Dr. Juanita Nails-James has been chosen grand marshal for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. She is a native of Appling County, born to Louella Brookins McTier and the late Sampson Brookins, Sr. and Adel McTier, Sr. She attended school in Appling County, beginning the first grade at the age of five and graduating at the age of 16 in 1964.
Juanita has always had the desire to make a difference in the lives of children. To fulfill this desire, she chose education as a profession. Juanita attended Fort Valley State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education in 1969 and a Master’s of Education in 1978. She received her Master’s of Educational Leadership and Supervision from Valdosta State University in 1993 and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1997.
Juanita began her teaching career at Jeff Davis County High School in 1969. She has taught in the past in Kingsland and Jesup. Juanita’s 1969 marriage to the late James Wilbert Nails lead her to another teaching position in DeRidder, Lousiana in 1993. James Twiggs welcomed her aboard with a teaching position at the Appling County Junior High School in 1976. Since then, Juanita has been Assistant Principal at both the Appling County Elementary and Appling County High School, from which she retired. Dedicating a total of 40 and 1/3 years to education.
Juanita would most likely tell you that out of all of her major investments to make life better for her, her best investment was choosing Jesus as Lord and Savior of her life. She leads by example and is a great role model for all people. She would tell you that an African American woman can raise successful sons. She is a proud mother of two sons, Janos (Prescola), a successful middle school teacher and Jamie, a former Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphin football player. She has one step-daughter, Gwendolyn Renee Ryals and six grandchildren, Courtney, Jalone, Jahnae, Autumn, Joy and Jacy.
Juanita is and has been affiliated with several different civic and religious organizations, including being a member of the First African Missionary Baptist Church, the Baxley Trio, the NAACP and the Retired Educators Association to name a few. Some of her hobbies are working puzzles of any kind, music, and fishing, spending time with family and friends and just interacting with nice Christian people.
Juanita’s family is so proud of her many accomplishments. Her sons and grandchildren are proud to know that their mom and grandmother was one of the first administrators in Appling County to obtain a Doctorate Degree in Education. She has not only inspired children but other teachers as well. Appling County Schools now have more teachers and personnel with Doctorate Degrees than ever before. Her family knows that Juanita was the woman that inspired them all. Here’s to the lady so worthy of praise.
A reception in Juanita’s honor will be held January 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Parker-Harrell Building on Junior High Drive.
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will be held on January 17 starting at 2:00 p.m. The parade will begin on Junior High Drive. The theme for this year’s activities is “Connect the Past to the Present and Inspiring the Future.”