LIVINGSTON, La. – The Livingston Parish School Board recently passed a resolution to name the interior courtyard of the new K-8 Southside Campus in honor of State Sen. J. Rogers Pope.

J. Rogers Pope

“I can think of no other educator in this parish who has accomplished more in his career, and specifically for this school system, than J. Rogers Pope,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “I believe it is this system’s honor to have had such a stalwart individual championing our many causes for so many years.”

“We know that Southside Junior High holds a dear place in his heart, and it seemed most fitting that his name forever reside with that campus in a meaningful way,” Murphy added.

Pope has been a life-long educator in the Livingston Parish Public School System, including the first principal of Southside Junior High School when it opened in 1976. Pope began his career as an educator as a teacher at Walker Elementary in 1964. He has served as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in the system. He was selected the Louisiana Superintendent of the Year in 2000 and became the elected president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents in 2001.

After retiring from the system, Pope became the executive director of the Louisiana Association of School Executive in 2002 – a position he still holds today. Over the last 15 years, he has also served in the State Legislature. Pope was elected as a state representative in 2017 and served three four-year terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives, then was elected as a state senator in 2019 and is currently serving in that capacity in the Louisiana Senate.

Pope has received numerous recognitions for his leadership and accomplishments. He received the Louisiana Family Forum’s Family Advocate Award on three separate occasions for his work as a legislator; the Louisiana legislator of the Year by the State Trooper’s Association in 2010; the Legislator of the Year by the Childcare Association of Louisiana in 2011; the Louisiana Federation of Teacher’s LFT Award recipient in 2012; and the Louisiana School Board Association’s Legislator of the Year in 2013.

Pope was named as Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Education Alumni of the Year in 2016, was inducted into the Louisiana ASA/USA Softball Hall of Fame in 2016, was inducted into the Denham Springs High School Hall of Fame in 2017, and he was inducted into the Walker High School Hall of Fame in 2020.

“The Livingston Parish School Board wishes to establish an enduring reminder and to celebrate the accomplishments and continued contributions of Mr. J. Rogers Pope to the Livingston Parish Public School System, the Livingston Parish community, the State of Louisiana, and to past, present and future generations of school-aged children,” Livingston Parish School Board President Cecil Harris said.

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