Gautier's oldest school makes history

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier's oldest elementary school is now officially part of the National Register of Historic Places. The students, staff and community members couldn't be more excited about this prestigious honor.

The unveiling of a miniature plaque symbolized the rich history at Gautier Elementary.

"It is one of the premier schools in the city," Mayor Gordon Gollott said.

Built in 1940, the school served around 80 students at one time. Throughout the years it continued to grow and educate young people, even after Hurricane Katrina beat and bruised the school.

"Our little Gautier school deserves a lot of credit. There are a lot of people that have come from here that have turned out to be doctors, attorneys. My oldest granddaughter came from here and got her doctorate degree," Councilwoman Mary Martin said.

Leonard Fuller is also a former student. He loved it so much he came back to be principal. Fuller remembers Gautier Elementary as a learning hub and a prime gathering spot.

"Voting precinct, the Lions Club, the First Baptist Church met here, so the school itself was a center of activities for the community," Fuller said about the school site.

For two years, the former principal and student worked hard to preserve the rich history for future generations to enjoy.

"It is wonderful to have a school that you attended, not only as principal, to be place on the National Registry of Historical Places and we are excited for that," Fuller said.

This building is only one of two sites in the small town that made the national list.

"The Oldfields Plantation home, which was back in the 1700s, so we have reached a pinnacle in history," Fuller said.

The school's students said Tuesday's celebration made them even more proud to attend Gautier Elementary.

"It feels so good to know my school is extra special now," one student said.

"I know I am in a great school," another student said.

Now that the school is on the national historic list, it can qualify for special federal grants and credits for historic preservation.

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