C. E. Byrd High School, a Blue Ribbon School, is the largest high school in Shreveport, Louisiana. In continuous operation since 1925, Byrd is also the second-largest high school in the state of Louisiana.
- 1892: C.E. Byrd came to Shreveport as principal of the first public high school, in two rented rooms in the YMCA building at a salary of $70 per month.
- 1898: With first year enrollment of 70, the school moved to the Soady building on Crockett Street.
- 1899: Moved to new Hope Street School, a large three story red brick building. Elementary students occupied the first floor, intermediate the second, and high school the third.
- 1910: Shreveport High School built adjacent to Hope Street.
- 1923: Caddo Parish School Board decides to build two new high schools. 20-acre (81,000 m2) Site purchased from Justin Gras for $110,000 and four adjacent lots in Bon Air Subdivision, from F.R. Chadick for $9,500.
- 1924: Stewart-McGee awarded the building contract for $772,133. On October 3, cornerstone laid with full Masonic ceremonies including a letter from C. E. Byrd; a boll weevil symbolizing problems of the farmer; a bottle of oil, symbolic of the oil business; an ear of corn representing agriculture; coins representing the financial situation, and a Bible.
Side view of Byrd High School from Kings Highway
- 1925: Board authorized $40,000 to furnish the building. Building accepted from the contractor on June 27. Because furniture had not yet arrived, the opening was delayed until October.
1960s -1970s: Desegregation
- 1967: First African-American graduate, Arthur Burton.
- 1968: As part of an order to desegregate, neighborhood school district boundaries were abolished and students were allowed to select schools under a protocol known as "Freedom of Choice." Courts found this policy did not accomplish desegregation
- 1969: New districts were created in the summer of 1969 forcing thousands of students to change schools. Faculty from historically black high schools were exchanged with those from historically white high schools and students from Captain Shreve High School returned to Byrd as their neighborhood school.
1970: In an attempt to further desegregate, Valencia High School was merged with Byrd. Students class schedules were changed at the start of the new semester in order to "mix" the students from the two schools. The Black administrators from Valencia were given minor roles at Byrd.
Tensions were high with student protests. As a result of these protests, police were called in to guard the doors of the school. Students were not allowed to leave the building once they came to school for the day. Senior rings had been ordered the previous year, so each wore their own class rings. While students from both schools participated in the same commencement exercises they wore different colored academic regalia, that represented their schools.
Byrd High subsequently fell victim to "white flight" with many parents sending their children to Jesuit High School (now Loyola), St. Vincent's Academy or one of several new private schools. Enrollment decreased to the point that Byrd faced possible closure. Byrd returned as a powerhouse by re-inventing itself as a Math and Science magnet school.
The 8 acres (3.2 ha) area comprising the school building and three other non-contributing properties were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The elaborate four story brick structure designed by Edward F. Neild has seen several alterations since its construction in 1924. The structure, however, still retains its original visual impact and is significant in the area of architecture. It's one of the few examples of Jacobean Revival architecture.
Byrd, We stand to honor Thee, Alma Mater true.
Loyal homage we will bring, through the years to you.
Loyalty, honesty, with our friendships hold.
Always deep within our hearts: the purple and the gold.
We Are Jackets
We are Jackets, We are Jackets,
Always we fight for victory,
Spirits high, hopes undaunted,
For we are the Jackets, Byrd High Yellow Jackets,
For we are the Jackets, Best of all.
We will never lose our spirit, that is plain to see.
Until the final whistle blows, we will fight for victory.
Fight, Fight, Fight!
This victory will be ours, that is plain to see!
For we are the Jackets, Byrd High Yellow Jackets!
For we are the Jackets-- Best of All!
Jack the Jacket
Purple and Gold
Captain Shreve High School
Clubs and Organizations
- Literary magazine: Perspectives
- Newspaper: High Life,
- TV station: KBYRD
- Yearbook: Gusher
- Edward C. Aldridge Jr. (1956), president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation
- Tommy Allen (1956), photojournalist, The Washington Post, 1960-2004
- Douglas F. Attaway (1910-1994), publisher of former Shreveport Journal and KSLA-TV television
- John N. Bahcall, astrophysicist known for his work on solar neutrino problem
- Fuller W. Bazer (1956), O.D. Butler Chair in Animal Science at Texas A&M; Wolf Prize in Agriculture
- Charles T. Beaird (1922-2006), Shreveport businessman, professor, and philanthropist
- Betsy Boze, Ph.D. (formerly Betsy Vogel) (1971), President, The College of The Bahamas
- Jerry Byrd (attended 1949-1950), sportswriter and editor of Shreveport Journal 1957-1991, Bossier Press-Tribune 1993-2012; graduated from Fair Park High School in 1953
- Karen Carlson, actress
- John Howard Dalton (1959), former U.S. Secretary of the Navy
- Tillman Franks (1940), songwriter
- Brandon Friedman (1996), former Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; author of The War I Always Wanted
- Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (1959), 2003 Pulitzer Prize in history
- Tom Jarriel (1952), ABC News journalist
- Faith Jenkins, Miss Louisiana 2000, Miss America 2001 first runner-up, attorney and legal analyst
- William Joyce, Academy Award winner, children's book author and illustrator
- Merle Kilgore (1952), singer, songwriter, and manager
- Casey Reid (2003), Philanthropist
- Aaron Selber, Jr. (1944) (1927-2013), businessman and philanthropist
- Andy Sidaris (1948) (1931-2007), television producer, director (B movies), actor and writer
- Shelby Singleton, record producer and record label owner
- Elliott Stonecipher (1969) (born 1951), political consultant, pollster, political analyst
- Pattie W. Van Hook (1945) (1927-1991), first woman president of Louisiana State Medical Society
- William T. Whisner, Jr. (1923-1989), flying ace in World War II and Korean War
- Kathryn Irvin, 602nd MP Company Army Reserve
Elected officials and judiciary
- Calhoun Allen (1938) (1921-1991), mayor of Shreveport (1970-1978); commissioner of public utilities (1962-1970)
- C. J. Bolin (1924-2007), Caddo Parish state district court judge, 1968-1990
- Algie D. Brown (1928) (1910-2004), Louisiana House of Representatives from 1948-1972
- George A. Burton (1941) (1924-2014), CPA and Shreveport finance commissioner from 1971 to 1978
- Saxby Chambliss (1961) (born 1943), Republican U.S. senator from Georgia, 2002-2015
- Jack Crichton (1933) (1916-2007), industrialist; 1964 Republican gubernatorial nominee in Texas, defeated by John Connally
- George W. D'Artois (c. 1942) (1925-1977), Shreveport public service commissioner from 1962-1976
- William J. Fleniken (c. 1925) (1908-1979), U.S. Attorney for United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, 1950-1953, judge of state 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport, 1961-1979
- Frank Fulco (1928) (1909-1999), Louisiana House of Representatives (1956-1972)
- James C. Gardner (1940) (1924-2010), Shreveport mayor (1954-1958) and state representative (1952-1954)
- Billy Guin (1944) (born 1927), former Caddo Parish School Board member and the last of the Shreveport municipal public utilities commissioners (1977-1978)
- Pike Hall, Jr. (c. 1947) (1931-1999), member of Caddo Parish School Board 1964-1970; state appeal court judge 1971-1990, associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court 1990-1994
- Don Hathaway (1946) (born 1928), Caddo Parish sheriff (1980-2000) and last Shreveport municipal public works commissioner (1970-1978)
- William T. "Bill" Hanna (1947) (1930-2016), Shreveport Democratic mayor (1978-1982) and Caddo Parish administrator
- J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. (1950) (born 1932), Louisiana Democratic U.S. senator (1972-1997)
- Robert Kostelka (1949) (born 1933), Louisiana state senator and former state court judge from Ouachita Parish
- Richard G. Neeson (1964), state senator for Caddo Parish, 1980-1992
- Charles B. Peatross (1958) (1940-2015), judge of Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport
- Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee (1940) (1923-2015), Chairman, Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company, former state senator from Caddo Parish
- Phil Short (1965) (born 1947), former state senator from St. Tammany Parish; United States Marine Corps officer
- Art Sour (c. 1941) (1924-2000), Shreveport Republican state legislator (1972-1992)
- Tom Stagg (1939) (1923-2015), judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- Harold Terry (1945) (1925-2016), sheriff of Caddo Parish from 1976 to 1980; attended Hope Street High School for returning veterans
- Jeffrey P. Victory (1963) (born 1946), former associate justice of Louisiana Supreme Court
- Wayne Waddell (1966) (born 1948), Republican former state representative
- Dayton Waller (c. 1942) (1925-2015), state representative, 1968-1972
- Jacques L. Wiener, Jr. (1952), U.S. District Court judge
- Ruth Rye Cockerham (1939) (1922-2002), presidential elector 1960, Caddo Parish School Board member from Fair Park district
- Arnaz Battle (1998), wide receiver for NFL's San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers
- Chris Cotton (2010), pitcher at LSU and 14th round draft pick by Houston Astros in 2013 MLB Draft
- Pat "Gravy" Patterson (1934-2007), Byrd High School coach 1963-1967
- Scotty Robertson (1947), head coach of NBA's New Orleans Jazz, Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons
- Dan Sandifer (1943), defensive back for six NFL teams
- David Woodley, quarterback at LSU (1976-1979), played for Miami Dolphins (1980-1983) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1984-1985)
- Jonathan Stewart (2009), linebacker at Texas A&M (2009-2013), played for St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys
- Pat Studstill, NFL punter and wide receiver for Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams
- James Sykes (1971), football player, Calgary Stampeders 1975-1982; Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1983 and 1986
- Isaac Hagins (1972), football player, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976-1980