Father Matthew Higginbotham and Carl LeJeune, principal at RHS, presented Glenda Danna Broussard with a beautiful trophy recognizing her 48 years of dedicated service while teaching at RHS.
In addition, a beautiful religious icon was also presented to Glenda on behalf of her family in honor of her retirement. Family members in attendance were Amelia Bertrand, grand niece; Iris Slaton, Glenda’s godmother; Glenda Broussard, retiree; Jeremiah Danna, grandson; Mattie Danna, granddaughter; Carolyn Bertrand, niece; Larry Trahan of the Crowley Post Signal, brother; Charles Broussard, Glenda’s husband; Mary Elizabeth Danna, daughter; Jude Danna, son; Dana Danna, daughter-in-law; Denise Trahan, and Esther Trahan, Glenda’s sister-in-laws.
The staff and teachers surprised her with a luncheon the next day, which was held at the school gymnasium. Representatives from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade approached Glenda and presented her with something special from their class.
“I was honored,” said Glenda, “that Anna LaRiviera, superintendant of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Lafayette, attended our send off celebration.”
Other than her own luncheon, as religious administrator Glenda has been involved in the planning of so many events. She has prepared the Liturgy for the weekly mass, she was a participant in May crownings and helped plan the eighth grade mass of Thanksgiving, among other tasks.
“Give students what they need, then sit back and watch your efforts blossom,” said Glenda of her positive experiences in teaching. “My wish for young teachers is that they should keep a journal of the funny things that occur.”
Glenda reflected back to her early years as a teacher at Redemptorist.
“I read once that the longest journey still requires taking the first steps,” said Glenda.
Her incredible journey started in 1963 with the Redemptorist Fathers. Glenda has literally hundreds of humorous stories that she will cherish.
“Many years ago a new pastor, Father Eugene Staub was celebrating the Liturgy. At that time, Father asked several students about Jesus. But the students were a bit shy,” remembered Glenda. “After mass, Father would walk on campus and visit with the children. One kindergarten student told Father that if he wanted to know anything about Jesus, he was going to have to ask Ms. Danna because she knows everything there is about Jesus.”
She laughed at the thought of another memory.
“Bishop Harry Flynn, now Arch Bishop, celebrated mass and he gave a homily about how we hurt one another. He used the analogy of a cut finger,” laughed Glenda. “When Father asked the kids what their mom put on their cut finger, one student blurted out ‘monkey blood!’ Bishop Flynn got the biggest kick out of that.”
When Glenda sees her former students she loves knowing she had the opportunity to teach them.
“I consider it a great privilege that now I teach my former students’ children,” expressed Glenda. “I am honored that they would entrust their own children to me.
“Catholic school teachers are very fortunate,” said Glenda. “With the challenges our children face we are able to incorporate our belief in God in everything we teach.”
“Another highlight is I have worked with every pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church,” said Glenda. “Starting with Father Elmer Toups, the first Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, it has been a great learning experience for me.
“It was refreshing to see the Redemptorist Fathers walking around, praying the rosary and visiting with the children,” recalls Glenda. “Then the Diocese priests, and Father Higginbotham in particular, took over only six years ago. I felt I had come full circle.
“I want to thank Father Higginbotham for being a good shepherd and for his kindness and prayers,” emphasized Glenda.
As she thinks of her more recent years of teaching, Glenda smiles.
“Today, as I walk through the halls I smile when I see the students using all the technology made available to them,” said Glenda, “I remember back in the beginning, we teachers would go into the halls and pick up broken colors and pencils to recycle and reuse them.”
Glenda and her husband Charles Broussard, are newly weds. They love to shop for antiques, have lunch and just enjoy each others’ company. When Principal Carl LeJeune recently decided to retire, Glenda made her decision to do the same.
“I have worked with many principals. They all come with their own talents and treasures. Yet, Mr. LeJeune is so important to me. He is a man of great integrity and compassion,” said Glenda. “He is a gentleman, a great man.”
Glenda was quick to point out that a fine man is coming to RHS to take his place.
“Mr. Louis Kramer is Christ-like,” she explained. “We are so lucky to have a good principal with high morals and Christian values.
“My heart is filled with the spirit of gratitude to God for my many blessings and graces during my years at RCS,” said Glenda.
There are other long time teaching veterans at RCS.
“For us, it is home and everyone returns home,” smiled Glenda. “It is not ‘goodbye;’ Instead, it is ‘I’ll see you later’.”