LAUREL, Miss. (WHLT) – Laurel Fire Station #4 was renamed “John W Spriggs/Dr. Eugene D. Owens Jr. Fire Station No. 4” in honor of a long-time Laurel educator.

Impact newspaper reported a rededication ceremony was held in honor of Dr. Eugene Owens, a 53-year neighbor of the Queensburg community who impacted an estimated 10,000 during his career.

Owens spent 33 years as an educator in the City of Laurel. He was the first Black person to become assistant superintendent and superintendent. He also served as a choral teacher, principal, director of the Title 1 program and director of elementary schools.

He also worked with the Laurel Housing Authority and volunteered with the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Crime Stoppers Board and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Trustee Board for more than 20 years.

According to the newspaper, Owens was honored with a dedication ceremony on Friday, October 7.