Route running for school board

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Emma “Lois” Anderson Route has announced her campaign for Washington Parish School Board, District 8.

Route is the middle daughter of the Rev. and (the late) Mrs. C. P. Anderson of Bienville, La., in Bienville Parish. She attended Shady Grove High School, where she was in the band, dance team and varsity basketball team starting in eighth grade and was class vice president, homecoming queen and salutatorian at graduation, receiving the Crisco Award, honor awards and a scholarship to Centenary College in Shreveport, which she turned down.

She is the wife of Councilman Greg Route Sr., whom she met in college. She moved to his hometown in 1977. She and Greg have two children, Phairon (Jarrel) and Greg Jr. (Latausha), along with two grandchildren, Sole’ and Greg Route III, two godchildren and four children they helped rear.

Emma attended Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University and Southeastern University to earn her degrees and certifications, which include administration and supervision. She earned a Masters+30 ,with additional hours towards her doctorate.

She worked one year in Bienville Parish as a coach and kindergarten teacher before marrying her college sweetheart and moving to Franklinton. She was employed two months later by the Washington Parish School System. She was a social studies, science and P.E. teacher. She became the cheerleader sponsor upon arrival and was instrumental in starting support groups along with friends and co-workers, Mary McCullen, Paula Ross and Barbara Thornton Garrett.

“Mrs. Route,” as she is commonly called, was instrumental in starting the first junior high homecoming in the parish. Other schools followed in the years to come. She coached girls basketball for eight years and saw some of her students go on to play college ball.

She was known for her many educational Field Trips at school during the spring, including three trips to Washington, D.C., with her American history classes. Then, in 2006-07, she wrote and set up the state-mandated alternative program for the parish and remained there for five years until she retired in 2012.

In the community, she is known for her work in voter registration. She is a certified Red Cross volunteer for disater relief stations. She has coached Little League baseball and helped her husband with their own sponsorship team, The Route Express. They sponsored a basketball team also in a league at the FJHS gym. She is also a former member of the Steering Committee for Catholic Charities Mentor Program for Youth; president of the W.P. Alumni Chapter of GSU; president of the Martin Luther King Scholarship Committee, which raises funds each year for parish seniors; a member of the Finance Committee with the Krewe of Pepe, which sponsors a Mardi Gras Parade for the community and does charity work for youth and the nursing homes; past matron of Sunflower Chapter No. 44, Order of the Eastern Star, past district No. 2 Matron; and a member of four other houses. She mentors youth at her church and in the community, assisting them to prepare for college and help them to get there.

She is an active member of the Sweet Rest M. Baptist Church in Franklinton. She now supports her pastor, who is president-elect of the Louisiana Home and Foreign Mission Board, which sponsors trips to foreign countries, taking supplies, spreading the word and building schools and churches. Route also sponsors a child in Haiti to attend school and have the food and supplies he needs.

Route’s campaign No. is 106.