Jonesville Consolidated High School History
Before a school was built, all black children of the Jonesville, La. area were taught at the St. Mark Baptist Church in Jonesville. Schools were also held in churches in the surrounding communities. Those were Zion Hill Baptist Church in Harrisonburg, the Evergreen Baptist Church, Old Olive and New Mount Olive Baptist Churches on Little River, and down Black River were Moss Grove, Mount Sinai, and St. Peter Baptist Churches.
In 1928 ten acres of land was purchased by the black people of the Jonesville community for the purpose of a school site. In the next four years much work and planning went into the building of a four-room school on this land. This building was opened in 1933 and was called Catahoula Parish Training School. The principal was Mr. Charlie Haynes and with the help of three teachers, Mr. J.M. Martin, Mrs. Hattie Sikes and Miss Willie Mae Harris, the school was off to a good start. This building utilized folding doors to delineate classrooms and the doors could opened to expand into an auditorium.
The next year, 1934, Mr. E.H. Johnson became principal and held that position until his retirement in 1975.
In 1940 more teachers more teachers were requested, but there was no space available for them. So, for a time classes were held in the local churches and the Lodge building as well as the four original classrooms. The Catahoula Parish School Board matched the black community dollar for dollar for the construction of a much needed second building with six classrooms.
In 1953, consolidation took place and all black students in the Jonesville area were moved to the Jonesville School. In that same year the school’s name was changed to Jonesville Consolidated High School.
Many students were taught in these two buildings, but a need for another expansion arose as the population increased. In 1958 a modern building was constructed to take care of the high school students. Now the students could enjoy the new gymnasium for basketball games ,programs and plays. Home Economics, taught by Mrs. E.H. Johnson, became a part of the girls’ education in their modern department. The library offered an opportunity for research. Four other classrooms were available for learning, with one being used as the science and chemistry laboratory. Besides all these rooms, an office was provided for the principal and a lounge for the teachers. The boys were taught agriculture by Mr. Anthony Collins in a separate building.
By 1964 elementary students were taught in a modern twelve classroom building with a large cafeteria. In 1969 the first and eighth grade students were transferred to the Jonesville Elementary School and the high school students were transferred to Block High School. In 1970, Jonesville Consolidated High School was converted to Jonesville Junior High School grades six, seven and eight for all parish students. Mr. Johnson continued as principal with Mr. Floyd Mahaffey serving as assistant principal. This faculty consisted of five sixth grade teachers, seven seventh grade teachers, five eighth grade teachers, two full time physical education teachers, a librarian, two federally funded reading programs, three teacher’s aides, one band director, one special education teacher, two custodians and five cafeteria workers. The enrollment for the 1970-71 term was five hundred and twenty-six students.
The staff was led by Mr. Roy Mazique as the principal and Mr. Floyd Mahaffey as the assistant principal.