Saturday, April 18, 2020

School Board Members Past and Present

In 2007, in celebration of the opening of the new school board offices in the old C. J. Schoen Middle School structure, all school board members in attendance, both on the current as well as on previous boards, were invited to come to the stage for a group picture. 

Here is that group picture. Click on the image to make it larger. 

The C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex was dedicated on May 3, 2007, the culmination of an effort to preserve one of the community’s most historic structures. A number of school board members from the current and previous school boards took part in the special occasion.

With the renovation of the original 1914 building and the addition of a matching structure, architects and contractors fulfilled a commitment to maintain the integrity of the original school building and keep the building in use for years to come.  The building that has served generations of residents as the site of five different schools is now the administrative complex for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and where School Board meetings are held monthly.

The dedication began with a special program where officials expressed  sentiments about the importance of the facility to the community.  Covington Mayor Candace Watkins spoke about the value of the complex to helping preserve the history and culture of the City of Covington and the parish seat of government as well as contributing to the future development of the area.

A special video was shown spotlighting about the history of the building and its namesake, C. J. Schoen. It featured scenes from earlier years and information about the history of the landmark building.

 The facility was named for former educator and St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent C. J. “Cyp” Schoen, who served as Superintendent from October, 1967 to January, 1986. 

The ceremonial ribbon cutting inside the atrium of the building was preceded by remarks of appreciation, extended by the C. J. Schoen family spokesperson Jeff Schoen.  Student performances by a Pre-Kindergarten class from Covington Elementary and the Mandeville High School Show Choir showcased the talents of St. Tammany Public School students.

Tours of the new facility continued during the afternoon, as hundreds throughout the parish came by to see the structure, many reminiscing about the time they had spent as a student or staff member in one of the five schools housed on the site.  A special reunion of former students and school staff who had attended or worked in the original building at any time drew a large crowd, sharing photographs and sometimes humorous stories about their time in the building.

Throughout the afternoon, visitors touring the facility were treated to performances by a variety of student groups.  Taking part in the event were the Pitcher Junior High School Jazz Band, Pine View Middle School Swing Dancers, Fontainebleau Junior High School Chorus, Slidell High School Choir and Honey Island Elementary School Jump Rope Team.