The Guilbeau family journey through EDS began in 1972. I started kindergarten with a wonderful teacher named Bel Painter and have a distinct recollection of asking if she was going to teach us to paint. She did – and a lot more. From kindergarten, I went into a first grade class taught by Mrs. Covington. Mrs. Covington was an outstanding first grade teacher, principal of the school, and one of the pillars from where the school grew. Several years later in fourth grade, I had the opportunity to be taught by an energetic young teacher named Boo Kay. Mrs. Kay would play a key role in the vision of the school. 

I graduated from EDS in the sixth grade (there was no seventh and eighth grade at the time). From there, I went to Oak Park Junior High and then to St. Louis. I attended college at LSU and returned home with a law degree from Loyola. The personal foundations and friendships made and formed during that time period at EDS are still impacting my life today. 

I met my wife - Jill (now married for 18 years), and we started building our life together in Lake Charles. We have two wonderful children, Benjamin (15) and Rachel (13). When it was time to make a decision to choose a school, we had many resources to access in that Jill has a Master’s Degree in Education and certified as a gifted teacher. She had insight and access to multiple educational programs across the city. However, it took one visit to Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School to make the choice of schools very easy. 

The school had grown from a single hall with six classrooms to multiple wings, technology platforms, and even more opportunities unique to EDS (culturally diverse student body, eco-friendly programs, and many more). Specifically, the small class size that EDS maintains is something you rarely see in most school settings. It allows the teacher to focus on teaching the students as individuals rather than too much focus having to be on classroom management. Now some eleven years later, our son is at St. Louis thriving educationally, socially, and athletically from the foundations he gained from EDS and our daughter will graduate this year from EDS ready for all the challenges of high school, thus completing this part of our journey with EDS. The wonderful young teacher from fourth grade in 1976 is now another pillar of the school and still possesses the same energy and drive to make the school a special environment for all the faculty, parents, and students. 

There is no doubt that over forty years, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School continues to grow and continues to be the absolute best education choice for Southwest Louisiana. 

Ben and Jill Guilbeau Parents of Benjamin, EDS Class of ’14 and Rachel, 8th grade

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