Rosa A. Temple High School class of 1970 sets reunion meeting

Published 2:41 pm Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Rosa A. Temple class of 1970 will hold a meeting to plan its class reunion Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Hut, 1618 Main St.

Class members can also attend the meeting virtually by dialing 720-820-2000, access code 6014157540#.

Rosa A. Temple High School was the high school for African-American students in Vicksburg and Warren County for 12 years, from 1959 to 1971.

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When the school opened in 1959, it replaced J.G.H. Bowman High School, which had been built in 1954.

Rosa A. Temple, the school’s namesake, was born on Sept. 4, 1869. After attending Cherry Street High School and Jackson College, she began teaching in Vicksburg in 1885 when she was 16 years old.

In more than 60 years as an educator, Temple taught at all levels but spent most of her years as a high school English teacher. She was known for exacting, uncompromising standards of excellence and for inspiring students and those who worked with her. She retired in 1947.

She died in 1972 at the age of 102 and is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

The school is remembered with a mural on Levee Street, which was dedicated in 2008. In 2011, a new wing at Vicksburg Junior High School — the school that once bore her name — was dedicated to Temple.

In November 2015, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen renamed Baldwin Ferry Road, which runs in front of the school, Rosa A. Temple Drive.

The plaque set in front of the high school’s riverfront mural summarizes the importance of Rosa A. Temple High School to the community and its students.

“Noted for its academics and athletics, Rosa A. Temple High School became one of the most prestigious high schools in the state of Mississippi. The philosophy of this school was based upon the belief that every child, regardless of social position, or intelligence, should have an opportunity to totally develop his or her individual abilities and interests, so that he or she may be able to practice those ideals which characterize good citizens of a democracy.”