A dark skinned man in a well-made tailored suit sips coffee as he grades tests while waiting for his students to enter the classroom. First time teacher Emile Hurst Jr. is no stranger to the school. As a graduate of St. Augustine High School, Hurst understands what it is like to be a freshman at St. Augustine. Hurst is serving as a 9th grade physical science teacher at the school he once attended as a teenager.
For Hurst, his job combines two of his dreams – investing in the youth of New Orleans and working at his high school alma mater.
“I love St. Aug. If it wasn’t for this school I would not be the man I am today,” Hurst stated.
Hurst returned to St. Aug. after receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Bio Engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans.
“I knew I always wanted to return to St. Aug.,” Hurst explained. “This school has a great legacy, and I want to help continue that legacy.”
It was not long ago that Hurst was sitting in the very seats where his students sit. Hurst graduated from St. Aug. in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans forever. Although the hurricane caused much of New Orleans to change, St. Aug.’s traditions have remained the same, he says.
“When I attended St. Aug. we were always taught leadership, values and discipline,” Hurst said. “And we are still teaching those same principles today.”
St. Augustine is a Catholic school for black males.