R. C.
Reynaud: Doing his civic duty by Vanessa C. Deggins

About Evergreen

EDITOR’S NOTE: You may recognize the names around town on schools and street signs, but do you know the story behind the people? In a series of stories for Black History Month, Vanessa C. Deggins explains how these people distinguished themselves locally.


Reynaud Middle School and Foreman-Reynaud Community Center are named for a longtime local teacher and principal who combined a half-century in education with community service.

    Ralph C. Reynaud was born in Evergreen in Avoyelles Parish on Oct. 22, 1885. He received a bachelor’s in education from Southern University in Baton Rouge and a master’s from Atlanta University.

    He began his teaching career in 1904 in Morgan City. He then taught at schools in Iberia, Calcasieu and Beauregard parishes before joining the Lake Charles city school system in 1914.

    He was a principal at Second Ward School — later renamed Mill Street — and the first principal of W.O. Boston High School.

    On top of his 49 years as an educator, Reynaud — “Reny” to his friends — received numerous state and national awards for his civic activities.

    The American Red Cross gave him a certificate of merit for his service during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Audrey, which killed hundreds in Southwest Louisiana in 1957.

    After he retired from teaching in 1953, he served as president of the Louisiana Education Association.

    On Nov. 3, 1964, a newly built school was dedicated as Reynaud Middle School. The article in the American Press at the time described the school as an “ultra-modern, fully air-conditioned facility.”

    Reynaud died in 1969.

    He was honored in 1979 when the Foreman-Reynaud YMCA was rededicated. The YMCA opened in 1973 at 215 Albert St., where it remains as a community center.

    The Rev. Edmon Burnice Foreman, the community center’s other namesake, founded Colored Charities, the main fundraiser for the building. Foreman was also president of the Lake Charles NAACP chapter.

Reynaud Middle School, named after longtime local teacher and principal Ralph C. Reynaud, was dedicated on Nov. 3, 1964. SHAWN MARTIN AMERICAN PRESS

Pelican Footnote: Submitted by Geri St. Romain Hebert of Dora. Geri always had a special place in her heart for Evergreen, although she did not attend school there.  Perhaps this was because of the positive influence of her Aunt “Bat” St. Romain (Mrs. Jack).


Published by the Lake Charles American Press, February 3, 2009. 
Main Street
Photo Gallery
Where Are They Now?
Unforgettable Personalities
Pelicans Websites



Contact Us


Home Community Churches News Education Reunions Photos Memories Memorials Donors Sponsors Subscribe Contact Us