Beekman School: A
Tradition of Excellence
the beginning of the twentieth century, the owner of several large
tracts of timber land in northwestern Morehouse Parish, G. H. Beekman,
opened a sawmill at a location about halfway between Bastrop,
Louisiana, and Crossett, Arkansas. The village of Beekman developed in
the area, centering itself around the railroad depot. A school, called
Humphrey’s Chapel, was built nearby. In 1914, the Beekman
District was formed, which combined other rural schools in Ward Two --
the Hughes Chapel and the Compromise schools -- with Humphrey’s Chapel
School. A wood-frame school building was constructed at the present
site of Beekman Charter School, housing grades 1-8.
first principal and teacher at the newly-formed Beekman School was W.
C. Honeycutt, who was followed by W. H. Readheimer, Henry Jordan, J. C.
Campbell, and P. C. Faulk. P. P. Ferguson served as principal and
teacher at Beekman School from 1928 to 1946. In 1941, a new
building was constructed to replace the older wooden structure. W. H.
Hinkie succeeded Ferguson, serving from 1946 through 1959. During
Hinkie’s tenure, a cafeteria was added to the building in 1949, and a
gymnasium was added in 1953.
In the fall of 1959, R. E.
Tarver began a 21-year term as principal. In 1970, three new
classrooms were built on the east side of the cafeteria to provide for
the expanding student population. In 1976, construction began on a
larger gymnasium which was situated across A.M. Baker Road from the
main building. The new gym was almost complete when an event
occurred that would be engraved on the memory of every student, parent,
and staff member -- on January 20, 1977, the main building and attached
auditorium/gymnasium burned. School was in session that day,
all students and personnel were safely evacuated. The cafeteria and the
three classrooms that had been added in 1970 were saved. With spirits
undaunted by the loss, the Beekman basketball teams hosted the first
tournament to be held in the newly-completed gym on February 22, 1977.
Shortly thereafter, the citizens of Ward Two voted in a property tax to
pay for the construction of a new building. In March 1979, the new
building was complete, and in the fall of that same year, two new
classrooms were added on the northwest side of the cafeteria, housing
kindergarten and first grade. Since that time, the voters of
District 12 have helped to maintain these facilities by approving new
property taxes to provide for the continuing needs of students and
Phillip Brunson followed Mr. Tarver as
in 1980, and served until 1988. Charles Peterson followed
tenure of 11 years, remaining as principal through the spring semester
Roy McCoy became principal of Beekman
High in the fall of 1999 and continues in this position as the school
transitions to charter school status. In 2003, the cafeteria was
expanded to provide for the ever-increasing enrollment. In 2005, two
additional classrooms were added between the existing two sets of
classrooms on the west side of the cafeteria. The need for
classroom space continued to be felt, so in the summer of 2010, five
new classrooms and two restrooms were built atop the tennis court in
front of the cafeteria.
The founding board of Beekman
Charter School desires to carry on the tradition of excellence in
teaching and learning that was begun so many years ago. They are
committed to the task of providing a high-quality education for all
students and have set high standards for student behavior and academic
performance. It is their vision that Beekman Charter School
builds on the foundation of excellence and continues to produce
successful students far into the future.