Masks honor education, past and present

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From left are Supt. Grant Eloi, Kate Wells displaying some of the masks she donated to the school system, and principals Dylan Solice and Chrystal Davis whose students will receive the masks.

By Juanice Gray, jgray@natchitochestimes.com

Mary Kate Wells is a 1963 graduate of Central High School. She addressed the school board Monday, Aug. 17 to make a presentation of 200 kid-friendly reversible facemasks. Wells made the presentation on behalf of her classmates. She said they were preparing for their 57th class reunion that did not happen due to Covid-19.

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“Our mascot was called Gophers. I thought, why not make face masks and donate them for our class? We could use the mascot name with a change. Call the masks Go Far and add face masks,” she laughed. Wells made every mask by hand using fun prints such as puppies, kittens, farm scenes and graphics she thought kids would like to wear. She and classmates Bertha Davis, Mary Joyce Courtney and Ernest Davis wanted the masks to go to schools in the city where they went to school.

Weaver Elementary Principal Dylan Solice and East Natchitoches Principal Chrystal Davis each received 75 masks and the remaining 50 were presented to Supt. Grant Eloi for distribution. Wells said, “When I retired, it gave me something to do (while being quarantined due to Covid).”

She retired after 16 years employed by the City of Houston then 23 years at a law firm in Houston. She returned nine months ago to her hometown of Natchitoches. She said her sister, Edwina Lewis who was present for the donation, as well as her mother, aunts and extended family members are all educators in the Natchitoches Parish School System.