From: Bossier Press-Tribune
October 29, 2010

Elementary school holds assembly to honor Bankston

Principal Sherri Pool described Denise Bankston to the students of Curtis Elementary School as a true American hero.

“She is among the people who are dedicated to making a difference in their community; not just one student at a time, but 500 students at a time,”  Pool said.

Bankston, owner and President of DeeDee’s Oil Patch, LLC. In Shreveport, was honored during a surprise assembly Thursday afernoon by students, faculty ad staff that left her overwhelmed and speechless.

In July, Bankston made a $15,000 contribution to the school and gave another $15,000 two weeks ago, making a total $30,000 donation to Curtis Elementary School.

“Her donation has allowed us to install interactive boards in our classrooms and we are in the process of ordering a rolling laptop lab,” Pool said.  “We will now be able to provide better learning tools for our students so they can reach their full potential.”

Bankston said the joy of seeing the students Thursday morning was a bless in itself, but she said the assembly was one of the biggest surprises of her life to date.

“It was such a blessing for me to walk into the classrooms and see all of the love these students have and to also see the boards that I was able to provide for them.”  Bankston said her relationship with Pool goes all the way back to when her son was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school.  She added that her son has since graduated from college ad is currently working towards his mater’s degree and gives credit to Pool for her support through his yeas in school.

“There wasn’t a question about it in my heart that one-day I would be able to give back to Sherri Pool for what she was able to give to us, “Bankston said. “She gave my son the confidence hat he needed before learning differences were ever looked at.  Sherri was our life-saver when he was in the fourth and fifth grade.”

As Bankston entered the gymnasium with her daughter, Donielle Wynn, and grand-daughters Abbie and Emma Wynn, the students erupted with applause ad cheer.  The flags were presented by the boy and girl scouts and the Curtis Elementary cheerleaders performed a special cheer.  Fifth grader Sheldon Dudley son of Sylvester and Susan Dudley, performed the national anthem.

Pool told the students about her relationship with Bankston and how much they will gain from her contribution to the school.

“I can tell you today she is just like my family.  She is very, very special to me and she is very special to all of us because of what she has done.”

Pool said Bankston was overwhelmed as she walked through the halls and toured classrooms Thursday morning; giving her a first-hand look at how her generous donation has improved the educational opportunities for each student at Curtis Elementary.

As the assembly closed, a group of selected students filed in one by one to hand Bankston a red rose with a special thank you message attached.  Studets flocked to the center aisle of the gymnasium to hug her as she exited the gym.

Pool said the generous contribution from Bankston will not only help the current students at the school, but will continue to help the future students who walk through the doors.

“The money and the love she has outpoured to us will affect the thousands of students as they come through Curtis Elementary because she has allowed us to install tools for their education.”

Bossier Parish Superintendent D. C. Machen said Bankston has invested in the Bossier Parish School System for many years, as a parent and as a volunteer, and that her presence has left a legacy in the school system.

“Because of people like Mrs. Bankston, who is willing to give their money and their time and invest it into our schools, we can continue to provide our students with enhanced educational programs,” Machen said.  “Her legacy began when she invested time with her own children in our school system and will continue through this investment to provide more students with the opportunity at getting an enhanced education.”

Amanda Crane


Sherri Pool, Denise Bankston, and D.C. Machen