The History of George Washington Carver High School
As the engineer visualizes, designs and inspects his final product, so did our forefathers who had foresight enough to realize that education was the key to survival for Black children. Many of these educational engineers have passed away, but they have left many generations of children as proof of their lives well spent.
In 1909, a public school, Bunkie Colored Public school, was started in the Pest House located on the corner of Oak and Ash Streets. The Pest House served as a school and a hospital of sorts. When a person contacted a contagious disease, to ensure the safety of the family, they were sent to the Pest House.
This school was open from October to March and Professor Landry served as the first principal of this school. He was followed by Professor Randall Smith and Professor Osborne Williams. Mrs. Eddie White Cosey and Mrs. Olla Jamerson were teachers. One taught in the Pest House and the other taught at Salem. The years rolled on and the public school continued to expand. Because of a lack of records, many renowned educators, who had a profound effect on generations of Black boys and girls, have been lost through the chronicles of time.
Professor Albert B. Rowe in the year of 1937 began his impact on education at Bunkie Colored High school. He began his administration by making many changes and made education his number one priority. He had many mountains to climb, the biggest of which was that his classes were not centrally located. Students had no transportation and had to walk to school and also to the Home Economics building, which was located on the corner of Oak and Cottonwood, for lunch. In order to provide food for the lunch program, a garden was planted on the corner of Cottonwood and Church where the Lovall home is presently located. The male students were responsible for the upkeep of the garden and at the same time this enabled them to learn some Agricultural Science. Mr. Rowe was so concerned about students learning the required skills, he administered his own Proficiency test which served as a requirement for students passing from seventh grade to high school. These are the same requirements that our present-day school administrators have implemented. Under his administration, an eight room, white building was constructed. In addition to being principal, he was also required to teach Mathematics and English. Mr. Rowe was a strict disciplinarian.
Sometime between the administration of Professors Rowe and Augustine, land was donated by Colonel W. D. Haas for the construction of the school. Following Rowe’s administration, Mr. Forest Paul Augustine was appointed principal. He served from 1945-1956. He held the following degrees: A.B. Degree for New Orleans University (now Dillard University), B.S. Degree from Southern University, and a B.D. Degree form Gammon Theological Seminary. He was married to Mrs. Emma Lee Fisher.
Before coming to Bunkie, he was principal at Elizabeth Colored Junior High School where he did a remarkable job. During his first year at Bunkie Colored High school, he organized the Community School Club which came into being when he called a mass meeting at Salem Baptist Church. The community and school working together raised more than one thousand and seven hundred dollars to help build a school auditorium.
Under his administration, the cafeteria, main building, and gymnasium were built. One of his main accomplishments was being instrumental in getting transportation to and from school for his students. For three years, in addition to being principal, he was also a math teacher. He was also a strict disciplinarian and was so concerned about children getting an education that he served as a self-appointed truant officer and could be seen transporting students back to school.
In his majestic way, he was able to work with the school board and increase his teaching staff, provide hot lunches, provide transportation, and improve the curriculum.
The school’s name was changed from Bunkie Colored High School to Bunkie Consolidated High School. Mr. Augustine saw the need for having all of his students in one central location if they were to receive as much as the curriculum had to offer at that time. For this reason, massive transportation was necessary and upon consolidation of this school, the school board saw fit to come to Mr. Augustine’s aid and provide buses. For the Black child, it was a new beginning in obtaining an education that was once, obsolete, remote, and unimaginable. For the Black child, completing the 12th grade became a reality. In the year of 1956, Mr. Augustine, after having overcome many obstacles, retired. He passed away in 1973.
Prince Albert Frazier, Jr. a native of Tensas Parish was born and reared near Newellton, Louisiana where he attended school through the fourth grade. He completed grades five and six at Natchez College, Natchez, Mississippi. He then enrolled in Tensas Parish Training School in St. Joseph, Louisiana where he graduated from high school. He received a B.S. Degree from Southern University and his M.Ed. Degree from Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas. Thirty-five hours above the Master’s were earned at LSU, Northwestern State University, USL (now ULL) and Texas Southern University. Mr. Frazier’s teaching experience began in Tensas Parish in a one room church school and his last assignment there was at Delta Bridge Vocational School, a five-teacher school where he served as Assistant Principal, Math-Science teacher, and boys’ basketball coach. He also served two years as Parish supervisor of Adult Education. While teaching at Delta Bridge, he met and married Ella Mae Grover from Woodville, Mississippi.
The following years were spent in Avoyelles Parish where he served as principal of Dunbar High School in Simmesport, Louisiana. He agreed to transfer to Bunkie Consolidated High School in 1956 when Mr. F.P. Augustine retired. There were thirty-nine teachers at that time.
During his administration, he began to expand the curriculum so that the students would be better prepared for different careers. A football team was organized. Foreign languages, geography, physical science, and business education were also added. In later years, a National Honor Society and Student Council were organized.
In 1957, Bunkie Consolidated High School was changed to George Washington Carver High School. Mr. Frazier was instrumental in getting the Home Economics Cottage and the Industrial Arts building. In 1970, a beautiful reign was ended when Carver became a junior high school because of the integration of the schools. Mr. Frazier passed away December 27, 1979.
Recent news: TWO GROUPS WANT TO PURCHASE PARTS OF CLOSED BUNKIE MIDDLE SCHOOL (7/31/2018)