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Boyd honored for years of ...
Boyd honored for years of service to local literacy council
by Jebb Johnston
From a "spring fling" blossomed many years of service for James Boyd
In 1995, he
happened upon the Corinth-Alcorn Literacy Council's booth at the Social Security Spring Fling event for senior citizens and put his
name on a list of prospective volunteers.
Boyd became certified as a tutor and, by the following year, was elected president of the organization.
He has recently resigned from the position of president of the council due to health reasons.
Reflecting on the years Thursday during a reception with the literacy council and friends, he
termed it "a fantastic experience" and noted that other board members agreed to accept his
resignation but informed him that he
is "expected to continue to work."
It's an order the veteran tutor is happy to follow.
"I expect to continue tutoring, and I will work with the training team and work to keep my credentials current," said Boyd
Through May 2009, Boyd's hours of tutoring, preparation, travel and other volunteer hours total 1,646.
Corinth Housing Authority CEO Don Morgan shared stories about his experiences through the years with Boyd, who has been on the board of the housing authority.
"Many times down through the years, James
and I have been on different paths," said Morgan.
I can't think of anybody else I ever could have worked with and got as much out of as James Boyd
Boyd, who came to Corinth in 1954, has a varied background that includes work in radio, band director and teacher at Easom High, and director of the Head Start program serving Alcorn, Tishomingo and Tippah counties.
The Junior Auxiliary of Corinth
named him citizen of the year in 2007.
expressed appreciation for the turnout in his
honor at the Corinth Library
"If you live a long time there are going to be a lot of experiences," he
James Boyd: Teacher and Community Activist
did not plan to become a teacher.He
wanted to be a photographer.Of course, when he
graduated from high school in Ardmore, Okla., back in the early '40s, there was no doubt in anybody's mind he
was going on to college.According to Boyd
, that's what everybody did in his
family: "No discussion!"
Unfortunately, there was only one college in Oklahoma that African-American students could attend, and it didn't offer courses in photography, but young Boyd
checked out the Philander Smith College catalogue and discovered that photography was listed in it.So, he
bride, Frankie, headed off to Little Rock, Ark., only to find that the college had just dropped that course.He
family and said, "I need to get back home."His
mother sent him a letter containing $2.50 and one three-cent stamp.It was, he
said, "decision time."Then, he
heard Philander Smith was holding band auditions.Luckily, he
trombone with him, so he
tried out -- and was awarded a scholarship in music.Thus began the career of one of Corinth's
most productive and beloved citizens.
Although Mr. Boyd
taught in an Arkansas high school for several years after finishing college, the principal of Easom High School
, E. S. Bishop, persuaded him to come to Corinth
, a decision he
never regretted.Not only was Mr. Boyd a longtime band director and counselor in Corinth high schools, he was also the director of the first Head Start program in the area.He worked for years with the Boy Scouts, and directed a youth community chorus.
Through the American Legion Post, he
helped support Girls State and Boys State, and under his
leadership, the local Ruritan chapter sponsored scholarships for college students.
graduate studies, and he
even managed to do some work in photography, but first place in his
heart has always gone to improving the opportunities available to the young.He
said it pleases him deeply that many of his
former students have returned to tell him what a difference he
made in the direction their lives took.
At the age of 78, he
is as active as ever.He is the president of the Corinth-Alcorn Literacy Council and chairman of the Corinth Housing Authority.
Ellington and Smith said James R. ...
Ellington and Smith said James R. Boyd is expected to come.
, Smith explained, had worked with the other two band directors during a difficult time in history.
"Mr. Boyd was a band director at Easom High School at the time and then later he went to another position in the school system.
made the transition during the integration program easier.
was very cooperative and it must have been hard for him.
was an asset to the program."
Ellington also had praise for Boyd
: "He [Boyd] also had a talent that neither one of us could even touch ... he could hear something - a piece of music - and then write it down."
"(James) Sonny Boatman and I are working on putting together an exhibit of some photographs of Ruby Elzy," White said.
...Emma Elzy came to Corinth to teach but as often acted as a surrogate parent to many children in the community, said longtime Easom band director James Boyd.
"When I first came to Corinth
as band director, she
energy to completing the campaign to buy the first set of band uniforms," Boyd