John Clovis Landry

John Clovis Landry

John Clovis Landry, the son of John Henry Landry and Cecilia Duhon, was born Apr. 4, 1896 in Lafayette Parish.  In 1902, he started school at a one room school in Meaux near Judice.  After two or three weeks, a tornado demolished the school.  It was at this time that N.P. Moss, President of the Lafayette Parish School Board, and Alcide Judice, member, puts seats in a wagon, covered it with canvas, and had the children transported to a new school in Scott.  In relating this incident, Landry stated that during his many years in education, he inquired at national meetings and was unable to find any other school system in the nation that had transported children to and from school as early as 1902.  He believes that Lafayette Parish was the first school system in the nation to have transportation for their students.

After high school graduation, Landry attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for a two year academic course, then remained for six months to get a teacher's certificate.  In the fall of 1917, he became Principal of a school in Jefferson Parish.  In November, he left to serve in the United States Army until 1919.  That fall, he became Principal at Meaux School in Vermilion Parish.  One year later he came to Lafayette Parish where he was Principal of the Verot School for two years.  During that time, he attended summer sessions at USL receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1922.  He then became Principal of Broussard High School where he remained for fifteen years.  During this time, he attended Louisiana State University and received his Master of Arts degree in 1933.

While at LSU, Landry met his wife Lillie Montz and they had four daughters: Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Lloyd Maraist), Margaret (Mrs. William Larrivierre), Katharine Cecile (Mrs. Thomas M. Miles), and Johnie Theresa (Mrs. Pierre R. Viguerie).

In 1937, he went to Youngsville High School as Principal where he remained for ten years.  He then went to the School Board Office as a Supervisor.  The following year he was appointed Superintendent of Education at Lafayette Parish.  During his tenure as Superintendent, Landry was a prime mover in the consolidation of the high schools of the parish.  He also started the movement of building functional one story schools on large acreage.  During an interview, Landry mentioned that during his tenure, land was donated by different families for the building of the following schools:  Lafayette High School, L.J. Alleman School and Montgomery Elementary School.  He stated that at all other times, at least during the twentieth century, the property for schools has been purchased.

Other innovations introduced during Landry's tenure were the establishment of Special Education and Guidance programs for students, and the practice of centralized planning and directing of the parish school lunch program.  He retired in 1957.

Landry has long been active in many civic and professional organizations.  In the 1930's he was one of the organizers of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.  He organized a Boy Scout troop in Broussard in 1923, and one in Youngsville in 1938.  He is a charter member of American Legion Post 69 in Lafayette and of V.F. W. 2103.  After World War II, he was a chairman of the Advisory Board of the Selective Service in Lafayette Parish and chairman of the Job Placement Bureau.  For these services, he received a citation from President Truman.

L.A. Bourgeois was President of the Board at the time Landry was appointed Superintendent.  He served until 1949, when F.G. Lindsay was elected President of the Board.  He remained as President during the rest of Landry's tenure.