Outstanding educator, civic and community leader


Rebecca Bose was a former principal of Swayze Elementary School and active in civic and religious circles for four decades.

For nearly 50 years the name Rebecca Bose symbolized aggressive involvement in the affairs of the Monroe Black community. Between 1924 and 1977 this thin framed, soft spoken woman was a towering figure in nearly every progressive action of the Black community.

She was a great educator in the public and private sector. She served as a teacher in the parish system and then became principal of Swayze Elementary School and served as a supervisor. Her emphasis was always on the children and the importance of preparing them for the future. In religious circles she continued her emphasis on education. She worked in the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church as Superintendent and Bible School Director. She was one of the few Bible School Directors that insisted, throughout her life, that Black children be taught with Black oriented Bible School materials and she refused curriculum materials that did not give positive self images of Blacks.

She moved in the circles with the influential leaders of her time providing advice, untiring support and leadership to community projects that would help our people including: The Ouachita Community Action Agency, and the Negro Chamber of Commerce. She was a visible presence in the implementation of programs and policies that would help Blacks. One of those efforts resulted in the publication of the Bi-Centennial History of Blacks in Ouachita Parish in 1976.

She was born November 12, 1901 in Batchelor, LA to Andrew and Rosia Phillip, was converted August 1917, joined the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and was baptized by Rev. J. H. Housely at Winnsboro, Louisiana. She was united in holy matrimony to Mr. Jesse Bose in 1920, who preceded her in death. There were no children born to this union, but her guidance and influence helped to share the lives of many children. She came to Monroe in 1924, where she was employed by the Ouachita Parish School System. She remained there until retirement in 1966.

Her professional career scanned almost half a century. She received the Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. Her educational career included serving as classroom teacher, principal, and supervisor. Bose served on many boards including the Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Board from 1965 to 1975. She chaired a committee that wrote a pamphlet on outstanding citizens of Ouachita Parish and directly shared in the training of many teachers and principals. She died in 1991.