Memories of a Teacher

” A teacher affects eternity, she can never tell where her influence stops.”

Pictured above: (Left to Right)   Gerald (?), Chareen Greenwood, Velma Humphry,  Mrs. Carmen Robinson Morial, Sharon Mathieu,  Barbara Trevigne,  Linda McKay,  Eldon Sigur.

After making their First Communion in 1954, these students headed back to Valena C. Jones School to have their picture taken with their favorite teacher, Mrs. Carmen Robinson Morial.

In all of our lives, there is one teacher that stands out from all the others. To these students shown above, and countless others, it would be the lady pictured above. She was not only a teacher but a substitute mother, a role model, and a lifelong friend.

Barbara Trevigne (pictured above) speaks for so many others  when she said recently, “Ms Carmen loved us and we knew it. She was  not only a great teacher but a very good person. She lived in our community and knew all our families. We spent so much time with her outside of the classroom. I remember how she planted trees with us and worked with the Brownies. We all wanted to be just like her. I’ll never forget that sassy walk and those t- strapped shoes. I still remember all those great Brer Rabbit stories she would read in class that we so enjoyed. While only in second grade, we learned how to engage in public and impromptu speaking; a gift that would benefit us for years to come. She was such a unique and special teacher. For all these reasons I took her to the Angela Hill television show and introduced her to Angela’s audience as my favorite teacher.”

So much of this must be true because each time I run into this pretty, petite, and vivacious young lady of ninety-seven, she is always being greeted by a crowd of people who share fond memories of her as their teacher. Most of her colleagues are now deceased, but even though her hearing has deteriorated, Ms Carmen is always extremely happy to meet and greet all her admirers. Dressed meticulously and pretty as ever, she is being cared for in her Gentilly home (which flooded in Katrina but later rebuilt) by her niece, Gaynell Cooper Lawrence.

Her teaching career extended from 1933-1971, a total of 38 years. Most of those years were served at Valena C. Jones Elementary. She was a 1931 graduate of McDonogh#35 High School where she was an honor student, class president and salutatorian in addition to a graduate of Xavier University in 1940.

We wish her well and invite any of you out there to share with us your memories of this dear, sweet lady.

Sources: A special thanks to Barbara Trevigne for providing her personal photo and comments. Also, thanks to Penny Cooper McKnight for further info given on her aunt;  The Roneagle 1931 (McD#35 Yearbook) pages 66 +75

Lolita V. Cherrie

3 thoughts on “Memories of a Teacher

  1. What a wonderful tribute to our teacher. There is not a student that sat in her class that did not love her. So few educators have that distinction of today.
    Although Carmen had Sally on her desk, I do not ever remember her using her stick on any of us. There was no reason to. The girls walked behind her like little duckings imitating her walk with her T-Strap shoes. We all wanted to grow up and be Carmen. When a teacher can remember the names of her students like Andrew, Claude, Donette, Eldon, Sharon, Chareen, Linda, and the names of their siblings as well, and their cousins, who are now in their sixties, you know any angel was in your life for a reason. Carmen is loved, and will forever remain in our life passage of someone who made a difference.

    When ever we had story telling time, it was Ber Rabbit we wanted to hear, and Carmen captivated us with, “and he laid low.”

    Ber Rabbit has been handed down through the generations of the Trevigne lineage.

    Thank you so very much for sharing Carmen.

    Barbara Trevigne
    New Orleans, Louisiana

  2. Carmen is all that Barbara said and more. She is most generous of her self and open to others. She was a friend of my mother and she opened her home to me. I am thankful to her for her kindness. I loved attending daily mass with her when I visited NOLA at the St. Epiphany chapel. Some of the people identified in this article also attended. We had a true community in those days that has blossomed out to a rich, far reaching influence. I am so thankful to have been a part of that love.

  3. I am the “Teacher” that I am today because of Carmen Robinson. She was the best teacher ever, and I hope my students will say the same thing about me years from now. I love you Ms. Carmen with all my heart!! Donnetta Leufroy Sigur

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