Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

NEIGHBORS >> The tables have turned

Leader staff writer

The time has come for Brooks Nash to take the HOT SEAT

In 1961, Brooks Nash, a member of the Cabot school board and retired principal, became one of the first lettermen on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock basketball team back when the school was called Little Rock University.

He will be the guest of honor at the Cabot Scholarship Foundation’s 11th Annual Roast and Toast at Cabot Junior High North cafeteria at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18.

The annual event is the primary fund-raiser for the Cabot Scholarship Foundation. It will be catered by Back Yard Burgers.
“In 1960, we were an independent league and we’d play against teams like Carter Buick and the Chore Boys,” Nash said in an interview.

“It’s neat to reflect back on being one of the first lettermen in 1961,” he said.
He met and married fellow teacher-to-be Donna Jenkins, his wife of the past 43 years, before graduating from Little Rock University in 1965. He taught school for two years at McClellan High School and two years at Cloverdale Junior High before opening Minute Man Hamburgers on the corner of Capital and Broadway streets in Little Rock.

“There was just more money to be made in cooking hamburgers,” Nash said. About six years later, Nash realized he was missing spending quality time with his children, daughter, Brooklynn, and son, Mike. So he started teaching in Cabot.
“The best advice I ever got from my dad was never cut off your nose to spite your face,” Mike Nash, 35, told The Leader.
“I never understood any of his advice. He used big words and it all went way over my head,” says Brooklynn Grimm, 36.
The Nash family moved to Cabot, where Brooks started working as a social studies teacher at Cabot High School. Students voted him the Cabot High School Teacher of the Year in 1977.

After that, Brooks Nash became the assistant principal at Cabot High School for two years before becoming principal of Cabot Junior High North. He retired from the district as principal in 2001. He was elected to the school board in 2004.
During retirement, Brooks spends his time with his family including grandson, Tyler Grimm, 2, as well as family dogs Baron Van Wolfgang and Duke. He manages rental property in Little Rock and watches television–mostly football and ‘Days of Our Lives.’

“Dad is obsessive about ‘Days.’ You do not call the house between 1 and 2 p.m.,” said Brooklynn Grimm.
“As he gets older, Dad gets more and more like Frank Costanza on ‘Seinfeld,’” jokes Mike Nash.

Both Mike and Brooklynn followed in their parents’ footsteps by becoming educators in the Cabot School District.
Mike Nash teaches U. S. history and Brooklynn teaches elementary school part-time.

“Brooks served the children in our community for many years,” said Don Elliott, former school superintendent and chairman of the Cabot Scholarship Foundation. “As a principal, he was well-liked by teachers and students alike. As a teacher, he made social studies interesting.”

Tickets for the roast and toast are $25. Reservations for tables of eight are available for $150.
In 2005, the foundation provided $28,000 in scholarships to more than 20 recipients.

Elliott said the organization hopes to give out more than $30,000 in scholarships this year. Scholarship recipients are an-nounced at the roast.

The Cabot Scholarship Foun-dation is a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. In many cases, employers will meet em-ployee donations to scholarship foundations.

Donations to the foundation are often in memory or in honor of a friend or loved one. Those donations have ranged from $5 to $25,000.

In addition to Elliott, other members of the Cabot Scholarship Foundation board are Nina Butler, Fred Campbell, Tracy French, Carole Jones, Carolyn Park, John C. Thompson and Steve Tipton.