College of Education and Human Development

College of Education and Human Development


2002 Distinguished Alumnus: Homer Dyess


homer dyessMr. Homer Dyess graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern in 1955. With his French and English degree in hand, he returned to is home town of Belle Chase. For eleven years, he was a classroom teacher at Belle Chase High School and pursued a Master's Degree in Education. Not long after receiving the Master's degree, he became the Foreign Language consultant for the Orleans Parish Public Schools. He later became the Director of the Bureau of Academic Support at the Louisiana Department of Education. The programs under his direction were Foreign Languages, Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language, Art and Humanities, Music, Libraries, Audio Visual Education, and Instructional Education.

Mr. Dyess was instrumental in founding the council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODEFIL) and the Council for the Development of Spanish in Louisiana (CODESPAN). As a result, exchange teachers from France, Belgium, Canada, Spain, and Mexico come to Louisiana each year to teach. He was also instrumental in the passage of legislation guaranteeing second language programs in elementary and secondary schools.

Mr. Dyess retired in 1989, after 32 years in the Department of Education. Shortly thereafter he became the director of educational services at Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB). In that capacity, he created videos for the teaching of French and Spanish. These videos have won special recognition nationwide. While at LPB, he worked in collaboration with Southeastern to offer telecourses via satellite for teacher training in Special Education and English as a Second Language. He directed literacy and learning series for professional development. It included teaching reading in the content areas funded by a grant from the Satellite Educational Research Consortia. Most recently, he directed a video series for middle school students, entitled "Tackle Talk", which has won many awards.

Mr. Dyess has served as the vice president and president of the Association for Franco-Americans. In the early 1980's, he was instrumental in establishing the first Alternative High School for Foreign Languages and International Studies in New Orleans. Through the years, he has been a presenter on innumerable panels nationwide. In 1986, he was named the most outstanding foreign language education of the year by the ALCFES.