Members of the John S. Dawson High School Class of 1966 celebrated their 50th anniversary during events held June 3-5.

The weekend celebration started on June 3 with a party at the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge. Classmate Edward Samuel conducted a slide show for the 29 members attending.

The classmates held a reunion party on June 4 with 20 Below performing. Former teacher Johnnie Cobbins was the guest speaker.

On the final day of the reunion weekend, the classmates attended church services at Magnolia Full Gospel Church in St. Francisville.

Planning the event were committee members Almenia Moncrieff, Jean Scott Payne, Donald White, Idella Ford McLean, Gloria Duncan, Dorothy Ernest, Luncinda Johnson, Harry Minor, Edward Samuel, Joe Louis Harris, Lionel Smith, David Hardy, Nathaniel Brown and Annette Cavillier.

John S. Dawson High School was named after John Sterling Dawson, 1871-1950, an African-American educator who began his 58-year teaching career in the Laurel Hill community of West Feliciana Parish.

The school was the first established institution to offer high school-level instruction to West Feliciana black youth and opened in 1951.

The school closed in 1969 with the start of desegregation. A foundation has been working on a plan to renovate the school building.