Longtime Erath educator and historian
Stacy Bodin has been
selected to serve as Grand Marshal of the 67th Erath 4th
of July Celebration. She will reign over the grand parade that will
roll through the streets of Erath on July 4th at 5:00 PM.
Bodin is a
lifelong resident of Erath. She is the daughter of Larson ďCapĒ and Gertie
Hebert Bodin. She enrolled at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now UL
Lafayette) after graduating from Erath High School in 1977. She graduated from
USL in 1981 with degree in Lower Education. She taught one year at Jesse Owens
Elementary in Gueydan. Bodinís dream was always to return to Erath and teach at
Dozier Elementary School. Her dream was realized a year later when she began
teaching second grade at Dozier.
has always had a special place in Bodinís heart for several reasons. Her
great-great grandparents, Phillip and Eugenie Richard, originally owned the
property where the school is located. They sold the property to the Vermilion
Parish School Board in the 1940s for the construction of a school to educate
black children. Bodinís grandparents lived a block from the school. She and
her cousins would go and play on the school grounds while visiting with her
grandparents. Bodin states, ďit was like she was returning homeĒ when she began
teaching at Dozier. She retired from Dozier in 2007.
Bodinís love of
history lead her to explore the history of Dozier Elementary and its founders,
Robert and Frances Dozier. It took her nearly twenty year to document this
remarkable story. Robert Dozier, a former slave, moved to Erath with his wife,
Frances, and their ten children. In 1911, there were no schools in this area
for black children. Determined that his children would have an education,
Dozier hired a teacher and turned his home into a school. They began educating
other local children. Five years later, the school was moved to the Beard
Congregational Church. In 1941, the Vermilion Parish School Board purchased
land from Bodinís great-great grandparents for the construction of the first
black school in Erath. Bodinís efforts have ensured that Robert and Frances
Dozier remarkable story, is preserved as a permanent part of Erath history.
In 1999, the
Town of Erath celebrated its 100th birthday. Bodin was working on a
timeline of Erathís history with her Dozier students. Jackie L. Vincent, the
chairman of the Erath Centennial Celebration, approached Bodin with the request
to have Erath schoolchildren be involved in the important events in Erathís
Centennial. The date of the celebration was only three weeks away. Bodin was
able to put together a program that involved over 250 children. Bodin served as
Co-Chairman and Historian of the Erath Centennial Chairman and wrote a series of
newspaper articles that detailed Erathís history.
Bodin also has a great love for photography. She was given a camera by her
grandparents when she was a young child. This started a lifelong love of
photography. She has been taking photos of her students and events in the town
of Erath for decades. She is loving known as the ďcamera ladyĒ to generations
of Erath students.
In 2005, Hurricane Rita flooded Dozier Elementary School. Bodinís heart was
broken when she discovered that she had lost countless photographs. She began
scanning pictures to create a digital backup of the pictures to ensure that
these images of Erathís history will be available for the next generation. She
loves sharing these images with people on the internet, and her Facebook sites
have become hugely popular with area residents.
embraced technology while teaching, and has become a self-described ďtechieĒ.
She served as the technology specialist at Dozier until her retirement. Once
retired, she began an effort on Dozierís behalf to upgrade the technology
available at the school. She has helped draft grant applications that have
resulted in purchase of new computers, Promethean Boards, iPads, and a mobile
computer lab. It is her deepest belief that technology is our future, and the
earlier we get it in the hands of students, the more successful they will be in
life. She continues to serve as Dozierís part time tech specialist and schoolís
webmaster. She shares her talent for designing and operating websites by
serving as webmaster for the Erath 4th of July Celebrationís and the
Town of Erathís website, as well as ten other Vermilion Parish Schools.
Bodin has a deep
love of Erath, and its citizens. Itís a fire that burns deep in her heart. Her
love of history and her talent in photography has led her to preserve history
for future generations. She is a beacon of light for all of her former students
to follow. What a wonderful world this is with Bodin leading the way, camera in