Crowley High Shares Fond Memories of Long-time Educator Amiot

Dr. Leo Amiot

Dr. Leo Amiot

Armani Handy, Staff Writer

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With the passing of Crowley High School science teacher Dr. Leo Amiot on Nov. 22, 2017, many faculty and staff, as well current and former students, wanted to share memories they had with him.

Crowley High Principal Tim Boudreaux, who taught science alongside Amiot, had a few words to say about his former colleague. “He was a really good listener and was passionate about science.”

Boudreaux mentioned that Amiot was his mentor for his first two years at CHS. “But, I considered him to be my mentor for all 14 years I have spent at CHS.”

Boudreaux admitted Amiot had many personal qualities he admired.  “He was compassionate, passionate, disciplined, hard-working, intelligent, fair, assertive, and was always willing to help someone in need.”

He added, “I have so many great memories of him, but I definitely miss the words, ‘Have a good afternoon, Mr. Boudreaux.’”

English teacher Charlotte Cope, who taught with Amiot for 21 years, said, “I will miss his smile and laugh.”

Cope added, “I enjoyed his constant kindness. He always intently listened to anything I had to say. Not everyone does that.”

Cope and Patricia Johnson, special education teacher, both said one of their favorite memories of him was his Blue Brothers impersonation he did during a pep rally.

She mentioned what she would want people to remember about Amiot.  “His respect for our flag, his love for his students, and his enjoyment of teaching at Crowley High.”

Cope mentioned how Amiot helped her.  “When my dad passed away, I spoke with him briefly when I returned to work.  I was a little emotional from the newness of losing my dad, and Dr. Amiot simply said, ‘It’s not easy.’ That is the truth, and that made me feel better than when someone said, ‘It’s going to be ok.”

Cope had the opportunity to visit Amiot twice while he was ill, and she cooked for him and his brother and sister-in-law.  “Our visits were wonderful.”

Johnson, who worked with Amiot for 40 years, stated, “I will miss his friendliness, helpfulness, and caring touch.”

Johnson also spoke about what she liked the most about Amiot.  “Having talks with him on ‘our’ bench and hearing stories about his brothers whom he enjoyed being with a lot,” she stated.

She claimed that the two of them were very close.  “I also enjoyed his potato salad.” When he made (it), he’d always bring me my own little bowl,” she said.  “When I was sick, he’d call to check on me just because he truly cared.”

Johnson described how Amiot was as a co-worker.  “He was always polite, very helpful in any way, and listened to all my nonsense when I needed to vent.”

She had her opinion of she thought Amiot should be remembered.  “He was always the “perfect” gentleman. He opened doors for you, never cursed, and when he dressed you knew he was a professional. I loved how he matched his shirts and ties.”

Johnson added, “Leo is in Heaven!  I can honestly say that I know someone who went straight to God!  He was a devout Catholic. He played by the rules. Nobody drove 25 mph on the street in front of the school, but Leo!

Business teacher Ann Barrett worked with Amiot the entire time he taught at Crowley High.  She mentioned that Amiot stayed with a smile on his face and was always willing to help anyone in need. “He was such a fine gentleman!”

Barrett also spoke about how she and others enjoyed his potato salad.  “On the last day of school this past May, he gave me a container of his potato salad.  That was the last time I saw him.”

Many of his former students had a few words about Amiot.  

Travis Stutes, a 2002 CHS graduate, studied chemistry and physics with Amiot.  “Dr. Amiot did play a large role in where I am today. In my freshman year chemistry class, the lessons that Dr. Amiot taught me carried over very well to West Point,” stated Stutes.  “As a result, chemistry was of the only sciences that I excelled in while in college.”

He also mentioned how Dr. Amiot’s patriotism affected him.  “During my junior and senior year, he asked me and a few other students to assist him in both hanging and retrieving the flag. He also explained to us how to properly fold the flag and show the proper respect for it. That made an invaluable impact on my life and is another great memory.”

Stutes also mentioned some of the things he will miss about his former teacher.  “I will miss the calm manner in which he always conducted himself,” he said. “I will also miss his very dry sense of humor; I know it made me and several of my classmates crack up quite a bit.”

Stutes stated that he enjoyed the way Amiot explained his lessons.  “He was able to show people in a few different ways how to work through problem-sets,” explained Stutes. “I have always found that to be important in a teacher, as everyone learns in different ways. That trait is also rare to see in a teacher, and Dr. Amiot embodied that.”

Most people who knew Amiot also knew of his love for LSU athletics.  “He knew so much about LSU football history and trivia, and he would get very animated about it.”

Another former student, Tiffany Primeaux Hill, studied chemistry I and II with Amiot.  (“I enjoyed) his corny jokes. I use some of them in my classroom today!”

The 2000 CHS graduate, who is a teacher, mentioned what kind of impact Amiot had on her. “I think he helped me in a way of instilling a passion for science and showing me that no matter how hard I struggle, it’s worth it,” she said.

She also had memories she wanted to share. “‘It is not cold outside; it’s an absence of heat!’  This was said daily. I also remember a lesson where he was teaching us how to use a fire extinguisher properly.  He always had fun ideas.”

Hill concluded by saying, “Even though he had his corny jokes and he was tough on everyone, he always had a place in his heart for his students and was available with words of advice when you needed him.”

Breanna Handy, who graduated in 2017, mentioned how he helped her get where she is now. “ I feel that he was one of the main teachers who got me ready for college because he didn’t baby us, and he made sure that our work was our responsibility so that was a big help when I got to McNeese.”

Handy had Amiot as a teacher her junior and senior years.  “I miss his humor, and I miss how much he loves science,” she stated.  “I don’t think I’m ever going to meet anyone else like him; he was one of a kind.”

She also added something she wanted people to remember about him.  “Even though Doc was, for the most part, a very serious person, every now and then we’d get a laugh out of him, a genuine laugh that always made our days.  We knew if Doc laughed, it had to be hilarious.”

Many of his graduates admitted that they all shared great memories with Amiot and that they will remember it for a long time. They all explained how much they loved him as a teacher and how much he impacted their lives. They mentioned that he helped them be the adults they are today.

Recent graduate Sarah Vincent, who had Amiot her junior year, explained some of the things she will miss about Amiot. “I can name a million things that I miss about Dr.Amiot, but at the end of the day, the thing I miss most is wondering what tie Doc would have on today, or his cup constantly being on my table. I miss the way he yelled at my class for all the wrong they did. I miss the few smiles that we got out of him or the way he tried to hide it. All in all, we just miss Doc.”

Vincent believes Amiot had a large impact on her life and many others.  “He was the type of person who was understanding. We could talk to him about anything, and he would help to the best of his ability,” she said.  “Dr. Amiot was the kind of man who truly loved everyone. He honestly had a kind soul. He cared more than most people. His words left meaning in our hearts.

“Doc loved three things most:  Crowley High, LSU, and our beautiful country.  Dr. Amiot put the flag up for many years here at Crowley High.  Dr. Amiot was a great man, and not a moment goes by that Doc isn’t on our minds.  I’m beyond grateful for having the chance to know Dr. Amiot. In my high school years, he left one of the biggest impacts on my life. He taught me to never give up and to always keep trying. Although he is gone, he will be forever in our hearts,” said Vincent.

There is also talk about a scholarship in Dr. Amiot’s honor.  “A scholarship is a wonderful way to honor someone who was so passionate about learning,” said Boudreaux.  “Anyone would be honored to get an education in his memory,” said Cope. “He deserved more,” claimed Johnson.  “It makes my heart smile,” added Hill. Handy stated, “Dr. Amiot was very big on education, and I think that he would really appreciate his scholarship.”  Vincent added, “Knowing that there is a scholarship in his name helps to know that he isn’t forgotten and that he is still helping his students.”