After 50 years dedicated to serving in the education system, Morehouse Parish School Board Superintendent Hazel Sellers said that it is time to retire.
"I have agonized over this decision, but I feel that it is best for me and my family to be able to spend time together," she said. "My one regret is not being able to continue to work with the Morehouse Parish Schools to help them in the growth process."
Born and raised in Mer Rouge, Sellers attended Johnson Elementary and Union High School, and later graduated from Grambling State University.
The caring teachers at Johnson Elementary inspired Sellers to go into education.
"Being in a very rural area, these teachers served as a shining example of what I wanted to be when I grew up," she said. "They showed me how to serve other children who grew up like I did. I didn't have anything and lived in very poor conditions. School was a refuge for me. They praised me and showed me what getting an education would do for me."
After working one year in the Ouachita Parish school system, Sellers returned to Morehouse Parish to work at Bonita High School as a social studies and physical education teacher.
Sellers had many firsts in her teaching career. While at Bonita High School she started the first Junior Beta Club in Morehouse Parish and later founded two more, one at Delta Junior High and another at Collinston Junior High.
After eight years at Bonita High, she was asked by Elva Humphries to become the first female head football coach in the state at Collinston Junior High.
"It was a great experience," Sellers said. "I coached football, basketball and track for boys and basketball and track for girls. I was there for 10 years under Mr. Jamie Jones."
After Collinston Junior High became an elementary school only, Sellers moved to Delta High School. She worked there for one year as a physical education teacher.
"I moved to start the first alternative school in Morehouse Parish," she said. "I had only eight students, but of those eight, seven of them went on to complete high school. I helped them catch up with their grade level."
Upon leaving the alternative school, Sellers went on to teach economics and sociology at Bastrop High School.
"I was there one year and then Superintendent Mike Faulk named me principal of Carver Elementary on Elm Street," she said. "When I went there it was a low-performing school. And when I left it was one of the highest performing schools in Morehouse Parish."
After starting at Carver, she made her way to Henry V. Adams and was principal at both schools for a year.
Sellers became the first woman in modern times to be the principal over two schools.
"Henry V. Adams grew from a 28.7 to a 52.9 by State Standards while I was principal there," she said. "After that I became Elementary Supervisor for Morehouse Parish Schools for 16 years. And then I became interim Superintendent and Superintendent."
Sellers said her plan is to go home, complete projects and work with her church, club and the community.
"After all these years of knowing nothing but work I cannot go home and be idle," she said. "It has been rewarding for me. I have worked with the communities (Bonita, Jones, Mer Rouge, Collinston, Oak Ridge and Bastrop) and I have had such a rewarding experience teaching parents, grandparents and their children and grandchildren."