The History of LaGrange

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In Memoriam

History of LaGrange


In 1903 Mesant LaGrange donated one acre for a one-room school building on Ryan Street. By 1913, the school had become so overcrowded that he donated an additional nine acres of land on which a four-room wooden school building was constructed. Because the School Board wanted to ensure their ownership, however, Mesant LaGrange agreed to accept $1000 as a "selling price" for the land. This wooden building was moved around on the site and remodeled several times until it was finally demolished in 1989.

In April, 1928, the Calcasieu Parish School Board announced plans to build a new high school which was completed in 1929 at a cost of $90,000. Leslie Norton was appointed principal. Only two weeks before graduation in 1931, tragedy struck when a fire believed to have been started in the chemical laboratory on the second floor caused the building to burn. Central station firemen went to the blaze, but they were unable to fight the flames since the school was nearly two miles south of the city limits and no fire plug connections were available. Shortly after, the school was rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire.

LaGrange Senior High School opened its current facility on September 07, 1954, even though construction was still in the final stages. The freshman class was left at the old facility in what then became LaGrange Junior High School. Mr. John J. Mims was the first principal of the new high school.  By the time the school plant, including the building, stadium, and furniture, was completed, the cost was $1,203,928. The building had a 1000-student capacity and included thirty classrooms plus a commerce and manual arts department, a home economics facility, stage room for speech activities, a workshop for LaGator (the school's first publication), science labs, a photography dark room, practice rooms for band and vocal music, a cafeteria, a 10,000 volume capacity library, and a "modern" gymnasium. At that time, LaGrange was the only "senior" high school in the Southwest Louisiana area operated under the Calcasieu Parish school system.

 In 1970 with LaGrange's population beyond two thousand students, the School Board began planning for the construction of an additional high school in south Lake Charles which opened in 1971. At the end of the school year in 1973, Mr. Mims retired, and Assistant Principal Pete Crawford was named principal of LaGrange. In 1981 Mr. Philip Perry became principal followed by our current principal, Jimmy D. Anderson, who took the reigns in 1986.  Although several minor renovations have taken place on the site since its beginning in 1954, LaGrange High School underwent notable refurbishment as well as new construction with the passage of a bond issue in 1990. As a result, the plant now boasts a state-of-the-art science wing, an enclosed courtyard, improved athletic facilities and auditorium, and a new home economics department among other renovations.  In addition, LaGrange now has the advantage of technology as a learning tool for the nineties and beyond with a television in each classroom, two Macintosh writing labs, an automated library system In addition, LaGrange now has the advantage of technology as a learning tool for the nineties and beyond with a television in each classroom, two Macintosh writing labs, an automated library system with remote access and CD-ROM references, and

four IBM labs for business and computer science.

Philosophy of

LaGrange High School

The school is a cultural and academic center for the community. Its central purpose is to facilitate the academic, social, and physical growth of the child toward his function as a responsible and productive citizen. It is responsible for providing sound educational and extracurricular programs in an environment which is conducive to learning. The community, in turn, should support the school's policies and programs.   Most students express the desire to have their needs met academically, socially, physically, emotionally, and artistically. In an effort to meet these needs, the school identifies individual differences through testing, teacher evaluation, counseling, and interaction with parents. To accommodate these differences, it uses ability grouping, special programs, and curriculum adjustments.  Among administrators, teachers, and students, this school seeks a relationship of harmony, mutual respect and tolerance, communication, and cooperation.  Drawing from the members of the community, the school identifies changes in American society and continually evaluates, upgrades, and adjusts programs in the curriculum to meet these changes. The school recognizes that differing cultures affect education, and it has made a commitment to provide educational opportunities for every child.


      To guide the student in achieving command of the fundamental skills and knowledge which is basic to all other learning.

      To help students learn to receive and verbalize ideas effectively.

      To provide conditions in school which permit teachers and students to work with maximum effectiveness.

      To nurture the physical, social, emotional, and artistic development of the student.

      To stimulate creativity and enthusiasm in the introduction and implementation of new programs.

      To supply materials that stimulate research and provide enjoyment.

      To encourage the student to set realistic goals and develop the integrity and discipline to pursue these goals.

      To help students acquire marketable skills in the career fields of their choice.

      To aid students in becoming productive, thinking members of our society.

     To increase the awareness of and appreciation for the arts.

      To offer flexible programs to meet the varied needs of the students.

      To encourage in-service and continuing education for professional and personal development.

      To foster harmony through mutual support and respect.

      To be a dedicated, caring faculty.

      To recognize the needs of the community.

      To strive to provide equipment and materials that are consistent with modern technology and allow students to explore and express their talents and abilities.

      To provide a clean, safe learning environment.

      To serve as a resource center for the community.