I sent the following e-mail out to the roughly 500 employees of The State on Tuesday. Now I share it with you:
This definitely goes under the heading of bad news for us, good news for her.
Nina Brook, who has been an associate editor on the editorial page ever since we stole her away from Gov. Jim Hodges five years ago, is leaving for an exciting new opportunity. And in her case, that’s not a euphemism.
After taking the point in our fights to restore state funding to schools and to hold off the current governor’s efforts to divert said funding through tax credits, Nina is putting her principles into action: She’s going to be a schoolteacher.
But not just any schoolteacher. She’ll be teaching cutting-edge journalism at Richland Northeast, with an emphasis on media convergence. The school has a newspaper and a TV station already and is developing a Web presence. Her job will be to help the kids make it all work together.
It would be pretty much impossible to find anyone as qualified as Nina for this challenge. After having worked in Macon and St. Paul, Nina joined us in 1991, first as Kershaw County bureau chief. She went from that to become a star legislative reporter, bringing depth of understanding to everything from the state budget to the Confederate flag controversy. Then, we lost her to television when she became easily the most knowledgeable on-air "personality" at WIS. Television lost her to politics when she became Gov.
Hodges’ press secretary right after his 1998 election victory. She left our good friend the ex-gov two years later to join our editorial board, where she developed the strongest voice in South Carolina for public education.
Now, her multiple talents and omnivorous interests are taking her to a new sphere, and she’s so excited about it, you just want to smack her. But they said in some management seminar that I can’t. So join me in giving her your hearty congratulations. Sincerely. Because she deserves just as much success in her new endeavor as she has enjoyed in her previous incarnations. And the kids deserve her.