Women’s History Month: Honoring long-time educator Dottie Bell
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Throughout the month of March, KSLA is honoring ArkLaTex women who have made an impact in different areas of our community. Nobody has made more of an impact in the education of Caddo Parish students than long-time educator, Dottie Bell.
In her 34 years as an educator, and almost 17 years on the Caddo Parish School Board representing District 12, Dottie has been there for countless children both in and out of the classroom.
“Let me tell you.... God told me to teach. That’s the gift he gave me. And when he said teach, that means what? Teaching babies, and I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure these babies have a successful life.”
While she loves her “sweet babies” more than anything and has no regrets about her career, she admits that it wasn’t always an easy decision.
“I was one of the first teachers in desegregation integration... The school I had to go to was Oil City, me and five other girls. And we knew at that time, that the KKK everything was out there, that was the 70s after all.... Now when we didn’t even know that the first day that we entered Oil City that the police was following us. And naive as I was I said, ‘somebody’s been burning something... Look at that smoke over there.’ Didn’t know later on that the Ku Klux Klan had met that night,” said she said, “I’m gonna do everything I can to help any child, I don’t care, blue, black, green, I’m gonna help that child and I will fight for that child. And I’m gonna fight for the employee to. I want to fight for employees, because you got to have the good employees to take care of babies. ”
Bell’s longtime friend and co-worker Anitra Futrell can attest to her dedication to the students of Caddo Parish and all things education.
“Oh, when you have anything in the community that deals with children in their education, Dottie will invite herself, because that’s the kind of person that she is. She wants to make sure that our children of Caddo are taken care of when she was in the classroom. She took care of those children, no matter if it was they came to school and they needed a new shirt or something clean. She didn’t go talk about it. She was being about it. So she made sure that her children learned what they needed to learn. And also she taught them life lessons about how to be respectful how to be good people in general. And that’s the kind of person that she is she’s going to respect you. And she’s just good people, period.”
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