It shocked some residents of St. Charles Parish when the school board hired an out-of-parisher - - and out-of-stater - - to be superintendent of schools here back in the 1970s.
But it didnít take long for Dr. Bob Rice to become aclimated to his new environs. His intelligent and understanding approach in dealing with school problems were quickly admired by the people he served.
This was especially beneficial when a white Destrehan High School student was killed by a black student in 1974. He successfully helped calm the tensions that arose from that tragedy which stirred racial unrest.
Under his leadership, our parish had one of the best school systems in the state and ranked high nationally. His calm demeanor made him easy to like and follow. His mastery of the education process made his leadership very successful.
Besides, he adapted well to the style of living in south Louisiana. He loved to fish and won a top prize in the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo one year with the catch of a 436-pound blue marlin which he had mounted and placed in his superintendentís office.
Dr. Rice was laid to rest last Thursday in Maryland where he has resided most of the time since his retirement here. His death followed complications from a lung transplant surgery.
He was certainly one of the bright lights in the history of education in St. Charles Parish. His services here will always be remembered and appreciated.