A Bright Future:

1925-1928

CHS

The brand new Covington High School opened its doors at 415 South Jefferson Avenue in the fall of 1925. It was a lovely two-story brick building with a bell tower and clock presiding over the central portion. A magnificent old oak tree framed the projecting entrance and softened the lines of the new building, while other trees added shade to the grounds. The new school included grades seven through eleven. As one entered the building, Superintendent Lyon's office and the School Board offices were to the right. Principal Yves Leon Fontenot's office was to the left.1

Exercise

There were innovations in the new school. One was the hiring of a young man "who could teach and assist in just and proper athletics such as basketball, baseball, and track activities." Superintendant Lyon felt the principal had enough to do without supervising athletics. Another innovation was a commercial course organized for the first time and taught by Miss Eleanor Rayne. A night school was also organized with classes two nights a week in bookkeeping, shorthand, typing, and commercial arithmetic. However, enrollment had to be closed when it reached seventy students. The quality of excellence in the school was shown when the State Assistant High School Supervisor cited its biology class as having the best lesson in the parish.2

High school teachers' salaries had to be increased in 1923 when there was difficulty in securing competent teachers to meet the new state minimum of sixty-four college hours from the previous minimum of forty college hours. The question of salary came up again in 1926 when it was noted that the maximum any college graduate could receive, no matter how many years of experience, was $130.50 a month, with no increase for a Masters Degree. It was recommended to the board that the minimum salary for teachers holding a Masters Degree should be $150.00 per month.3

The year 1928 was a banner year for Covington High. In February two major changes were made: first the name was changed to Elmer E. Lyon High School to honor the highly respected Superintendant of schools; second, Consolidated School District No. 1 was formed out of School Districts No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, and 11. Following an election, bonds were issued totaling $150,000 to enlarge, improve and equip the Covington High School building and purchase additonal sites if necessary. By May an architect was chosen, and Squares 1703, 1704, and half of 1702 with improvements were purchased for an athletic field, teachers' home, etc. In passing, we might note that a compulsory attendance law requiring a child to attend school from age seven to the day before he attained fifteen years was also put into effect.4

The future was bright. Strong parental support was evidenced by a letter from the PTA to the Board urging a special tax "large enough to cover present needs of a modern high school including a gymnasium, restrooms and cloak rooms, and all other equipment to facilitate the advancement of children as rapidly and competently as high school can." Lyon High School in 1928 was assured in its building, teachers, and curriculum.5


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