Famed St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana completed its Class of 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame Induction voting on Thursday, August 26, 2021. The Class of 2020 voting was delayed because of the COVD-19 Pandemic, so the school held its voting for both 2020 and 2021 this year.
At the top of the two induction classes was New Orleans legendary high school running back, Burton Burns and four sports legend, Noel Foucher, who starred not only on the football field at cornerback, but also was a standout point guard for the championship Purple Knights basketball team, it’s baseball team and also was one of the top sprinters on the school’s track team.
The Class of 2020 inductees were Burton Burns, Oyd Craddock, Andrew B. Davis, Bernard Griffith, Tyrone Payne, and Fr. Joseph C. Verrett, S.S.J.
The Class of 2021 inductees were Noel Foucher, Dwight McKenna, Dr. Percy Pierre, Bro. Lawrence E. Price, S.S.J., Dr. Kenneth St. Charles, and Dr. Eliot Willard.
Although St. Augustine now welcomes students of all races, it remains a leading secondary school for Black young men in Louisiana, and has long been nationally recognized in educational circles for outstanding success in preparing its students for higher education. Time magazine wrote in 1965:
“The boys are better trained than most Southern high school students of either race,” says Harold Owens of Andover, one of the half-dozen leading prep schools that have accepted St. Aug students for intensive summer courses. Adds Charles McCarthy, director of a cooperative effort by the Ivy League schools to spot bright, underprivileged students: “St. Augustine produces high-quality candidates who don’t disappoint the colleges once they’re admitted.” Peter Briggs, a freshman admissions officer at Harvard, finds St. Aug boys “interesting, constructive guys.”
St. Augustine High School led the way in battling segregation in New Orleans. The successful legal challenges mounted by the school (and lawyer A.P. Tureaud), resulted in the desegregation of high school athletics in Louisiana; so that by the end of the 1960s, St. Augustine teams could play against teams from White schools.
“While I am honored to be inducted into the St. Augustine Hall of Fame, right now, my focus is on the lives and families devastated by Hurricane Ida in the New Orleans area. I still have a large contingent of family and friends whose lives have been affected from this Hurricane and my prayers and thoughts are now with them. Hopefully, we will be able to come together in the near future to celebrate this honor, but right now, all I can do is pray for everyone in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast, as once again, they try and put their lives back together from this horrible disaster,” stated Noel Foucher, who received notice of his induction a week before Hurricane Ida hit the New Orleans area.