Caddo Parish School Board District 10 Representative Larry E. Ramsey passed away at his home Saturday night following a brave battle with pancreatic cancer.
Ramsey began his service as a member of the Board in January 2003. At the time, he stated his goals were simple: to expand opportunities for students in Southern Hills and districtwide while also ensuring fiscal responsibility. A fierce advocate for Southwood High School, Ramsey pushed for the Board to invest in the bio-technology program which has spurred tremendous academic growth at the campus.
Additionally, Ramsey played a pivotal role in the hiring of three district superintendents and called for the committee structure implemented by the Caddo Parish School Board today.
“Mr. Ramsey was a pillar of excellence on the Board and in many ways was a father figure to me,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Caddo Superintendent. “He expected nothing less than exceptional and had a vision for a Caddo school system that was both innovative and a state and national model. He saw a Caddo designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s students and called on the Board to create a framework to get us there.”
Time and again, Ramsey was remembered for his determination and unwavering desire to drive Caddo farther.
“He worked feverishly and tirelessly toward bettering educational opportunities in his district as well throughout Caddo,” said Southwood High School Principal Jeff Roberts. “He was truly Caddo. He wanted to see Caddo Parish schools perform at a certain level, and never quit working – day, night, weekends. Along the way, he might step on a few toes, but that didn’t matter because the greater goal for him was to do what was right for Caddo.”
As the current longest serving member of the Caddo Parish School Board, Ramsey earned a reputation for his deep understanding of Board procedures and policies coupled with his ability to work with community organizations and local governmental bodies to create a future concept of not only Caddo Schools but Caddo Parish.
“Larry was my mentor on the Board when I came on and he quickly became a friend,” said Board President Steve Riall. “He was the most knowledgeable when it came to the business of the district and Board policies but he also had the ability to listen to his community members to make sure we were doing what was in the best interest of students. This is a tremendous loss for our district and the community and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Janice and his family.”
In accordance with state law, President Riall will call a special meeting to declare the District 10 seat vacant and begin the process of appointing a representative. The selected person will serve until an election will be held in the November.
A testament to his lasting impression on the Southern Hills community, on Feb. 6 community members approached the Caddo Parish School Board to consider naming a portion of Southwood High School after Ramsey. The Board will formally vote to begin the process on Tuesday.
“When I first met Larry he was dedicated to Southwood in a way I had never seen,” Roberts said. “It’s only fitting to see his name be a part of a school he loved.” Arrangements are pending at this time.