Bossier is retiring, but she isn’t slowing down much

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 1, 1998

L’Observateur / June 1, 1998

After spending 34 years in the classroom, West St. John ElementaryPrincipal Myrtle Bossier is retiring. She has been principal at theelementary school in Edgard for the past nine years, and she was in the school system long before that.

Bossier, 58, received her undergraduate degree from Grambling State University, her master’s in supervision and administration from Southern University and her plus 30 from Nicholls State University and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Fresh from Grambling, Bossier began her teaching career in Concordia Parish. She taught second grade for two years at Sevier Elementary inFerriday.

Two years later, after getting married, Bossier moved to St. John Parish.She got a job with the St. John School System in January 1965 as a firstgrade teacher at Lucy Elementary.

She stayed at Lucy Elementary until the strike in 1984 and then was moved to West St. John Elementary along with the rest of the school.In 1989 she got the job of assistant principal at West St. John Elementary,and the next year she became principal.

“I have enjoyed it,” she said. “One of the reasons I selected elementaryeducation is because I like working with young children. It’s wonderful tobe able to take them and mold them. You can work with them so easily atthat age and watch them grow and develop into responsible citizens.”One of those Bossier helped mold during her days as a first-grade teacher is now a teacher at West St. John Elementary.”The greatest reward is seeing students you have taught being productive citizens in their community or other places,” Bossier said. “I havestudents that I taught coming up to me now and telling me some of the things I did or said during teaching. That will always stay with me.”Bossier said things have changed over her 34 years in education.

“The discipline problems at that time were very few,” she said. “Theteacher had control, and you had the parents behind you. You had order inyour classroom, and students didn’t talk back And they do it now at such a young age. I wonder what’s going to happen.”So she can keep abreast of school happenings, Bossier isn’t burning any bridges when she retires. In fact, she plans to volunteer her time atschools and work with the state’s Teacher Assessment Program as an external assessor.

Bossier said the program evaluates all new teachers in Louisiana and teams get together to discuss and make recommendations concerning the new teachers. “That will be something to still kind of keep me tied withthe system,” she said.

She also plans to travel to places she has never been and spend more time on the road visiting her daughters and grandson in Houston, Texas, and her parents, who are both 82, in Frogmore, which is in north Louisiana.

“I’ll be able to spend more time with my family,” she said with a broad smile on her face.

In retirement she also wants to help with the parish’s senior citizen programs. “I want to give my help wherever I can help somebody,” shesaid.

Bossier doesn’t think retirement will be much of an adjustment for her. “Idon’t think it will be a big problem because I do plan to keep myself busy,” she said. “I don’t think it will be boring.”

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