The School Begins
A New Orleans school for black children opened in 1916 with Lucile C. Williams as the teacher. The school met in the Louisiana Conference headquarters on Jackson Avenue. The following year a school opened for white children, also meeting at the conference headquarters, with Bessie Morgan as the teacher. In 1918, a second black school opened on General Taylor Street with Susie Campbell teaching, but the white school did not open that year because they could not get a teacher. In 1919, the white school reopened at the conference headquarters with Clara Hanson as the teacher and the second black school closed (Yearbook, 1917-1920). As plans were made to start building a new church in 1920, they planned to build two school rooms in the new church building, so a ten grade school could be conducted. The Board hired Mrs. A. J. Meiklejohn, from Walla Walla College, as teacher for the 1920-1921 school year (Knudson, 1920). By 1924, the New Orleans white school had two teachers, Florence Harris and Rosabelle Wood, with twenty-two students. In the black school Ivan Christian had twenty-seven students (Worker, 1924).
New Orleans Junior Academy
Mrs. Andrew C. Wood donated property outside the city to build a new school. There was ample room for a playground a plot of ground where the students could garden. The building was laid out in the shape of a U. Besides three schoolrooms, there was a library, a practical arts room, a principal’s office, and two restrooms (Ross, 1941). On Sunday, September 14, 1941, a dedication service was held for New Orleans Junior Academy (Pound, 1941). This school was second in size to Ozark Junior Academy (Record, 1941). In 1962 the name of the school was changed to Jefferson Heights Junior Academy (Report, 1962).
Jefferson Heights Junior Academy
Photos courtesy of Don Hevener.
Reduction in size
In 1990, Jefferson Heights Junior Academy reduced from a three teacher, ten grade junior academy to a one teacher, eight grade school (Minutes, 1990).
Jefferson Heights Junior Academy Closes
Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in August 2005, hitting New Orleans and the surrounding areas particularly hard, causing catastrophic damage. The New Orleans First church and the school sustained heavy water and wind damage during the hurricane. The church had recently sold the Jefferson Heights Junior Academy property and relocated the school to the church, using two remodeled classrooms upstairs. One classroom was pretty much intact but a plate glass window blew out in the lower grade classroom, allowing the rain to pour in. The rain and wind took down about half of the ceiling, and soaked all the books, papers, and classroom supplies. The school closed for the rest of the year (Browning, 2005).
Greater New Orleans Christian Academy
After Jefferson Heights Junior Academy closed in 2005, a school did not reopen again until the 2009–2010 school year. An empty daycare facility was purchased in Metairie and the school was reopened as Greater New Orleans Christian Academy. The school is operated by the New Orleans First church and the Marrero church.
Crescent City SDA School
The Crescent City School on Franklin Avenue opened in 1977. It was a two teacher school with about 20 students. It closed at the end of the 1985-1986 school year, having nineteen students the last year (Files, n.d.).
(1917-1918). Yearbook of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination. Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association.
(1924, Nov. 27). Southern Union Worker, p. 1.
(1941, Sep. 15). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.
(1962). Teacher’s Opening Report. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
(1990, Nov. 27). K-12 Board of Education Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
(2019). Greater New Orleans Christian Academy. Retrieved from gnoca.org/.
(No date). Discontinued School Files. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
Browning, Edgar. (2005, Nov. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 11.
Gafford, Howard O. (1958, Dec. 10). Ibid., p. 4.
Knudson, Ellen. (1920, Jul. 29). Southern Union Worker, p. 7.
Pound, I. C. (1941, Sep. 15). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.
Ross, James B. (1941, Oct. 6). Ibid., p. 2.