W.R. McKowen High School in East Feliciana Parish, renamed Jackson High School in 1962, held its seventh multi-class reunion April 11.
The idea for all McKowen alumni — from the classes of 1910 to 1962 — to come together for one reunion was alumna Lucille Fluker Priddy’s idea about 35 years ago.
“Everyone loved the idea, so committees were formed and the first big reunion was held in 1985,” said Beth Dawson, wife of 1959 graduate Scotty Dawson.
Held every five years and organized by Priddy, a member of the Class of 1950, the most recent reunion was held in the former high school’s gym in Jackson and about 200 former students, teachers and spouses attended.
Activities included recognizing veterans among the group and the presentation of seven Hall of Distinction awards to Scotty Dawson, 1959 graduate; Doyle Harrell, 1950; Ed Jelks, 1958; Don Lord, 1960; Wade Morgan, 1956; John Travis, 1959; and Jan Worthy, who accepted a plaque on behalf of her late husband, Dr. Sidney Worthy, 1954.
Other honors included the recognition of alumna Beryl McKowen Morris, a resident of Zachary.
Morris graduated in 1938 but returned to teach at McKowen High. Effie Sharkey Dawson, 93, who was married to 1934 graduate Flinn Dawson, now deceased, was also a teacher at McKowen.
The two women, along with Morris’s sister, Pearl McKowen Slaughter, class of 1940, and Priddy, each received a dozen roses.
Priddy announced that she would no longer be heading up the reunion committee with Barbara Gayle Thomas but asked that Barbara “Bobbie” Schaubhut Odom, 1959 graduate, take over as committee chairwoman.
Other honors included recognizing the class of 1956, who had the most graduates in attendance, which included Ronnie Daniel, Barbara Manchester, Cecil Manchester, Wade Morgan, Margie McCaa Noto, Gail Estes Parrenin, Bessie Nell Horne Perkins, Ben Price III, Kay Floyd Tate, Sue Peterson Vaughan and Aline Newton Woodside.
Tammi Courtney Biggerstaff, daughter of the late Jay Courtney, class of 1937, traveled from North Carolina to meet her father’s high school friends.
“I came with my Aunt Doris Courtney Parrish, class of ‘43, and cousin, Mary Ann Newman, and we all had a great time,” Biggerstaff said.
The event was catered by 1965 graduate Charles Lanoue.
McKowen alumni traveled from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and from throughout Louisiana to attend the reunion.