Celebrating the proclamation of Jesse Bartley Day in Ascension Parish are, front from left, Mildred Brown, Judy Irvin, Hopeful Triumph Baptist Church Pastor Sidney Tobias, Councilman Travis Turner, President Kenny Matassa, honoree Jesse Bartley, Dorothy Claiborne, Chanel Porter, Pete Prater, Sheila Irvin, Lois Pam and Andrew Thompson; and back, Wanda August, Gwen Price, State Sen. Ed Price, Councilman Randy Clouatre, Louise Stewart, Vurnel Brown, Councilman Oliver Joseph and Charles Shivers.


Jesse Bartley Day was observed Jan. 25 in Ascension Parish through a proclamation by Parish President Kenny Matassa.

Born Nov. 6, 1935, in Darrow, Jesse James Bartley grew up in Hillaryville and graduated from Lowery High School, where he was senior class president, in Donaldsonville in 1953. He earned a bachelor's of science degree in education from Grambling State University in 1957 and a master's in education from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge.

Bartley married Marion Guidry Bartley. They have one daughter, Jessica Bartley (Roy) Thompson, and one granddaughter, Alexandra Thompson.

He began his long education career as an elementary teacher at Lowery Training School and principal at the Old Folks Union Hall. Bartley was called to active U.S. Army duty in 1959, serving in Germany for 18 months. Three months later, he began serving 10 months at Fort Polk.

After Fort Polk, Bartley resumed his teaching career. He taught at Marchand Elementary for two years, followed by eight years as principal. The Ascension Parish School Board promoted Bartley to director of elementary of education, a position in which he served until his retirement in 1996, capping off more than 35 years in education.

Bartley’s career in education was followed by 12 years with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, serving in administration.

He is a founding member of the Fifth Ward Volunteer Fire Department, which he has served for more than 50 years, and a founding member of the River Area Improvement League. Former Gov. Edwin Edwards appointed him to the Pontchartrain Levee Board, on which he served for 26 years. Bartley is a former member of the Ascension Parish Home Rule Charter Commission. He belongs to Hopeful Triumph Baptist Church, where he serves on the Deacon Board.