Sharon Gahagan receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Sharon and Coley Gahagan

Retired speech/language pathologist, reading specialist, and a lifelong advocate for education, Sharon Gahagan received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce.

Gahagan was first appointed to the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts board of directors in 1989 and was first elected Chair in 1997. She has been reappointed to the board by six Louisiana governors and has served with six Executive Directors. During her tenure, she has represented LSMSA on a local, state, and national level and has supported the school through many positive, unique, and challenging times. During my time working with her on the Historic District Development Commission, she has led and guided many of us with a natural grace, grit and a wit that is unmatched.

“I want to tell you what downtown Natchitoches looked like when my family moved here in 1987,” said Chamber President Laura Lyles. “I remember the buildings at the corner of church street and front street being completely boarded up, the theater where the condos are today was empty. I-49 was in and downtown Natchitoches was out. But with the vision, determination and decades of hard work and laser focus by a group of individuals often led by this year’s lifetime achievement award winner, we now have a historic downtown development district and main street that rivals some of the best in the country. This year’s recipient was instrumental in working to develop the National Heritage Area and National Park and has continued to support our city as a heritage tourism destination by serving on the Louisiana State Museum Board and the Friends of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.”