Woodlawn High School;
Louisiana Tech, B.A. / M.A. in Elementary Education / M.A. + 30 in Administration
Since 1977, Reynolds has served our youth as a teacher and a principal at seven different schools throughout the parish during his employment with the Webster Parish School Board, beginning with his first position as a teacher at JL Jones Elementary. “I started, as most do, as a teacher,” said Reynolds. “I worked my way up through the educational system here from teaching for 17 years; and then served as a principal at four different schools.”
In 1994 Reynolds was offered and took the position of principal at Sarepta K-12 school. Following his four years there, he became principal at Central Jr. High and then moved to help in the establishment of Lakeside Jr. High and High School. “I absolutely love working with the development of our youth,” he said. “To have the opportunity to help mold their minds and character during such crucial times is very rewarding. I guess maybe I relate and want to teach them all that they absolutely can set their sights on something and go for it—no matter where they come from.”
Following his time in Webster Parish education, Reynolds led efforts in Cameron Parish to rebuild the school system there following Hurricane Rita in 2005. “Transferring to Cameron was something my wife and I both felt very led to do,” he said. “Sometimes the good Lord paves unexpected paths for us, and this was one of them. But it was apparent to us exactly why we were supposed to be there once Rita hit—because we still had our home here and were a stable source of strength to help them rebuild their schools from nothing.”
On November 19, 2011, Reynolds was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives by District 10 in a runoff election.
Home, Faith & Family
In 2010, Gene and Martha resigned from their employment in Cameron Parish and returned to Webster Parish to be closer to their families. Back in Dubberly, where they live near son Dustin, his wife Jenny, and their two children, Abby and Alex, they enjoy their North Louisiana lifestyle in the piney woods of their home place.
Reynolds, who describes himself as conservative-minded, has resided during the past 40 years in the Webster Parish area in both Heflin and Dubberly, where he now lives with his wife, Martha Nell Moore Reynolds, who also retired from the Webster Parish School System with 34 years of service. They began their family in 1974 and have two sons, Dustin and Cole.
As a child, Reynolds was raised as a member of the Baptist faith by his parents Harlie and Elizabeth Reynolds in Shreveport, where he graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1968. The same year his parents moved to Ringgold, where he met Martha. “I was not born into privilege,” said Reynolds. “I was raised in Cedar Grove in Shreveport before my family moved to Ringgold. Even then we [Gene and his 5 siblings] were raised knowing that anything we wanted to have outside the necessities of life was something we had to work for.”
Today, Reynolds' family includes:
Mother, Elizabeth, and her husband, Billy Woods
Wife of 41 years, Martha Nell Moore Reynolds
Sons, Dustin and Cole
Daughter-in-Law, Jenny Alewyne Reynolds
Granddaughters, Abigail (13) and Alexandra (9)
Parents-in-Law, Howard and Betty Moore
Five siblings, Debbie Reynolds Lockhart (husband, Charles), Ronnie Reynolds (wife, Kay), Bobby Reynolds, Mike Reynolds (wife, Michelle) and Pam Reynolds Copeland (husband, Tony)
Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins
A strong work ethic was instilled in Reynolds during his early years that Reynolds says is something that typically “makes or breaks” a young person. “With the encouragement of my wife and family, I set my sights on something that I’d never dreamed I could achieve,” he said. “But I did—and decided to just keep on going.”