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Row 1 (sitting- left to right)
Miss Isabell E. Carter (Secretary), Miss Veronica O. Brown, Miss Owinda D. Warren, Mrs. Alice M. Barnes, Miss Lillian B. Cazenave, Mr. Charles B. Rousseve, Miss Jeanne L. Bagneris, Mrs. Gladys Porter Williams (Ranking Teacher) Miss Fannie C. Williams (Principal), Miss Dorethea Earl, Miss Alvirda Gaspard, Mr. Milton J. Becnel, Miss Agnes E. Adams, Miss Beulah Thornton, Miss Annabel L.Nash.
Row 2 (standing- left to right)
Mrs.Lydia Victor Zeno, Miss Sedonia Monconduit, Miss Estelle V. Baranco, Miss Leah Metoyer, Mr. Clarence J. McGivens, Miss Corinne DeLay, Miss Irma L. Henry, Mr. Ralph J. Grubbs, Miss Marguerite Cottrell, Mr. Mack J. Spears, Mrs. Veronica Toca Medley, Miss Lucille L. Hutton, Miss Esther N. Augustine, Mr. Anatieve B. Wiggins, Miss Evelina C. Jean, Miss Thelma S. Fields, Miss Alberta Watson, Miss Irene Hannibal ( Nursery School Supervisor), Miss Sarah N. Vanquelin, Miss Alporta Dotson.
Row 3 (standing- left to right)
Mrs. Audrey Brazier Dorsey, Miss Gwendolyn Yvonne Hoffmann, Miss Corinne B. Garrett, Miss Marie L. Pierce, Miss Katherine T. Stateman, Miss Miriam C. Carter, Miss Gladys Victor, Miss Etheline Jones, Miss Grace E. Clark, Miss Haleemon Shaik, Miss Julia L. Ford, Miss Beulah McKay (Nursery School Teacher), Miss Louella G. Cavalier, Miss Selina Butler, Miss Ethel R. Carter, Miss Aurora Peters (not in picture).
By the mid 1930s, Valena C. Jones School housed a total of 2,800 students and more than 50 teachers. During her years as principal (1921-1954), Fannie C. Williams fought hard to improve the quality of teaching at Jones and to enrich its curriculum. Many of her teachers (shown above) attended Saturday morning classes and summer school. They traveled and attended college long before a degree was required. Many went away to outstanding universities in the country to earn graduate and doctoral degrees. Nine of her teachers became principals, one a supervisor, two consultants, several became school librarians, and four became professors at Dillard University. All attributed their success to Miss Williams’ inspiration and encouragement.
Valena C. Jones built a reputation for not only its high educational achievements, but also the enriched activities the teaching staff provided to its students. Such activities as chorus, folk dancing, band, girls’ clubs, boys’ clubs, symphony concerts, travel excursions, and handicrafts are a few examples.
The Annual May Pageant and the Annual White Christmas enhanced the curriculum for more than 50 years. Jones had a very active PTA and a Parent Study Group. Distinguished visitors to our city were invited to visit Jones and among those who came were Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, and Mrs. Joe Louis.
As the fine reputation of Jones School spread through the city of New Orleans, more and more parents sought to enroll their children. All of this was due to the cooperation of loyal parents, dedicated teachers, and pupils who came to school with a hunger and desire for learning.
Sources: photo taken from The Fannie C. Williams Collection “The Moving Finger” Vol.3 (1937) pages 22-23.; The Lucille Hutton Collection, Box 17-Folder 5 “A Biographical Sketch of Fannie C. Williams (1882-1980)” ….Both collections housed at Amistad Research Center; Crescent City Schools (Public Education in New Orleans-1841-1991), Donald Devore and Joseph Logsdon (1991) USL.
Lolita C. Cherrie