Bolton alumni get insight on advisory council considering the conversion of iconic Alexandria high school


Members of an advisory council studying the proposed conversion of Bolton High into a Pre K-12 magnet school for academics and the performing arts are visiting magnet schools across the state as part of their deliberations.

Assistant Rapides Supt. of Curriculum & Instruction Shannon Alford outlined the process to the Bolton High Alumni Assn. at its May meeting.

The council is scheduled to submit its findings at an Aug. 15 committee meeting.

The advisory group meets next on May 23, with two sessions scheduled in both June and July and a final one on Aug. 8.

ts charge is to enumerate the pros and cons of such a change, identify the criteria necessary and recommend a timeline.

Supt. Jeff Powell debuted his Better Facilities Strategy Plan in March. It didn’t pass muster with the board after a number of complaints were voiced by the public.

One school — Alma Redwine — escaped potential closure,  leaving Phoenix Magnet, Rapides Academy and Horseshoe Elementary on the block and Bolton’s conversion a live issue.

The board created the advisory council as an alternative to an up or down vote on the Better Facilities Plan.

Alford reiterated to the alumni group that academic achievement remains a foremost goal, along with providing expanded opportunities for students interested in the arts.

Additionally, she noted, the proposal allows more effective use of facilities. The four schools now involved are operating at less than 50 percent student population capability.

In other matters, members elected three new board members – Frances Clark, Stephen Tumminello and Spring Wester. Their terms are three years.

President Jennifer Wright reviewed bylaws amendments/revisions, all of which were adopted.

Vice President Allie Paige Nowlin introduced the organization’s plans to develop, perhaps by next spring, a Bolton Hall of Fame, showcasing the school’s history and legacy through achievements “local, national and worldwide” of its graduates.

For more information about the organization’s activities or to join, go to