H-ville High principal retires after 34 years as ‘The Fuse’

June 06, 2007 at 2:33 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

H-ville High principal retires after 34 years as ‘The Fuse’
Photo by Caleb Frey
Hahnville Principal Barbara Fuselier may be retiring at the end of June, but to the graduating classes she's helped shape over the last 34 years she will always be affectionately remembered as "The Fuse."

"They called me ‘The Fuse’ because they knew when it came to guidelines and rules, I meant business," Fuselier said.

In her first year as principal in 1999, Fuselier recalls having her house rolled with toilet paper and how she turned a prank into a way to show the students she wasn't quite the tyrant they might have been making her out to be.

Fuselier said she recalls her husband Dwain telling her to look out the window and see what her kids did to their house.

"There was toilet paper all over the place," Fuselier said.

During the cleanup, Fuselier said she found a senior ring that belonged to a boy at Hahnville. Her husband wanted to call the boy's parents and have him clean up the mess, but Fuselier had something else in mind for the ring. For the next two days she wore the ring to school on a string around her neck. The student who lost the ring saw Fuselier with it and was mortified.

Finally Fuselier was asked by one of the student's friends to give the ring back; a wish she gladly complied with.

"I gave it back to him and told him I can't tell you how excited I am that my first year as a principal a senior boy would leave me his ring," Fuselier said jokingly. "By doing that, the kids realized I was okay."

And while she does have quite a sense of humor, it was all business when it came to the classroom. Even as a young child she recalls her love of school.

"I remember playing school with my sister while we would wait for the bus," she recalled. "I've always loved education."

In eight years as principal she's seen the PTA grow from five members to 90, watched technology encompass all aspects of the school and seen the tigers claim quite a few accolades.

She remembers when the school switched from hand written sheets for reporting grades to a system that was completely computer based and how some teachers longed for simpler times.

"One of the teachers came to me frantic and asked me to give her the bubble sheets back because she could do them while drying her hair," Fuselier said. "But we never looked back."

Over her tenure the school has increased the number of advanced placement courses offered as well as the number of students enrolled in honors classes.

In 2004 she was awarded the State Administrator of the year award by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators. She was also recognized by WDSU as the business community's educator of the year in 2003. The newsletter Tiger paws was also founded during her administration as a way to keep parents informed and keep everyone apprised of Hahnville progress and achievements.

Along with getting parents and students more involved in academics, Fuselier watched her Tigers win state championships in football, golf, track and wrestling, which helped feed her competitive side she said.

As a woman who has had a plan her entire life, it's refreshing she said to be entering a part of her life where she has no idea what she'll do next.

"Right now I don't have any plans," she said. "I'm going to try to give some time to my husband - he's given so much to me."

View other articles written Caleb Frey

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