Pioneering educator Dr. Sandra McCalla touched thousands of lives

The LSUS Foundation joins the community in mourning the loss of Dr. Sandra McCalla.

As an educator for more than 50 years, Dr. McCalla touched countless lives and delighted in seeing her students grow into adulthood with families of their own. She served with numerous community groups, including the LSUS Foundation. She was to become the LSUS Foundation Board Chairman in July.

In 2005, Dr. McCalla established the Earl Gray and Dorothy Adams McCalla Endowed Scholarship in Education at LSU Shreveport. The endowment provides scholarships to students pursuing a master of education degree or graduate certification, with an emphasis on secondary education or gifted certification at the secondary level.

“Because of the value my parents placed on education, I was able to achieve so much,” Dr. McCalla said.

After graduating from Northwestern State University in 1960, Dr. McCalla taught math at Oak Terrace Junior High in Shreveport. As her career progressed, she was a teacher, math coordinator and assistant principal at Captain Shreve in the 1970s.

In 1979, she became the first female high school principal in Caddo Parish when the Caddo Parish School Board promoted her to principal at Captain Shreve. She reprised that role from 1994 until her retirement in 2016.

She remained loyal to the school, attending football games and graduations. She never forgot a Gator – and they never forgot her.

“I will never forget waiting with Dr. McCalla to cross busy Travis Street in downtown Shreveport to go into the Shreveport Club. All four lanes of traffic were moving at a typical lunch hour pace when suddenly four cars stopped within seconds of each other,” said LSUS Foundation President Laura Perdue. “The cars started to honk and the windows on ALL FOUR cars rolled down as drivers shouted ‘Geaux Gators’ and yelled Dr. McCalla’s name. She just laughed waved at them as we weaved our way between the stopped cars.”

The LSUS Foundation has established the $25,000 Dr. Sandra McCalla Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Caddo Parish Educators to continue Dr. McCalla’s legacy. The endowment will provide scholarships to Caddo Parish teachers pursuing a graduate degree at LSU Shreveport.

Perdue says Dr. McCalla will be missed.

“I was so lucky to have developed a close friendship with Dr. McCalla through her commitment to LSUS and general education. Many times, people throw around terms such as ‘legend’ and ‘icon’, but I don’t know of anyone personally that lives up to that description more than Sandra McCalla.”