This past Sunday was not only a great day for the city of Charlotte (because of the Panthers’ week 16 win over Tampa Bay) but it was also a great day for Northside Christian Academy – and really, one person in particular. Anyone who attended NCA from the 1980s through this past graduating class can answer one question correctly when asked “what is government’s main job?” The answer is, and always has been, “protection” – and it’s been repeated through the years by none other than our very own, Mr. David Nelson!
Anyone can tell you about Mr. Nelson’s passion and the compelling lectures given each year to wide-eyed students clinging, white-knuckled, to the edges of their desks – but not everyone can explain the experience of actually being in the classroom with him. He not only dispenses the facts, i.e. dates, names, events – but he also delivers them in a way through which you feel like you were present during the Battle of Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, the Battle of the Bulge or at the Fall of Saigon.
The desire he possesses for knowledge – and most importantly, to share that knowledge with young minds is what it’s all about! That’s why the wonderful folks at FSI Office recognized, and awarded Mr. Nelson the distinct honor of being Teacher of the year in the Carolinas! As Mr. Nelson will tell you, the experience was not only thrilling, but it was also a massive honor and a real win for Christian education! Naturally, Mr. Nelson will only accept notoriety if he can make it known that he was given the talents to do this job by God and that his support system around him receives just as much credit. As any of us know, humility is also one of his defining characteristics!
Before Mr. Nelson received the award, he as well as thirteen other nominees (out of hundreds across the states of North and South Carolina) were given the royal treatment! The nominees met at the Charlotte FSI Office located off of Orr Road and were chauffeured by Rose Transportation to the stadium. They all received passes and were able to stand on the game field while the teams from Carolina and Tampa Bay were warming up. They saw players like Jericho Cotchery, Josh Norman, Graham Gano – and they even got a peek at the bench where Luke Kuechly’s cleats were awaiting warm-up time!
Around approximately 3:30 PM, after the nominees were able to have “field time,” they were gathered together to hear the announcement of who had received the teacher of the year award. As they anxiously awaited, the name of the winner had been announced, much to the shock of Mr. Nelson – it was his name that had been called! Among his many recollections of the day, Mr. Nelson distinctly remembers that he was not at all expecting to hear his name – and that he was very moved to have been selected at all, let alone win! While the nominees shuffled away off of the field, Mr. Nelson was invited to remain on the field during player introductions just prior to game time and was introduced as the winner before the entire home crowd and team! Afterwards, he was treated to a seat in a luxurious suite where he enjoyed watching the Panthers’ win!
Among the awards given to him were: A commemorative football with Teacher of the Year inscribed, a Jonathan Stewart Jersey and a check for $5,000 for use toward educational equipment for NCA! To say that Mr. Nelson was thrilled would be an understatement. He was elated – and not just because he was chosen. It was mainly because it was a win for NCA – also, really a win for Christian education, because he was the first Christian educator ever to have received this award.
He said, after winning the award, that “It all goes back to God. All the glory and honor goes to God first – and secondly to NCA. This means the world to me, but the way I see it, this is a big win for NCA!” A big win indeed, but aside from any notoriety we receive, we can undoubtedly say, and backed by 1,028 graduates that he’s taught, that he rightfully and definitely deserves this award! We are proud of Mr. Nelson, proud of the mark he’s made, not only for us, but more so for Christian education – and we can’t wait to share many more wonderful, passionate lecture-filled years with him here at NCA! Congratulations!