Mrs. Elgin Prejean Baudoin enjoys going back to North Vermilion.
North Vermilion's Granny full of patience, energy
At North Vermilion High School students often have the pleasure of spending the day with a substitute teacher named Elgin Prejean Baudoin, aka Granny. It’s her big smile and sweet disposition that grabs them.
Granny may be in her 70’s, but she commands respect and skillfully helps students get through the work their teachers leave for them. She knows the ins and outs of the school routine and is not intimidated by technology nor the height of the students. Mrs. Elgin is a 5-foot granny full of patience and love.
Anne-Kathryn Dartez, 2017 senior from Maurice, says, “Everyone looks forward to having Mrs. Elgin as a sub in class. She is one of NVHS’s best.”
All spring long, as students prepared for literary rally, Granny knew what that is like.
She went to the USL rally and placed first in both English grammar and in Home Economics in the year. Mrs. Elgin is quick to downplay her accomplishment to praise her teachers, Billy Wayne Broussard in English, Lula Belle Bowles in Home Ec. and Joyce Gauthier in Math.
“They are the reason I did so well,” she says. “Every subject was my favorite and my teachers were mentors to me.”
She went on to the state rally at LSU.
“It was a long bus ride all the way through Opelousas and Krotz Springs. After testing we sat on the parade grounds to wait for the results around 3:00. Then we came home. It was a long, wonderful day.”
After all these years, Mrs. Elgin still loves being in the English classroom as a substitute, especially whenever grammar is in the lesson.
“Being with the kids keeps me mentally alert and I’m relearning things I’ve forgotten,” she chuckles. “I’m still trying to learn.”
Granny has learned how to use the computer so that she can do her work better. She credits the students for her progress. “It was Michael Dartez who taught me how to use a mouse. Now I can get on Google and other websites. I don’t play video games, though.”
Mrs. Elgin might not play games, but she tries her hand at conducting North Vermilion’s award-winning band. She often substitutes as the band directors travel to performances with their students. Breelynn Brigola, drum major for 2017-18, adds, “She’s so supportive. She comes to all of our band concerts. She teaches us so much.”
Last week, NVHS announced the six girls to Pelican State for 2017. In 1956, Elgin Prejean was the only girl to represent Maurice High School. “There was one girl and one boy that year. I can still remember us walking from the dorms to the State Capitol. I enjoyed it thoroughly but I was scared to death. It was my first time at LSU in Baton Rouge and I was a little country girl with a dorm room to myself. My roommate got sick and went home. But I was not going to give up.”
“The principal was Mr. Romain Picard, Cecil’s dad, and we were all kind of afraid of him. I guess I didn’t want to disappoint him, Mr. Raymond Ledet who was the assistant principal and all my teachers.”
As the seniors prepare for graduation, Elgin remembers what it was like to graduate from old Maurice High, as she put it.
Elgin Prejean was valedictorian of the class of 1957. “We were only 15 to graduate, so it wasn’t hard to be valedictorian.”
She punctuates her sentence with a big laugh. To be sure, her parents, Nicholas and Edia Prejean were very proud of her.
They probably could not imagine that she would one day teach at NVHS, just one mile north of their homestead at the end of Claude Road to the south of La Butte, known today as Leroy.
Three weeks after graduation, on June 20, Miss Elgin Prejean became Mrs. Edgar Baudoin, Jr. She has two children and a few grandchildren of her own. What is wonderful is that she has more than 650 NVHS students who call her Granny. North Vermilion High is lucky to have her!