C. E. Byrd High School

C. E. Byrd High School
Established 1925
School type Public
Principal Mr. Jerry Badgley
Location 3201 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71104
Phone (318) 869-2567
Enrollment 1992 (Fall 2006)
Colors Purple and Gold
Homepage www.cebyrd.com

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, mathematics, English, and Latin. While serving as superintendent, he taught geometry, algebra, physics, 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).

School spirit

Alma Mater
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:
Aura Lee
Jack the Yellow Jacket
Purple and Gold

Notable alumni

External links

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