Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The History and Legacy of Fochia Varnado Wilson


Mrs. Fochia Varnado Wilson, a graduate of the Tangipahoa Parish Training School, came to the Kentwood, Louisiana from Rose Hill, Mississippi to serve as a home economic teacher. She is also a graduate of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Later she studied at Columbia University and received her Masters in Education degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

As a high school teacher, she taught food and sewing classes, sponsored clubs and student trips for many years.  After teaching numerous girls to be “young ladies”. In  1973 she was appointed as principal of Kentwood Elementary School, formerly Dillon Memorial High School.  She was honored as “Principal of the Year”.  She also served as a member of the Tangipahoa Parish Library, The Southeastern Louisiana Reading Council. 

Mrs. Wilson almost single-handedly raised money to pay for the computerization of the Kentwood Elementary Library. She is extremely supportative of any program, which will help educate the children in her charge and give them a better start in life.

“ I am a firm believer that schools exist for pupils; therefore, I envision my task as principal to offer the best possible environment conductive to learning." It is my belief that the school library should foster the enrichment of children’s lives-intellectually, personally, socially and culturally through reading and other activities of the library said Mrs. Wilson.

Mrs. Wilson was a pioneer in many programs, which emphasize reading and the use of the library. Kentwood Elementary School became the first automated library in Tangipahoa Parish and it serves as a model for all other libraries in the parish.Because of Mrs. Wilson’s commitment, the Kentwood Elementary library is utilized to the maximum and provides unlimited service to its patrons.

Mrs. Fochia Varnado Wilson, former Principal of Kentwood Elementary School, was initiated into the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa on January 23, 1992.