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Ruston High School

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Ruston High School

Ruston High School
Front entrance to Ruston High School (2010)
Ruston, Louisiana
United States
Type 4-year, Public high school
Established 1921
Staff 85
Number of students ~1,100
Ruston High School is located in Louisiana
Ruston High School
Location 900 Bearcat Dr., Ruston, Louisiana
Area 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Built 1939
Architectural style Art Deco
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 92001335[1]
Added to NRHP October 8, 1992
Ruston High School (rear view)

Ruston High School is a 4-year public high school located in the Lincoln Parish School District of Ruston, Louisiana, United States. The school has an enrollment of approximately 1200 students with 85 faculty members; the mascot is the bearcat named "Rusty", by a class of 2009 student, Anna Ward. The school colors are red and white. Black students were first admitted in 1970. Ruston High School also serves as a memorial to the survivors of the Gulf War. The campus is in the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Classes Offered

Ruston High School is known for the amount of classes, clubs, and organizations that are offered to students. Classes can range from a difficulty level of CP, AP, and to College Dual Enrollment.

Adclasses offered: anced Math, Agriscience Classes (FFA), Algebra I, Algebra II, Algebra III, American History, Art, Fine Arts, Band (I, II, Music Theory), Biology, Business, Calculus, Chatterbox (School Newspaper), Chemistry II, Chemistry, Choral Music, Civics, Credit Recovery, Ed. for Careers, English I, English II, English III, English IV, Environmental Science, Family and Consumer Science, Financial Math, Geometry, German, Health, Journey to Careers, Physical Science, Physics, Piano, Psychology, Read 180, Social Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Special Education, Speech, Debate, Speech, Sports Medicine, Standard 1 and 1/2 year PE, STEM Marine Biology, STEM Physical Science, STEM Physics, Strength and Conditioning, Talented Art, Website Design, World Geography, World History, Yearbook.


Ruston High School Athletics are also highly regarded at Ruston High and all sports have gather a high amounts of National and State Championships. Sports are: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Track and Field.

Coach Jimmy Childress

Coach Jimmy "Chick" Childress led Ruston High School, to a 131-27 (.829) record and four state championships in 1982, 1986, 1988, and 1990. He was the Bearcats' head coach from 1979 to 1991. The 1990 team, 15-0, was Childress' most successful. The team was ranked No. 1 nationally following a 52-10 victory in the state championship game. The 52 points remains a state Class 4A state finals record. As a player in 1947, he was on the Ruston state championship team.[3]

From 1958 to 1973, Childress coached at Neville High School in Monroe, which he helped to lead to four state titles. He was the coach at Carroll High School in 1973 and at the private Cedar Creek School in Ruston from 1976 to 1978. He received his undergraduate degree at University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College; he was on the ULM coaching staff from 1974 to 1976. He obtained his graduate training at Louisiana Tech University. In 2001, he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.[3]

Clubs and Organizations

The organizations mentioned in this section are called "co-curricular", meaning that they are designed to complement and expand upon the lessons learned in the classroom. RHS encourages the growth of the whole person, and believes that one of their goals is to help students become a good citizen of the community, this country, and the "Bearcat family".

Bearcat Belles

The Bearcat Belles consist of 10th– 12thgrade students. The objectives of Bearcat Belles is to promote school spirit and a feeling of loyalty to RHS; and to develop and maintain a spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship during sporting events and at any other time when called upon for other school activities. To become a Bearcat Belle, tryouts are held before a panel of judges in the spring. Candidates must have 2.0 GPA for the previous grading period or a 2.0 cumulative GPA. She must have no out-of-school suspensions for the current school year. All candidates must be a member of Pom Squad or a Freshman Cheerleader as a freshman in order to try out for Belles. All candidates must be a member of at least one sport and/or 2 clubs as a sophomore or junior in order to try out for Belles the following year. She must be a member of the sport or clubs in good standing. Coaches/sponsors will request a recommendation from coaches and club advisors about participation, attitude and responsibility of the candidate. It is strongly recommended that candidates have private dance training prior to try-outs. Pepettes may see the Bearcat Belles sponsor at the beginning of the school year for information regarding private dance lessons. There is a $50 transportation fee, a monthly fee for a choreographer, and camp attendance, and uniforms are required.


Bearcat United Making Spirit (BUMS) raise spirit for all RHS sports by decorating or sponsoring spirit activities. Membership is open to any Sophomore, Junior, or Senior girl with a minimum 2.0 GPA who is willing to work at least one afternoon per week during football season and whenever called upon by the president or sponsor during the remainder of the year. Dues are $10.00.


The Chatterbox is the RHS newspaper. The objectives of the members of the staff are to publish the school newspaper and to publicize the Ruston High events in the local paper. Applications for the staff are available in the spring from the adviser. Juniors and Seniors with a "B" average in English may apply. Students must be willing and able to learn all aspects of journalism. This includes writing, editing, layouts, and selling ads. There are no dues; however, students must purchase staff T-shirts at a cost of about $15.

Debate Club/Team

The objectives of the Debate Club are to foster leadership qualities and to learn skills such as public speaking, research, logical thinking, reasoning, application of information, thinking on one's feet, etc. through competition in debate tournaments. Meetings are conducted during debate class. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average, and must sign a contract outlining membership details. The Debate Club is composed of the Debate Team which is actually an academic team of competitors rather than a club. Members must "try-out" for the team to become a member. Dues are $20 which includes membership fees to two national debate organizations.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)

The purpose of FCA is to unite athletes in a Christian way. Meeting times include activity periods during school and occasionally school nights. Students must be a member of at least one athletic organization. Dues are $3.


4-H joins the home, the school, and the church to develop young men and women into useful citizens. Members "learn by doing". Meetings are conducted one hour during school each month. 4-H is open to students in Grades 9-12 who are willing to work on a 4-H project during the year. Dues are $2.

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

The purposes of FBLA are to provide opportunities for students in business to develop vocational and career competencies, and to promote civic and personal responsibility. Students must be currently or previously enrolled in a business course. Dues are $45.00. This includes the mandatory fees for both membership and the district conference. All members are encouraged to purchase an FBLA school polo shirt.

Family, Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA)

The purpose of FCCLA is to help youth assume active roles in society through home economics education in areas of personal growth, family life, vocational preparation, and community involvement. All home economics students, past and present, are eligible for membership. There is a $20 membership fee.

First Priority

First Priority is a focused outreach program open to all students to help promote an environment based on the concept of correctly ordered priorities. This organization is designed to bring young people together with similar interests including making life-changing differences in the lives of all those interested. The organization includes a leadership team rather than a set of officers. Meetings are held during lunch break.

Future Farmers of America (FFA)

FFA is a vital component of the Agriscience Education Program. Leadership is provided by student officers and advisor who guide the chapter activities. FFA provides many opportunities for students to travel, compete, and associate with young people of similar interests. The organization motivates young people to make positive contributions to their home, school, community, and country.

German Club

The purpose of the German Club is to learn about the customs and culture related to Germanic countries. All German students are encouraged to become members. All present and past German students are eligible for membership. Dues are $5.00 annually.

Interact Club

Interact Clubs are sponsored by local Rotary International Clubs. The sponsor of the RHS Interact Club is Lincoln Rotary. The purpose of the club is to work in conjunction with their Rotary Club partner to perform a minimum of two service projects in the community. At least one of the projects is dedicated to

Junior-Senior Prom Committee

Junior-Senior Prom committee is in charge of all aspects of the prom. Officers are selected by the committee. All juniors are encouraged to help with decorating. Fees collected to fund the event are not refundable.

Key Club

Key Club is a service organization for high school students that operates under school regulations and is sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club. Key Club objectives include development of initiative, leadership ability, and good citizenship practices. The primary theme of the club is service to the school and the community. New members are selected by the current membership from the student body. Dues are paid at the first official meeting.


The purpose of Keywanettes is to provide special services for the school and the community. Keywanettes are involved in four service projects during the year. The Keywanettes also sponsor the Homecoming Dance. They have adopted the Service Road South for litter cleanup. The Club meets once a month during the activity period. Students must have a 3.25 grade point average and no suspensions or excessive behavior referrals for the previous year. Students must apply by application in the spring. Dues are $25.00 annually and members must assist the Sunrise Kiwanis Club in their fundraising projects.


The LYFE Club strives to accept and promote service to the school and community, to maintain an abstinent lifestyle and encourage others to do the same, to cooperate with the school principal, to promote higher standards in social conduct and behavior, and to create and maintain a sound public opinion that abstinence is the only guarantee to remain free from contracting a STD or becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Members of the LYFE Club must sign an abstinence pledge card, maintain an abstinent lifestyle, be approved by faculty sponsor, and attend at least three of every four meetings during one school semester.

National Honor Society

The purpose of the National Honor Society shall be to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership, and to encourage development of character in the students of RHS. Meetings are held during Activity Period. To be considered, students must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA and should consider serving in the community and assuming leadership positions in any organization in which they are members; all students with a 3.5 GPA or higher and sophomore status will receive an application packet to complete. Membership is granted to sophomore, junior and senior students selected by the faculty advisory council based on outstanding scholarship, character, leadership and service. Student may be removed from the organization for serious offenses, such as in-school or out-of-school suspensions, loss of required GPA, noncompliance of activity and attendance requirements, as determined


The Pepette organization is composed of the cheerleaders, Pom Pom girls, Bearcat Belles, and mascot. The purpose of Pepettes is to promote school spirit and loyalty to Ruston High throughout the school and the community. Pepettes is open to all female students, grades 9-12. Tryouts for cheerleader, Belle and mascot are held in the spring. Membership applications for Pom Pom Girls are taken in the spring. Transfer students may join Pom Pon Girls upon registration at Ruston High. All Pepettes must have a 2.0 GPA to participate and no more than one out-of-school suspension for the current school year to tryout or apply. Specific responsibilities and requirements of Pepette groups are found in the Pepette Constitution. Members in good standing are eligible to attend Pepette Formal.40

Pom Pom Girls

The Pom Pom Girls are a pep squad and are part of the Pepette organization. The purpose of the group is to promote school spirit and loyalty throughout the school and the community. Pom Pom Girls is open to all female students at Ruston High, grades 9-12. Members must 2.0 GPA and no more than one out-ofschool suspension for the current school year upon time of application. Members must complete the application process and agree to abide by the Pepette Constitution. They must meet the required financial obligations. Pom Pom Girls will cheer at all varsity football games and designated varsity basketball games. They will participate in pep rallies, Mini-Clinic, and other spirit activities with the Cheerleaders. Pom Pom Girls will be asked to attend meetings and practices after school. Pom Pom Girls may play another sport but must fully uphold their responsibilities to the squad.

Pre-College Initiative (PCI)

PCI is a service organization that also encourages and helps equip students in their preparation for college. Monthly meetings are held during advisory period or after school. Other meetings may be called. The club participates in engineering competitions such as an egg drop, paper airplane construction and flight, building or bridge design competitions. Dues are $5.

The Resume (Yearbook)

Members of the Resume staff compile the school yearbook. Students must enroll in Journalism II (Yearbook) as a class. Other outside meeting times are set as deadlines require. Applications for the staff are available in the spring from the advisor. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors may apply. Students must be willing and able to learn all aspects of publishing the yearbook. This will include drawing layouts, writing copy, selling ads, and subscription drives. There are no dues; however, students purchase staff tshirts at a cost of about $10. They will attend camp at a cost of approx. $50.00.

Science Club

The Science Club objectives are to further the interest of science at RHS; to urge members of this club to enter the annual Science Fair; to encourage juniors and seniors to present papers to the Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium; to present programs to the club members which will feature a speaker from some area of science; and to sponsor the RHS Science Fair. Meetings are during Activity Period, and membership is open to any high school student who has an interest in science. Dues are $3.00 annually.

Spanish Club

The objectives of the Spanish Club are to deepen knowledge of language and culture, to interest students to take the language, and to serve school and community. Meetings are during Activity Period. Membership is open to all Spanish students, past and present, with dues being $5.00.

Student Council

The objectives of the Student Council are to instill American ideals and promote democratic principles in the students of the school; to promote student participation in school activities; to act as a clearing house for student problems; to promote a spirit of cooperation among the students; and to promote the highest ideals in scholarship, athletics, and extracurricular activities in the school. Meeting times are during Activity Periods. Six representatives from each class are elected in the spring of the previous year of service. Freshman representatives are elected in the fall. To become a candidate for election, each student must submit a written application of at least 25 supporters to the Student Council advisor within a designated time limit. Students must have a 2.5 grade point average, he/she must have had no in-school or out-of-school suspensions during their high school career, and no disciplinary referrals for the previous year. There are no dues.

Young Lawyers

Young Lawyers is an organization of students who are interested in pursuing any career in the legal field, not just becoming lawyers. They participate in one or two community service projects during the school year. The most important undertaking is preparing for the Mock Trial competition that is held in February

New Tech @ Ruston

New Tech @ Ruston (NT@R) is a 4-year project bases learning program for students at Ruston High School and is part of the Echo New Tech Network. In this program students learn the Louisiana GLE curriculum through project based learning by working in groups to complete end products such as videos, documents, posters, flyers, websites and other media. Through Project based learning in this environment, students learn real life skills such as Collaboration, Content Literacy, Critical Thinking, Global & Community Engagement, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Technology Literacy, and Work Ethic. Because students are in groups, students learn the culture known as " Trust, Respect, and Responsibility" is obtained where students learn to trust, respect and hold critical responsibility. Students also receive mac books from the school to help them with their work, but is only used as a helping tool, and if abused, can be taken away. Most students who desire being in New Tech have to begin in their freshmen year at New Tech @ Ruston and cannot get in any year after unless students have heavy recommendations. Students however are picked through lottery their 8th grade year.

New Tech @ Ruston began with the Founding Father Mrs. Cathi Cox-Boniol who began the program in 2011 with a large grant from the state, along with grants to start construction two new technology graded buildings on the Ruston High Campus; which will Finish completion in the summer of 2013. In its first year, New Tech @ Ruston has gained much attention from the public and is now a national demonstration site for New Tech Schools.


Ruston High School Speech and Debate has won numerous state championships: Advanced Cross Examination in 2000, 2006, 2011, and 2012; Intermediate Cross Examination in 2001 and 2002; Novice Cross Examination in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2010; Intermediate Lincoln-Douglas in 2007 and 2009; Oral Interpretation in 2006; Declamation in 2007, 2010, and 2011; and Student Congress (Senate) in 2007. The team finished in a tie for 2nd overall at the Louisiana High School Speech League state championships in 2006 and finished third overall in 2007. They also received the Novellen Price Ellis Rotating Sweepstakes Trophy in 2007.

Notable faculty

Oscar P. Barnes, Jr. (c. 1921 - April 17, 2008), was band director at Winnsboro High School in Franklin Parish and assistant band director at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge before he began his tenure at Ruston High School. In 1987, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. The City of Ruston proclaimed June 16, 2002, as Oscar P. Barnes Day. A native of Plaquemine, the seat of Iberville Parish in south Louisiana, Barnes was a former choir director of the John Knox Presbyterian Church choir. He was the first conductor of the Russtown Band and played the trombone in the band, "The Debonnaires".[4]

Robert W. Mondy (1908–1997), alumnus and a former social studies teacher at Ruston High School, was subsequently a history professor from 1935-1974 at Louisiana Tech University.

Harold Montgomery, a former Louisiana state senator from Bossier and Webster parishes who also operated Montgomery Feed and Seed in Ruston, taught agriculture at Ruston High School in the 1930s.

Leola Belle White Nixon, mathematics instructor from 1925 to 1940; formerly from Opelousas and Crowley, wife of newspaper publisher John Travis Nixon.[5]

history at Ruston High School prior to 1965, when he joined the faculty of Louisiana Tech University for a 20-year career in college teaching.

Notable alumni

  • Rob Shadoin (Class of 1971) -- member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 10 in Lincoln and Union parishes since 2012
  • Michael Brooks (Class of 1982) (born October 2, 1964 in Ruston, Louisiana) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He played for Ruston High School, college ball at Louisiana State University (LSU), then professionally with the Denver Broncos, the New York Giants, and the Detroit Lions. His best year was 1992 when he made his first Pro Bowl. Brooks now resides in his hometown where he owns a variety of different businesses.
  • Jack Ramsaur II (attended in the 1970s) Maj. Gen. Jack W. Ramsaur II is the mobilization assistant to the Commander, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "History of Ruston High School." Ruston High School Alumni.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ | Monroe OBITUARY | The News Star
  5. ^
  • "History of Ruston High School. Arkansasnewslist2007/halloffame02

External links

  • Official Website
  • School History from the Alumni Association
  • Tagged Students Defy Big Brother
  • Official New Tech @ Ruston Website
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