| C. E. Byrd High School
|| Mr. Jerry Badgley
|| 3201 Line Avenue |
Shreveport, LA 71104
|| (318) 869-2567
|| 1992 (Fall 2006)
|| Purple and Gold
C. E. Byrd High School (BHS) is a science and mathematics magnet high school located in Shreveport, Louisiana. C. E. Byrd High School opened in the fall of 1925.
C. E. Byrd High School is the largest high school in the Shreveport/Bossier City metro area. It is a Blue Ribbon School and is also recognized as having the largest alumni association of any high school in the nation.
One of Byrd's popular former principals is B.L. "Buddy" Shaw, an incoming Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate, effective January 14, 2008. Shaw is also a former member of both the Caddo Parish School Board and the Louisiana House of Representatives.
In 1892, C.E. Byrd came to Shreveport as the principal of the first public high school in the city — two rented rooms in the YMCA
building at a salary of $70 per month. Within the year, enrollment swelled to seventy, and in 1898 the school was moved to the Soady building on Crockett Street for one year. In 1899, the students were moved to the new Hope Street school, a large three story red brick building. The elementary students occupied the first floor, intermediate on the second, and high school on the third. In 1899, when the new Hope Street Shreveport High School was built, Byrd became the city superintendent of schools. He remained in this position until 1908, when he was named parish superintendent of schools, a post he held until his death. In 1910, Shreveport High School was built adjacent to Hope Street and the high school moved into this building. Though Professor Byrd left Shreveport High, it remained his "baby". He stayed close to it, setting the standards for the curriculum, and insisting that to be truly educated one must be familiar with history
, and Latin
. While serving as superintendent, he taught geometry
, and chemistry
at the school. He also worked hard to establish a library
at the school.
In 1924, work began on the new high school for the eastern part of town. During construction, it was decided to name the school in Byrd's honor since it represented the fulfillment of his dream. On September 17, 1925, the school was dedicated. Byrd delivered the dedicatory address and said that the event was the proudest day of his life.
Five months later on February 26, 1926, Byrd died. His body lay in state in the foyer of the school that bears his name. From there he was buried in Forest Park Cemetery next to his wife of thirty-two years, Mattie McAfee Byrd.
Concerned about overcrowding at SHS, the Caddo Parish School Board decided to build two new high schools. On February 23, 1923, the site on which Byrd was constructed was purchased from Justin Gras for $110,000. It is approximately 20 acres (80,000 m²). At the same time, the school board passed a resolution to purchase four additional lots in Bon Air Subdivision, adjacent to the Gras property, from F.R. Chadick for $9,500. On March 19, 1924, Stewart-McGee was the lowest bidder and was awarded the building contract for $772,133. On October 3, 1924, with full Masonic ceremonies, Professor Byrd laid the cornerstone for the new million-dollar high school. Sealed in the cornerstone were a letter from C. E. Byrd; a boll weevil, symbolizing problems of the farmer; a bottle of oil, symbolic of the oil business; an ear of corn, representing agriculture; coins, representing the financial situation, and a Bible.
The following year, the board authorized Superintendent Byrd to furnish and equip the building. The board approved $40,000 for the furnishings. The building was accepted from the contractor on 1925-06-27. Because the furniture had not yet arrived, the opening of the school was delayed until October.
When Shreveport High School students moved into the new building in October 1925, they transferred intact all their traditions, curriculum requirements, clubs, organizations, academic and social activities. Grover C. Koffman, the Shreveport High principal since 1919, and E. L. Albertson, assistant principal, moved to Byrd at this time.
On the opening day of classes, students gathered in the auditorium, and Mr. Koffman welcomed them and alphabetically assigned them to rooms, where they picked up their schedules. Only grades 9 - 11 came to Byrd, eighth graders stayed behind (reference: Glimpses of the City of Byrd, by Ann McLaurin; Byrd Archives. Author, Barbara Hodges).
The Shreveport Hi Life, the student newspaper, came to Byrd (it later became the Byrd High Life) as did the Gusher, the yearbook. Featured in the Gusher were the Mardi Gras Courts, clubs, school plays and all the athletic teams. The prophesies of the Senior Class were also dominate in the early yearbooks.
The Yellow Jacket mascot was continued from SHS as were the purple and gold colors. The early Byrd Yellow Jackets were Byrd's golden era for athletics, as they dominated football and baseball in the state (reference: Glimpses of the City of Byrd, by Ann McLaurin; Byrd archives. Byrd Gushers. Author Barbara Hodges).
Byrd we stand to honor thee, Alma Mater true.
Loyal homage we will bring, through the years to you.
Loyalty, honesty, with our friendship hold.
Always deep within our hearts, the purple and the gold.
To the tune of:
Jack the Yellow Jacket
- Adam J. Logan,(Class of 1985), M.D and Ph.D. Space Shuttle Flight Commander and Flight Surgeon
- Edward C. Aldridge Jr. (1956), president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation
- Douglas F. Attaway (1910-1994), publisher of defunct Shreveport Journal and former majority owner of television station KSLA-TV
- John N. Bahcall, astrophysicist known for his work on the solar neutrino problem
- Arnaz Battle (Class of 1998), San Francisco 49ers wide receiver
- Charles T. Beaird (1922-2006), Shreveport businessman, professor, and philanthropist
- C. J. Bolin (1924-2007), Caddo Parish state district judge, 1968-1990
- Betsy Boze, Ph.D. (formerly Betsy Vogel) (1971), academic administrator and CEO Kent State University Stark
- Algie D. Brown (Class of 1928, 1910-2004), Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1948-1972
- George A. Burton, CPA and Shreveport finance commissioner
- Saxby Chambliss (Class of 1961), Republican U.S. senator from Georgia, elected 2002)
- Frank Fulco (Class of 1928, 1909-1999), Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1956-1972 and leader of Italian-American community in Louisiana
- James Creswell "Jim" Gardner, I (Class of 1940), Shreveport mayor (1954-1958) and state representative (1952-1954)
- Robert Franklin "Bob" Grambling (1921-2007), a Shreveport native, became the band director at C.E. Byrd in 1968 after twenty years at Minden High School in Webster Parish. His bands were known for their consistency, musicianship, and student quality. Grambling himself played in the trombone section of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his death, Grambling was inducted into the Music Educators Hall of Fame.
- Billy J. Guin (Class of 1944), former Shreveport Republican utilities commissioner (1977-1978) and school board member (1964-1970)
- William T. "Bill" Hanna, mayor of Shreveport from 1978-1982; former Ford automobile dealer
- Janet Hetherwick Pumphrey (1967), Attorney and selectwoman in Lenox, Massachusetts
- Gilbert Hetherwick (1970), President and CEO, Sony BMG Masterworks
- Tom Jarriel (Class of 1952), ABC News veteran
- J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. (Class of 1950), former Louisiana Democratic senator (1972-1997)
- William Joyce nationally known children's book author and illustrator. His children's books include: George Shrinks and A Day with Wilbur Robinson. Joyce has received three Emmys for Rolie Polie Olie, an animated series that airs on Disney Channel. In 2007, Disney Films released Meet the Robinsons based on his book, A Day with Wilbur Robinson.
- Richard D. Murray, (1950), Retired Major General, USAF
- Pat "Gravy" Patterson (1934-2007), the winningest college baseball coach in Louisiana sports history, coached at Byrd High School from 1963-1967, when he returned to his alma mater, Louisiana Tech University, to become head baseball coach from 1968-1990.
- Andy Sidaris, (1931-2007), television producer, director (B Movies), actor, and writer
- Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee, President/CEO, Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company and Rose-Neath Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, Inc., Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute and former Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate
- Arthur W. Sour, Jr. (1924-2000), Shreveport Republican state legislator from 1972-1992
- Tom Stagg, U.S. District Court judge in Shreveport
- Pattie W. Van Hook (1927-1991), Physician and first woman president of the Louisiana State Medical Society
- Robert Brooks Van Horn, Sr. (1919-2008), physician who headed primary care division at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City
- Wayne Waddell, Republican state representative from Caddo Parish
- David Woodley, quarterback at LSU (1976-1979), played for the Miami Dolphins (1980-1983) and the Pittsburg Steelers (1984-1985) of the NFL; in 1983, he was the youngest Super Bowl starting quarterback in NFL history