Northwestern High School, Zachary, Louisiana

History of Northwestern High School

By David Horton

The first known school for Negroes in Zachary was a one room school held in the Little Star Baptist Church building. Among the first teachers were Mesdames Helen Vining, Violet Vining, Essie Thornton, Gladys Dunkins, Eola Morrison, Aslee Eames and a Mr. Thornton.

Schools sessions ran for six months and students from miles around walked to the school.

In 1934, the new Rosenwald school, situated on the site of the present Masonic Hall on the Old Slaughter road, and known as Zachary Colored School was opened. Because of a lack   of   room,   the   Union   Baptist   Church building was used for some school activities.

During the   Rosenwald   era, Mrs. Aslee Eames, Mrs. Eola M. Wilson, Harold Frazier, Carlisle Chapman, Eddie White and Kermit Patty served as principals.

The present Northwestern Middle school, known originally as Zachary Colored Junior High School, first held classes during the 1951-52 school session. The next year, through consultation with the parents, students and teachers, the name “Northwestern Junior High” was adopted.

Beginning with grades one through nine, another grade a year was added. In the 1954-55 session, Northwestern became a junior-senior high school and its first class was graduated in 1955.  They  were: Melvin Riley, Louise Stewart Horton, Louis Payne,  Nathaniel  Thomas, Vivanese Lee Stewart, Edith Morrison Hayes, Maxine Clemmons Kemp, Sarah   Snowden, Marion Lucas,   Charlotte    Marshall   Smith,   Joseph Smith,  Johnnie  Richardson,  Clarence Taylor, Harvey  Morgan,  Elizabeth  Clark  Turner, George  Lawson, Caroline Tolbert  Wicker, Earnest Jackson and Evelena George.

The school experienced tremendous academic and athletic  success, being known throughout the state for its academic excellence and  winning tradition-in football, track, baseball and basketball. Its band gained great


respect  for  its  colorful  half  time shows and stage performances. Graduates  have held their own in competing  with people throughout  the  nation  and they  have attained  high  positions in occupational  pursuits  in  most  areas  requiring  top academic preparation.

With the advent of integration, Northwestern became Zachary’s Middle school, while the formerly all white high school became the senior high. Today, Northwestern Middle school takes seriously the task of preparing students to be successful academically and teaching young athletes to be well prepared Braves,  so they can  transfer   their  fighting  spirit  from   the Braves to the  Broncos on and off the athletic field. Elmer T. Glover is principal of Northwestern.  There are thirty faculty members.

Northwestern High School Faculty Slideshow