonard D. Ponder was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A & M University. In 1990 and 2001, he was awarded the Thomas A. and Joan Read Chair of Disadvantaged Youth, the first chair in the College of Education at Texas A & M. Established upon his retirement, the Leonard D. Ponder Chair for Research and Development was established in recognition of his lifetime achievements.
Billy Montgomery served as a Louisiana State Representative for District 9 beginning in 1988. After graduating from Northwestern State in 1959, he taught and coached for 10 years, winning two state championships in 1968 and 1969. He was Assistant Principal at Haughton High School from 1970-1982 and served as principal from 1983-1988. Among his many accomplishments, he was honored as LAE’s Distinguished Legislator in 1989 and was inducted into the Louisiana High School Coaches and Administrators Hall of Fame in 1991. He was awarded the Nth Degree in 1995.
Frank M. Lampkin was Principal at Bossier High School from 1956-1980 and led a very active civic life. In 1952, Lampkin served as Chairman on a Committee of 100 to develop the YMCA Bossier branch. Since 1954, he has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Bossier City. He served on the Bossier City Recreation Board from 1957-1974.
Morgan Dunnam Ford had the longest tenure as a principal of a full-sized school in Rapides Parish. At the time of his induction, he was in his 50th year as Principal. During his tenure, Ford was principal at schools that reached important historic landmarks in Rapides Parish education, including the first class for mentally retarded students, first class for hearing impaired students and the first African American student enrolled in previously all white school. He was also principal of a pilot school for LTIP-LTAP.
At the time of the induction, Blaize was a teacher with St. Charles Parish Schools. Her teaching certifications include Secondary English and Spanish, Reading Specialist, Gifted Certification and Supervisor of Student Teachers. Blaize was the first nationally-certified teacher. She has been a workshop presenter in writing strategies, reading in the content areas and L.E.A.P. strategies.
State Rep. Beverly Gourdon Bruce of Mansfield has served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for over 11 years and was re-elected in 1999 and 2003 to her second and third terms without opposition. Prior to her election in 1995, she served as teacher of home economics in the public-school system for nine years and as a home economist with the LSU Agricultural Center-Research and Extension Service for 23 years. She retired from her DeSoto Parish Extension position in 1996 to devote full-time service in the House of Representatives.
Bruce received a degree in Home Economics Education from Northwestern in 1956 and a master’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations in 1964. She also did post-graduate work at Louisiana State University.
Bruce has received numerous honors during her years of public service including Who’s Who of American Women, Outstanding Legislator of the Year for 1997, the Louisiana Association of Educators 2001 Outstanding Legislator and the LSU Ag Center 2002 4-H Distinguished Service Award. Bruce has championed character education in the Louisiana public school system and appropriated funds to finance the Character Counts program, which promotes ethics in both public elementary and secondary schools, as well as inmates incarcerated by the Department of Corrections.
Dr. Ronald McBride of Natchitoches is a retired Professor of Educational Technology and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Education Technology in the College of Education and Human Development. He held the first Melba Law Steeg Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Educational Technology. He received the NSU Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Education and Human Development in 2009. McBride has 30 years of experience in higher education and eight at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. He holds a Ph.D. in communications/instructional media management from Georgia State University, having earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Northwestern. His specialty is distance learning with 24 years’ experience as a pioneer and award-winning manager of distance education programs and professor in the field.
McBride joined NSU in 1991 as director of the first distance learning program and doubled as head of the Department of Journalism before moving to educational technology. He has taught fine arts studio courses, art history and appreciation, journalism courses including broadcasting and several courses in educational technology. As head of the Department of Telecommunications and Distance Learning he created the first interactive satellite network in Louisiana on a college campus where graduate and middle school courses were delivered to several locations. While head of the Department of Journalism, he directed the building of the new television studio, radio station and created NSU 22, the university’s cable television channel. McBride has an extensive research and presentation record and has secured numerous grants in public secondary and higher education. McBride has two grown daughters and a grandson.
After graduating from Methvin High School in 1936, Hazel Norrid Fletcher of Coushatta received a two-year teaching certificate from Louisiana Normal in 1938, earned a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education 1947 and a master’s in Education 1966 and completed additional graduate work from 1966-1970 at Northwestern. In 43 years as a classroom teacher, Fletcher served in schools in Allen, Red River, Bossier, DeSoto, St. Tammany and Natchitoches parishes and the Port Arthur Independent School District.
Fletcher retired from teaching in 1981 having spent most of her time devoted to early education. During her long career, she touched the lives of thousands of children teaching them to read, write, listen and establish good study habits. She has been a mentor, counselor and example to her co-workers, children and friends. At age 91, she continues to pass the love of learning to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Part of Fletcher’s ongoing commitment to education has been to establish an annual reunion for graduates of Methvin High School, one of the many small rural schools that were a large part of the education landscape in Louisiana in the early part of the 20th century. In addition to writing the history of the school and its teachers, many of whom were Normal graduates, she has been instrumental in keeping the larger community of graduates connected. She is active in her church is an avid reader.
Jerry Epperson of Baker graduated from a degree with honors in Mathematics/Physical Education at Northwestern and was a four-year football letterman, was Corps Commander of the ROTC program and a Distinguished Military Student. He earned a master’s degree at Northwestern in 1961. He began his career as a math teacher and coach at Coushatta High School in 1955 and served active duty in the U.S. Army in 1957 before working as a teacher and coach at Westdale Junior High. From 1960-68, he was a teacher, basketball and football coach at Broadmoor High School, leading the football team to a state championship in 1966 when he was named Coach of the Year.
Epperson was Assistant Principal at Broadmoor for one year before becoming Assistant Principal and later Principal at Baker High School, where he served from 1969-1987, during which time he was involved in several state athletic committees. From 1987-94, Epperson served as Director and Executive Director of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools and Interim Superintendent in 1995. He later served on the Education Committee for the Baker School System and was Superintendent of City of Baker Schools from 1999-2003. He later served as Interim Superintendent of City of Baker Schools in 2007. Throughout his career, he served on numerous education committees and was a guest speaker at education-related conventions in several states. He has been married for 57 years to NSU graduate Rose Epperson and has three grown sons and several grandchildren.
William Britt of Castor earned his undergraduate in Business and Distributive Education and graduate degree in Distributive Education at Northwestern in 1969 and 1973 and his master’s plus 30 at NSU in 1978. He spent his 42-year career in Bienville Parish, serving as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. He was active in numerous executive education organizations and continues to be active in education organizations that serve Bienville Parish students. Among his career achievements, Britt was named Coach of the Year in his class on four separate occasions, having coached boys basketball team to state championships.
In 2005 and 2007, Britt was recognized by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of Education for leadership in guiding Bienville Parish schools towards accountability standards. He was also recognized by U.S. News and World Report as having America’s Best Public High Schools with three in 2007, two in 2008 and one in 2009.
Evelyn Pyle Adams of Shreveport earned her undergraduate degree and graduate degrees in Elementary Education in 1953 and 1959 and her master’s plus 30 in 1973, all from Northwestern, and certification as a Reading Specialist from Centenary College in 1988. She began her career as an educator as a classroom teacher for elementary and middle schools, and later served as middle school coordinator and staff developer for Caddo Parish schools and at First Baptist Church School. She was an adjunct professor in the Education Department at Centenary and taught at The Reading Center as a reading specialist before taking a position in the adult education program in Caddo Parish teaching adults and young adults in GED preparation, serving there for 21 years.
Adams said she viewed her work with students in the GED program as a privilege to help adults both young and old gain confidence in their ability to succeed and earn their GED diploma. Adams cites inspiring notes from students thanking her for helping them reach their goals as among her most memorable experiences. Adams has two grown sons and two granddaughters.
Katie Jean Myers Young of Baton Rouge received her undergraduate degree in English Education at Northwestern in 1958 and completed a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision at Louisiana State University in 1964. She continued post-graduate studies at the University of Nebraska, at Southeastern Louisiana University and Radford (Virginia) University and +30 at LSU.
Young began her career in 1958 teaching high school English in Acadia Parish. She then spent several years working as a teacher and counselor in East Baton Rouge Parish where she worked with LSU and the Louisiana Department of Education as a Supervisor of Student Teachers and Coordinator of the Graduate Intern Program in Guidance and Counseling. From 1979-81, Young was as a counselor with the Radford, Va., City School Board and served as Coordinating Supervisor for the Graduate Intern Program in Guidance and Counseling for Radford University and Virginia Tech. Returning to Louisiana in 1981, she was a program manager and section administrator for the Professional Improvement Program at the State Department. In 1988, she was recalled to the Department where she served as Program Manager and then as Section Administrator for the Bureau of Secondary Education.
Young worked as an administrator with several agencies devoted to education, school and community support issues, as well as the LSU Alumni Foundation before returning to counseling at Bishop Sullivan High School and currently St. Michael the Archangel Diocesan Regional Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. Young said her most memorable teaching moments have been the moments of joy her students experience at gaining knowledge of a topic and seeing her students accepted to post-secondary institutions with awards and scholarships.
Young’s husband, Charles Keller Young, is deceased. She has a daughter and son-in-law, Chuck and Tarilyn McBride, and a granddaughter, Allison McBride.
Dr. C. Newton Wilkes of Many earned his bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Fitness in 1966 and a master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision at Tulane University in 1969. He earned a Doctorate in Health and P.E. at NSU in 1977. Wilkes began his career in Jefferson Parish, where from 1966-73 he was a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal before serving as a Professor and Graduate Coordinator and Department Coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1979-1992. He served as a personnel evaluator for the State Department of Education from 1977-78 and returned to Northwestern as a professor and department head from 1992-2003.
Wilkes said among the highlights of his career was interest generated by a heat/helmet study he and colleagues conducted that caught the attention of the national sports media. He also found service to others and mentoring prospective teachers and coaches as valuable to him in his career.
Wilkes and his wife Faith have been married 44 years and have two children and two grandchildren.
Earl Thomas Haynes of Bossier City earned a degree in Health, Safety and Physical Education with a minor in Social Studies at Northwestern in 1955 and a master’s in Education in 1961. He was a three-year varsity football letterman at Northwestern and an ROTC graduate. He earned Plus 30 at Louisiana Tech. He began his career as a teacher and coach in Sabine and Calcasieu parishes before spending 1964-1985 in Bossier Parish where he was a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and supervisor. He served as Principal at Riverdale Academy from 1990-93 before joining the Bossier Parks and Recreation Department as a supervisor from 1998-2005. Most recently, he served as a right of way agent for Doyle Land Service.
Throughout his career, Haynes chaired numerous accreditation review committees and served on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee for three terms. He is a member of the Springhill High School Hall of Fame, the NSU President’s Council, the NSU Graduate N Club and the NSU Sixth Man Club.
Haynes has many fond memories of teaching social studies and physical education, in which planning, organization and coordinating use of facilities with other coaches was key. He and his wife Gene have been married for 57 years and have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Brenda Collins of Bossier City earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Northwestern in 1971 and a master’s in Elementary Teaching in 1978. She also earned credentials to serve as supervisor to student teachers, academically gifted certification, plus 30 graduate hours. Collins began her career at Winnfield Primary where she taught first grade special education and gifted and talented classes until 1986 when she moved to Elm Grove Junior High School in Bossier City. She later taught at Sun City Elementary in Bossier City before joining Glencoe McGraw-Hill Publishers as a senior sales representative for Louisiana.
Collins’ many professional honors include being named the 1995-96 Teacher of the Year for Sun City Elementary, Bossier Parish and the state of Louisiana. She was a Christa McAuliffe Memorial finalist for the U.S. Air Force South Central Region Teacher of the Year. She received an award of excellence from the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics and represented the state at the Goals 2000 Teacher Forum in Washington, D.C. She has been named to Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers and one of Bossier Parish’s Women Who Make a Difference.
Collins is a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church and several educator associations and has served as a motivational speaker at conferences throughout Louisiana. Collins and her husband James have been married for 40 years and have two children and five grandchildren.
David Karl Carpenter of Pineville earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1979 and a master’s degree in Music at Northwestern in 1987 before completing his Doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. He began his career in 1979 as a band director serving at Oberlin High School, Winnfield Senior High and Tioga High School before becoming Assistant Principal at Tioga. He later assumed leadership as Principal at Carter C. Raymond Middle School and is currently Principal at Pineville High School, where he has served since 2007.
Among the outstanding moments in his career are leading the Tioga High School band in playing “Hail to The Chief” for President Bill Clinton in 1996, the band’s appearance that same year in the Washington, D.C. Independence Day parade and concerts performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
Carpenter and his wife Terri have been married 30 years and have three children, all who attended NSU.
Dr. Jerry Payne of Marshall, Texas earned bachelors and masters degrees in Music Education from NSU in 1957 and 1968, Specialist in Education in 1969 and Doctorate in Education in 1973. In a career spanning 45 years, Payne was a music educator for 20 years in Louisiana and 25 years in Texas, including four years as Director of Bands at NSU. During that time, Payne led his bands in numerous outstanding competitive performances and was recognized with several professional honors.
Payne noted that as a student, he intended to become a professional musician, but fell in love with teaching and was motivated by several mentors to continuously pursue excellence in his career.
Hershel M. Machen Jr. of Winnfield graduated from Northwestern in 1959 with a degree in Health and Physical Education and a minor in Math. He earned a master’s degree in Education from Northeastern Louisiana University in 1966 and completed +30 at NSU in 1974. He began his career as a math and P.E. teacher and coach at three schools before moving to Winnfield in 1966, where he was a football coach and P.E. and math teacher at Winnfield Jr. High and Winnfield High School. He served as Principal at Winnfield Senior High from 1975-1992.
With a large portion of his career centered on coaching, Machen remembers the 1982 Class AA football playoffs with great fondness when, under adverse circumstances, Winnfield Senior High won the state championship. He acknowledged the victory as the proudest he has ever been of a group of athletes, spirit groups, band, student body and fans in his career.
John Dilworth of Montgomery, Alabama, earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in Education at Northwestern and completed post-masters study at NSU, LSU-Shreveport, Louisiana Tech and Grambling. He is currently the Superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools in Montgomery, Ala., where he is the instructional and operational leader for Alabama’s third largest school district. He manages 58 schools with 32,000 students and 4,500 employees and is engaged is a $364 million building program. In one year, his district increased advanced placement enrollment by 53 percent and he continues to improve student achievement and community support.
Dilworth began his career as a teacher and coach in the Caddo Public Schools and served as principal and assistant principal at four Caddo schools before being named chief operating officer for Caddo Public Schools. Before his appointment in Alabama, Dilworth was Vice President for University Affairs at Northwestern, where he oversaw the physical plant, health and environmental issues, new construction and renovation.
Dan Chase of Baton Rouge graduated from Northwestern in 1957 with a degree in Health and Physical Education and earned a masters in Education Administration at Northeastern State College in 1964. He began his career as a teacher and coach in Concordia Parish and later worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas before returning to Louisiana as a teacher and coach in East Baton Rouge Parish and the Louisiana State School for the Deaf.
Chase made donations to establish the Dan and Lilly Chase and daughters Marty Causey and Lisa Chase Endowed Professorship in the College of Education, and the Dr. Francisco A. Silva Endowed Professorship in Psychology. He set up the Dan and Lilly Chase Athletic Scholarship. Chase received an honorary doctorate from Northwestern in 2005. He was co-chair of the University’s first capital campaign and was honorary chairman of the 2006 Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival. Chase made a donation for the fountain which is the focal point of Northwestern’s Alumni Plaza.
Connie Gaines Buck of Baton Rouge earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Education inn 1971, a master’s in Business Education in 1973 and +30 in Business education in 1978. She began her career as a business teacher at Bossier High School before joining the Department of Education for 22 years as program manager and executive officer. She later worked for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System for 5 years as coordinator for Perkins Leadership.
Among her memorable experiences as an educator was the 14 years she spent as State Director of Louisiana’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America and her year with the Department of Education where she worked with business education teachers and parish leaders in assisting in the delivery of quality business education programs.
Dr. Maurice E. Dennis earned a B.S. in Math at Northwestern in 1964 and a master’s in Physical Education in 1966. In 1971, he earned a Ph.D. in Traffic Safety and Physical Education from Florida State University. Dennis taught at the junior and senior high levels and at the university level for almost 40 years. He received several honors including the Texas A & M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award, the highest faculty award at Texas A & M, and the Texas A & M College of Education Crystal Apple Outstanding Educator Award in 2006. He was also presented the Texas A & M Distinguished Teaching Award in 1988 and Division of Health Education Research Award in 2001.
After earning his doctorate, he was an assistant professor at Florida State for five years before moving to Texas A & M where he was Professor and Coordinator of Safety Education programs in the Health and Kinesiology Department from 1977-2006 when he was named Professor Emeritus. During his tenure at A&M, he was Director of Alcohol and Drug Education Studies, and worked as an administrator, curriculum developer, training director and consultant for several Texas drug and alcohol awareness programs. Much of his research was devoted to alcohol and traffic safety related issues, including the development of the Texas DWI and Youth Alcohol Awareness Programs. He was an active scholar with over 100 publications in state, national and international publications. His grant for funded research and teaching projects brought in more than $7.4 million for Texas A & M University.
Jean McGlothlin Doerge graduated from Northwestern in 1958 with a B.S. in Education and joined the staff at Minden High School. The next year, she and her husband moved to Arp, Texas, to teach at the Arp Independent School, where she taught business classes and was an adviser for the school newspaper, yearbook and cheerleaders. At other schools in the following years, she taught girls physical education, coached the girls basketball and taught ninth and tenth grade English. Doerge returned to Natchitoches for one year when her husband coached at Northwestern before the couple returned to Minden. She joined the business department at Minden High as Business teacher and Advisor for FBLA and spent the next 28 years teaching there, during which time she earned a master’s degree and was named head of the department. She was among the first public school educators in the state to implement computer technology and word processing into the business curriculum. Through the years, she served as instructor for summer and night classes at Northwest Technical College in Minden and Homer and served on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as secondary representative. She and her FBLA students earned numerous awards.
Doerge retired in 1992 after 34 years of teaching. In 1998, she was elected to fulfill the unexpired term of her husband, State Representative Dr. Everett Doerge, who died earlier that year. As a legislator, she has served on several key committees and has supported many education issues at all levels. She has been named to the NSU College of Business Hall of Distinction and was the recipient of the Golden Rose Award and the Golden Apple Award presented by the educational society Epsilon State of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, which recognized her for noteworthy legislation impacting retired teachers’ benefits. She is a member of the FBLA Wall of Fame and received a SACS award for serving on the SACS commission from 1988-92.
Bob McLamore served the Louisiana public school system for 37 years and left retirement to teach high school chemistry. McLamore earned a B.S. at NSU in 1970 and Master’s degree and +30 at McNeese State University. He is a certified teacher assessor/mentor and a certified Louisiana school business official. He began his career teaching science classes at DeRidder High School and later served as assistant principal and principal. He was a chemistry/biology instructor at Northwestern before going to work for the Beauregard Parish School Board as Purchasing agent, Child Welfare and Instructional Supervisor and Director of Auxiliary Services. He retired as Superintendent of Grant Parish School Board in 2005, but continued working as an ad hoc professor and a “Teach” program mentor at Louisiana College.
During McLamore’s career, DeRidder High School was named a Top Ten School by the state. He earned distinctions as state Science Teacher of the Year, Outstanding High School Principal for Beauregard Parish, Region V of Louisiana and was named to an advisory council for the State Board of Secondary and Elementary Education. During his tenure in Grant Parish, McLamore helped bring up performance scores and ACT scores, introduced the teaming concept to middle schools and established a program to reduce the drop-out rate. Last year, he returned to DeRidder High School where a science teacher was needed and has refurbished a chemistry lab and introduced students to new technology. According to his wife, Lydia Jane McLamore, teaching high school science again has “rekindled a passion for the classroom and teaching students that he thought was long gone.”
Dr. Jo Ann V. Dauzat is Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Elementary Education at Northwestern and later sought graduate degrees from the University of Mississippi in Reading and from Northeast Louisiana University in Elementary Education and Reading Education. Her experiences and mentors at Northwesters ignited her passion for literacy education for children, adolescents and adults that continued throughout her 40-year professional career.
Dauzat has published materials and methods for teaching reading and language skills in numerous journals, books and textbooks and her materials have been implemented as the cornerstone for adult education programs throughout the nation. Dr. Dauzat has expertise in accreditation issues in p-12 schools and in higher education and has implemented high quality teacher preparation programs to provide technical assistance to institutions throughout the nation. She has implemented four doctoral level programs and redesigned all of the teacher preparation programs in her home institution.
Dauzat has served on numerous professional and community organizations and has made professional presentations as invited speaker at state, national and international meetings. She has authored and collaborated on numerous projects to fund professional development for teachers and education leaders, particularly in rural and poverty-stricken areas. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she organized educational and counseling programs for families, which provided service learning experience for teacher and counselor candidates, college faculty and staff and community partners.
Leonard Wayne Hennigan graduated from NSU in 1954 with a degree in Mathematics and Physical Education. He completed his master’s in Education in 1960 and later completed 30-plus courses at Northwestern, LSU and Peabody College in 1964. He earned additional counselor certification at NSU in 1966. After completing ROTC training in 1954, he was commissioned as 2nd Lt. Active duty and was assigned to the 1st Armored Division in Fort Hood, Texas. He served in several units and graduated Basic Artillery, Advanced Artillery and Command and General Staff College in 1967. He retired in 1975 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Hennigan began his teaching career at Mansfield High School in 1956, where he served as head basketball coach and assistant football coach. He later taught algebra at Oak Terrace Junior High in Caddo Parish and was a counselor at Woodlawn High School before returning to Oak Terrace as Principal from 1966-67. He was Assistant Principal at Captain Shreve High School from 1967-70 and was Principal at Valencia Junior High and served as Assistant Principal at Southwood High School in Shreveport from 1970-82. He was Principal at Southwood from 1982 until his retirement in 1988. Hennigan and his wife, Lottie, reside in Shreveport
Dr. Randall J. Webb of Natchitoches is currently in his 10th year as President of Northwestern. During his tenure, Northwestern has gained unprecedented state and national attention for its achievements in academic and athletic programming. New academic programs have been created including bachelor’s programs in criminal justice, heritage resources, electronics engineering technology and theatre, along with a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts in the Louisiana Scholars’ College. A new graduate program in Heritage Resources is in its second year.
Under Webb’s leadership, Northwestern has been a pioneer in distance learning, which includes classes offered by Internet and compressed video. Ten degree programs are available electronically and several hundred students take exclusively electronic classes. Webb has overseen several major renovations and construction projects, including the renovation of Russell Hall, Morrison Hall and the Family and Consumer Sciences Building, and construction of the $8.3 million Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center and a new 392-bed residence facility. Webb also initiated the university’s first Capital Campaign, raising $27.77 million in donations to fund scholarships, endowed professorships, endowed chairs, faculty research, the Athletic Department and university facilities.
Webb earned degrees in mathematics and business education at Northwestern in 1965 and a master’s in Mathematics in 1966. He taught mathematics as a graduate assistant and as a faculty member at Northwestern before earning a doctorate with concentrations in mathematics and research at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1971.
After serving in administrative capacities at other universities for several years, Webb returned to Northwestern as Dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies in 1989 and in 1996 was elevated to the Office of President. NSU’s scope includes delivery of instruction and services on the main campus in Natchitoches and at satellite campuses in Alexandria, Shreveport, Leesville/Fort Polk and at numerous off-site locations across central Louisiana.
Lola Kendrick of Shreveport served Caddo Parish for 30 years, where she was recognized as an outstanding teacher, researcher, public relations head and Assistant to the Superintendent. She has been a community education activist, serving on numerous boards and clubs, constantly researching and writing education- and youth-related grants.
Kendrick earned her undergraduate degree in 1961 and a master’s from Northwestern in 1967. In addition to her work as a teacher and administrator, she served for eight years as an education specialist for Workforce Commission in the governor’s office, where she was responsible for researching education issues, such as preparing a work-ready workforce and career planning. She was the principal author of a report that has been widely used and quoted in Louisiana workforce, education and economic development arenas. The report has continued to be updated and is featured in a Council for a Better Louisiana report.
Kendrick was one of two principal authors to develop and write Louisiana’s School to Work Grant that resulted in more than $25 million in funding distributed to education systems and partners. She is currently heading a team that is made of agency and business partners writing a Youth Build grant application for north Louisiana. Since her retirement, Kendrick has continued to be a tireless community volunteer in education, using her research, writing and presentation skills for the good of the students of Louisiana, including the disadvantaged and drop-outs.
Travis E. Funderburk of Pineville contributed to education at the local and state levels while serving as a teacher, principal, supervisor and Assistant Superintendent in Rapides Parish. After graduating with honors from Northwestern State College in 1950 and earning a master’s in Education at LSU, he completed post-graduate work at the University of Florida, LSU and Northwestern, in addition to completing many institutes and seminars on special topics in education.
Funderburk began his career as a physics and general science teacher at Bolton High School in Alexandria before becoming an assistant principal and later Principal at Cherokee Elementary. He was Supervisor of Elementary Education for the Rapides Parish School Board from 1963-66 and Director of Instruction and High School Supervisor from 1966-67. From 1967-80, he was Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and from 1980-93 owned Travco Educational Consultant and Sales Services, serving school systems and school supply firms.
During his career, Funderburk served on several Department of Education panels and task forces that addressed funding, personnel evaluation, pupil assessment and resources. He worked on and held offices on several of Louisiana’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) committees that evaluated elementary, secondary and unit schools for accreditation and served as a consultant for schools undergoing self-studies. Funderburk held offices in many local and state professional organizations He received the 1979 Outstanding Education Award presented by the Louisiana Association of School Executives and the Educational Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development. He is listed in Who’s Who in Educational Administration and Who’s Who in Education.
R.J. Stoker graduated from Many High School in 1927 and from Northwestern in 1931 or 1932. He did graduate work at Colorado State and Stephen F. Austin, where he earned a master’s degree. Stoker was Principal at Belmont, Toro, Noble and Pleasant Hill schools. While serving at Belmont, he was the youngest principal in the state, at age 23. He was at Pleasant Hill for 20 years. In 1964, he became State Director of School Food Services and Commodity Distribution for the Louisiana State Department of Education. He was President of the Sabine Teachers Association for three terms and was President of the Northwest Louisiana Principals Group. Stoker passed away Jan. 8, 2004, in Lake Jackson, Texas, at age 93.
James Larry Skinner of Stonewall earned an undergraduate degree at Northwestern in 1961, a graduate degree in 1967 and completed 30+ hours. He is a member of the Graduate “N” Club Athletic Hall of Fame, past member of Phi Epsilon Kappa at NSU and a member of Phi Delta Kappa. Skinner was Superintendent of Schools in Sabine Parish for 14 years and was Principal of Many High School for nine years. He served as President and Vice-President of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and chaired and served on several Southern Association of Elementary and Secondary School evaluation committees.
Robert Crew of Natchitoches earned a bachelor’s degree at Northwestern in 1965 and a master of education degree in 1968. Since 1997, he has served as Executive Assistant to the President of Northwestern State University. Crew worked for many years in the State Department of Education, which he served as both Deputy Superintendent and Acting Deputy Superintendent. Also in the Department of Education, he served as Supervisor, Assistant Director and Director of the Bureau of Higher Education and Teacher Certification, Director of the Bureau of Continuing Education, and was director when those two bureaus merged. He also served as Acting Assistant Superintendent of Academic Programs for the Department of Education.
Joe D. Cornett of Rogers, Arkansas earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education at Northwestern in the early 1960s and a Doctorate in Education in 1966 from the University of Arkansas. During his career, he served as both a middle school teacher in Bossier Parish and a professor of education, mostly at Texas Tech University, where he was chair for many years at the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership, the larger of two departments in the College of Education. His academic interests led him to specialize in the areas of curriculum, quantitative research design and analysis and statistics. He authored eight books and over 50 journal articles, monographs and technical reports and was instrumental in Texas Tech’s successful move toward Division I Research status.
After graduating from Winnfield High School, Dan Carr earned a degree in Mathematics Education and Health and Physical Education at Northwestern in 1955. He earned a masters degree in Mathematics Education and School Administration at NSU and Doctor of Education in Mathematics Education and School Administration from the University of Mississippi. Carr was Principal at Natchitoches High from 1963-70 and was Director of Consolidated High Schools into Natchitoches Central High School from 1970-72. Carr was a professor in the College of Education for several years until his appointment to Department Head in 1983. He was named Dean of the College of Education in 1985. He retired as Director of Institutional Research at NSU in 2000, having served in that capacity since 1987.
Dr. L.F. Fowler earned a degree in Chemistry and Physics with a minor in Math from NSU in 1933. He earned his masters and doctorate degrees in Education at the University of Arkansas. He was Principal and Head Basketball Coach at Marthaville High school and later was a professor of Elementary Education at NSU and Principal of the NSU Lab School, kindergarten through eighth grade.
Dr. H.T. Garner of Monroe earned a degree in Business Education at NSU in 1948 and a graduate and master’s degrees in at the University of Arkansas in 1952 and 1962. He retired as Acting Dean of Graduate Education at ULM in 1993. Throughout his career, he held membership in numerous professional and civic organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, National Elementary Principals’ Association, the National Education Association, Louisiana Principal’s Association, American Association of School Administrators and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Garner said his most memorable teaching experience was during his first semester as an English and social studies teacher at Vivian High School.
Mrs. Chris Weaver of Baton Rouge is Executive Director of the Workforce Commission in Louisiana Governor’s Office. She earned an undergraduate degree in Marketing Education at NSU in 1967 and a graduate degree in Education in 1972. She did post-graduate work at NSU and North Texas State University. She was the Marketing Education Coordinator at Woodlawn High School and Principal of the Caddo Career Center and Woodlawn High School before being named Louisiana Assistant Superintendent of Vocational Education. She was Director of Vocational Education for the Louisiana Department of Education, then joined the Governor’s Office where she was Workforce Development Liaison/School-to-Work liaison before becoming Executive Director.
Recalling her most memorable teaching experience, she said, “I spent 13 happy years as a cooperative marketing teacher at Woodlawn High School in Shreveport. Working with students and employers, I saw my students mature, many of them continued on in their market jobs and became productive adults. Now one of my sons teaches and coaches many of their children at Southwood.”
Mrs. Mary Lee Posey of Natchitoches was the first graduate to earn a B.S. in Early Childhood Education at NSU in 1947. She later earned a masters at NSU and did post-graduate work at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University for Women, Stephen F. Austin University and University of California-Los Angeles.
After graduating from NSU, where she was active in several organizations, Posey taught school and served in an administrative capacity for more than 32 years in Caddo, Red River and Natchitoches Parishes, teaching at all grade levels from nursery through college methods.
Posey pioneered the kindergarten-primary curriculum in the mid 1960s, starting at the NSU Elementary Lab School. She later made a presentation to the state legislative education committee on the importance of kindergarten. Because of her efforts, Louisiana kindergartens were added to public schools in all parishes. She then wrote curriculum guides, planned classrooms, purchased learning materials and trained kindergarten teachers for several parishes.
Posey was a member of several teacher organizations and received numerous awards. She retired from Director of Central Louisiana Professional Development Center at NSU, where she served as a consultant for nine parishes.
Dr. Charles F. Thomas of Natchitoches earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health and Physical Education from NSU, then Louisiana State Normal, in 1941 and 1950. He earned his doctorate in Health and Physical Education at George Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University in 1959.
Thomas served in the U.S. Navy from 1941-1945, then became a teacher and basketball coach at Bastrop High School. He was head basketball coach at NSU from 1950-57 and a professor until 1961 when he became State Supervisor of Health and Physical Education for the Louisiana Department of Education. Thomas returned to NSU as a professor in 1963 and later served as head of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In the following years, he served as Dean of Administration, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He retired from teaching at Tulane University in 1983.
As Dean of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences at Northwestern State, George Thomas Walker organized the first four-year degree program in Nursing in Louisiana in 1949. Walker, who spent nearly 40 years in higher education in Louisiana, served as Dean of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences for 10 years before becoming Dean of Administration. He then went on to serve as President of Northeast Louisiana University for 18 years.
Walker was an instructor of commerce at Northeast Junior College in the mid-1930s and was an assistant professor of business administration and accounting at Southeastern Louisiana University and at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He also served five years as the State Supervisor of Business Education for the Louisiana Department of Education.
Jane Holland Smith was the first female Superintendent of Bossier Parish schools when she was elected in 1995. She had previously been the first woman high school principal in Bossier Parish. She was elected, without opposition, as the state representative for District 8, and was selected to serve on the Education Committee, the Environmental Committee and the Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Lisso Simmons began his career as a teacher in Natchitoches Parish schools in 1947. He served as a principal in Webster Parish before spending 14 years as a professor at Northwestern State University. Simmons then spent eight years as Dean of the College of Education at Southeastern Louisiana University. He retired after one year as Dean of the School of Education at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.
After serving as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in St. Landry Parish and earning his doctorate from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Edward Bane Robert returned to his alma mater as an instructor. In 1935, he was recruited by LSU as Director of Teacher Training. He served as Dean of the College of Education, during which time he facilitated the construction of a new complex for the LSU Laboratory School. The auditorium of the LSU Lab School is named in his honor.
Stanley Powell served as Deputy Director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts after it opened in 1982. Powell was also a member of the team that planned the high school. Powell has served as Director of Instruction and School Administration for Caddo Parish Schools and was principal for 20 years prior, opening both Oak Terrace Junior High School and Captain Shreve High School.
President of Northwestern for 12 years, Dr. Arnold Kilpatrick oversaw extensive additions to the physical plant at the university and an increase in student enrollment to more than 1,500. During the Kilpatrick years, doctoral degrees and extensive two-year associate degrees were established, as well as the Educational Center at the former England Air Force Base in Alexandria.
The 1944 graduate of Northwestern taught and coached in Jackson Parish prior to becoming a basketball coach and athletic director at Northeast Louisiana University. He later served as chairman of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at NLU before becoming the Dean of the College at Northwestern.
State Superintendent of Education for 16 years, Shelby Jackson was the first Master Teacher of Vocational Agriculture in Louisiana. He taught at Benton High School and Plain Dealing High School in the late 1920s. He was Assistant State Supervisor and Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture Education and was State Supervisor of the Louisiana Association for Future Farmers of America. Jackson also served on the Board of Trustees for the Louisiana Teachers’ Retirement System and the Louisiana School Lunch Employees’ Retirement System.
Thomas “T.H.” Harris began his 32-years as State Superintendent of Public Education in 1908 when J.B. Aswell became president of the State Normal School. Harris, who enrolled at Louisiana State Normal in 1893, was the “dominant figure and principal leader” in the progress of public education. Referred to by some as “Louisiana’s greatest educator,” Harris is considered one of the “Builders of Louisiana Education.” Harris’ tenure as state superintendent was not only the longest but one of the most notable in the nation. In 1938, the Legislature established the T.H. Harris Scholarship, which have helped numerous young people attend college.
William J. “Bill” Dodd served as State Superintendent of Education from 1964-72, during which he presided over the desegregation of public schools. Dodd, who began his career of political service as a state representative in 1940, graduated from State Normal College in 1934. He served as Lieutenant Governor and State Auditor prior to becoming a member of the State Board of Education. Dodd also wrote a newspaper column entitled “Inside Louisiana,” which appeared in many rural newspapers. Shortly before his death in 1991, Dodd published his memoirs entitled “Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics.”
Linda B. Day of Baton Rouge is executive director of the Louisiana Association of Educators and an educator from Caddo Parish. She has previously served as director of the Louisiana Drug Policy and the Office of Drug Policy in the Office of Louisiana’s Attorney General Richard Leyoub. She served an unprecedented four-year term as president of the Louisiana Association of Educators.
Day has served as commissioner to the Education Commission of the State, received LAE’s Human and Civil Rights Trailblazer Award and was one of 76 delegates from the United States to attend the World Confederation of the Teaching Profession in Stockholm, Sweden. She was elected vice president of the National Council of State Education Association in 1993.