Rose Ella Foster Johnson Tribute
Rose Ella Foster-Johnson was born in Bunkie, Louisiana Avoyelles Parish. She attended the same school for all levels of her elementary, middle and high school education. After graduating from Bunkie High Colored School, she matriculated to Grambling College (later named Grambling State University) where she played basketball with the Grambling State Lady Tigers and attained her degree in secondary education.
Miss Rose Ella Fosters’ career was initiated, in the city of Oakdale, Louisiana, located in the parish of Allen, at Allen High School; she taught English, American History, Geography and Physical Education. Her adeptness for playing basketball was developed in high school and perfected in college. Once her honed athletic characteristics were evidenced and validated (in strength, fitness, and agility), she was assigned to coach the girls’ intramural basketball team.
Miss Foster, started the odyssey of coaching by re-teaching the basic fundamentals of the game. Many of the girls were reluctant to play but she ruled and won those battles. As ‘her girls’ began to experience stardom on the playground and in the community, others less skilled at the game wanted to participate and were allowed to play. Practices were held on the unfamous dirt-court of that era. Previously, players loss more games than they won. By 1957 she had wielded her team to a whopping 84.75% of their victories. She reported, “My last year at Allen High we won 50 of the 59 games and we played in the newly erected gymnasium”.
Her years of service at Allen High reigned from 1955-1960. After Miss Foster married Mr. Johnson, in nineteen hundred fifty four, they permanently relocated where she continued her teaching career in Alexandria, Louisiana, located in Rapides Parish, thirty- eight miles north of Oakdale; she had become a mother.
Students who were participators on ‘Coach Johnson’ team were:
|Students||Class of||Position Played|
|Mable L. Bradley||60||GUARD|
|Pearlie B. Jones||60||FORWARD|
|Rita Metoyer||61||Center FORWARD|
|Bernice Nelson||62||Center FORWARD|
Mrs. Rose Ella Johnson, was a luminous scholar, vibrant teacher, gracious colleague, supportive mentor, fiercely loving wife and mother, a passionate gardener, an inimitable dancer, wondrous conversationalist, and a precious friend to many. As a scintillating interlocutor, she talked seamlessly about critical thinking and gardening with her friends. Students described her as generous with her insights about academics, sports and life.
She asked canny questions and generated dazzling ideas before and after her retirement, on and off the court. Many people remarked that she was so extraordinarily alive. Her boundless charisma and energy expanded the worlds of all she taught.
Coach Johnson was not fond of pointless school bureaucracy, thoughtless inefficiency and bad ideas born out of good intentions. Mrs. Johnson liked every child she met. She was greatly missed when she transferred to the Rapides Parish School System, where she retired during the 1988-89 school year, from Bolton High School.