Retired teachers continue to teach

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief

Ascension Parish Retired Educators Association has continued to support the education of our children even though many of them have been technically out of the classrooms for numerous years.

On April 30, the association partnered with several churches namely, Mt. Triumph Baptist Church, St. Mary Baptist Church, as well as Pride Donaldsonville Chapter #80, O.E.S and several retired teachers from St. James Parish to support and finance a field trip for a group of 8th graders from Lowery Middle School.

The students were eager and attentive as retired educator, Mrs. Sadie J. London, gave them a briefing on what they would encounter as they journeyed thru The River Road African American Museum. The students were attentive and focused as they listened to the museum’s curators namely Darryl Hambrick, Ms. Janice Linton, and Ms. Joann Reed. Various collections were explained to the students. They obtained a wealth of information as they learned that the first African American Mayor of Donaldsonville happened as early as the 19th century. It was also noted that the cane planter was from the mind of the Julien Family of Ascension Parish.

Contributions were made by locals in medicine, education and numerous other areas. As a matter of fact, the students related to the fact that their school was named for an African American doctor-- -Dr. John Harvey Lowery. In the arena of music, they heard about the talents and influence of Claiborne Williams, Tony Hudson, Leonard Julien, and Homer Richard and so many others. They also saw that the first African American who served as superintendent of education of any parish in our state was a native of Donaldsonville and a graduate of Lowery High School. He was Ralph Ricardo Sr.

The students were impacted by so much that the museum provided. The overall tour was well received by the students. They agreed that they had a lesson that certainly made history alive. The “APREA” was indeed grateful that it, along with the churches and several others retired educators from St. James, had an opportunity to continue to educate as well as to inspire our young people.

The officers of Ascension Parish Retired Education Association are Mrs. Juvella Williamson, Pres., Mrs. Janet Steward, 1st Vice Pres., Mrs. Bennie Jenkins, 2nd Vice Pres., Mrs. Catherine Davis, Sect., Mrs. Mary Jackson, Financial Sect., and Mrs. Mary Edwards, Treasurer.

Contributed Report