Local family produces 5 valedictorians; Newest graduate continues academic legacy

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023

RESERVE — Class of 2023 East St. John graduate Kyla Cage was the fifth in her family to be named valedictorian, adding to a lineage of brilliance that spans two generations.

Brains seemed to run in the Bossier family. Alfred Peter Bossier II was the first to earn the valedictorian title when he graduated from West St. John in 1985. Two years later, his sister, Raquel Bossier-Cage, became valedictorian of West St. John’s Class of 1987. Younger sister Charo Bossier-Holden upheld the family tradition by graduating at the top of her class in 1994.

Bossier-Cage’s children have carried on the torch at East St. John High School amid much larger graduating classes. Cameron Cage was named East St. John’s valedictorian in 2019 among a class of more than 300 students. His brother, Christian Cage, placed in the top 10 of his graduating class the following year. Kyla Cage, who also recently secured a basketball scholarship to Xavier University, is the family’s newest scholarly standout and the valedictorian for the Class of 2023.

Charo Bossier-Holden recalled the influence of her parents, Dolores Joseph Bossier and the late Alfred Bossier Sr.

“My dad’s highest education was eighth grade. I believe my mom went to a trade school but didn’t finish. They always instilled in us to do better than they did and also told us that education was the key to success,” Bossier-Holden said. “No matter what it was we wanted to do in life, they wanted us to be the best at it. They instilled values of respect, putting our best foot forward, and remaining humble while doing so.”

The Bossier children were also taught to always put God first, and that steadfast faith has carried them far in life.

Alfred Bossier II went on the obtain an electrical engineering degree from Louisiana State University. He traveled the country, served in the Air Force, worked for an engineering firm in California, and retired after a successful 30+ year career. His nephew, Cameron, is currently pursuing a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in aerospace engineering.

The Bossier sisters were both drawn to the medical field and obtained their BSNs from LSU Medical Center. Bossier-Cage is a registered nurse who works at Ochsner in a post-surgical unit. Bossier-Holden works for Ochsner as a unit director and also serves as the District One School Board member for St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools.

Just one month after graduating from high school, Kyla Cage is already attending classes at Xavier University in the pharmacy pathway.

“In our household, it was self-motivated, but you knew education was important. Once my brother set the bar, it was understood,” Bossier-Cage said. “I instilled in my own kids the importance of education because it is something no one can take away from you. As far as being at the top of the class, I think that was more self-motivated as well.”

She is proud of her children for continuing the family legacy.

“They are humble kids and all high achievers,” Bossier-Cage said. “It makes me even more proud when I think about the number of students they were competing against at East St. John.”