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ABOUT

Meet Betty Ward-Cooper

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Honorable Betty Ward-Cooper, was first elected to the Monroe City School Board District 5 in 2018; then re-elected (unopposed) in 2022.   She was elected to lead as president of the school board in 2020; and have chaired and served on the board’s Curriculum, Policy, and Finance committees. In 2021, she earned the distinction as a Certified School Board Member by the Louisiana School Board Association.

Following the completion of her undergraduate degree in a remarkable three years, she initially ventured into the business and industry sector before embarking on a fulfilling career in education. Her journey began as a secondary school teacher and librarian, accumulating a total of 8 years of dedicated service within the Ouachita Parish Public School System. She went on to earn her Master’s Plus 30 hours by 1978. She then accepted a faculty position with the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).  Notably, she achieved a historic milestone as the first African-American faculty member within the Accounting, Finance & Information Systems Department at the College of Business & Social Sciences, at ULM where she ultimately retired after an impressive 35-year tenure.

Her illustrious career in education spans an impressive 43 consecutive years, when considering her 8 years of service within the Ouachita Parish School System. During her time at the ULM, she also took on the role of faculty advisor for the university's chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), which garnered national recognition and honors for its achievements.

Betty has made a significant impact on children, families, and communities by actively participating on various boards. On a national level, within the National Federation of Democratic Women (NFDW), she currently holds positions on three key committees: the Nominating Committee, the Political Education and Training Committee, and the Young Women's Leadership Committee.

From 2019 to 2021, she held the esteemed position of President within the Louisiana Federation of Democratic Women (LFDW) at the statewide level. On a local scale, within Ouachita Parish, she currently presides as the President of the Ouachita Parish Public Library System. Additionally, she has contributed her leadership as a member of the Executive Board, serving as the 1st Vice President of Membership for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) within the Ouachita Parish Unit. Furthermore, within the local community, she assumes the role of chairing the Education Committee for State Representative Pat Moore of District 17.

Having served as a community organizer for many years, she radiates with pride in her tireless efforts to encourage greater civic engagement among our citizens. Her involvement in our democracy spans a wide spectrum, encompassing activities such as participating in protest rallies, circulating petitions, organizing voter registrations, and driving voter engagement initiatives. Notably, during the 2022 Louisiana Legislative Session, she eloquently addressed the Louisiana Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in support of equitable redistricting maps. Her commitment to service extends far beyond her local community; it's a testament to her dedication to both her faith and her fellow humans. This commitment is a continuous thread woven throughout her life, reflecting her unwavering devotion to serving God and serving others.

Betty was married to the late Elbert G. Cooper, and from that union are two children Juston Cooper and April Joy alexander, and three grandchildren, Cooper, Jerzey and Ace. Her late husband was a business owner and a Deacon who served in the (Prayer Ministry) at the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, LA., where Betty is still an active member.  Betty says this about her late husband, “He was the perfect man for me.  He taught me a great deal about life.  When you left his presence, you felt better about yourself and about life; he was so good at this.  My husband was my “right arm,” my number one supporter, my loudest cheerleader, and my favorite comedian.” 

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