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Nina is a 1971 graduate of Buford High School. Photo – Nina Holladay

Nina Allgood Clarke Holladay is a 1971 graduate of Buford High School.  Nina was born at the old Buford Hospital to Glynn Allgood, a WWII veteran and Annie Kathryn “Kat” Brogdon Allgood. She has an older sister, Glenda Browning, a 1966 BHS graduate. Nina got her start at Buford City Schools in 1959 in the first grade.

Nina was inspired by teachers and staff she’s had or interacted with during her time at Buford City Schools. She can even recall every single teacher she’s ever had like Iris Dover (1st). Dimples Pearson (2nd), Mrs. Thompson (3rd), Mrs.Nivens (4th),  Pat Greer (5th), Fannie Lou Smith, Elsie Hadaway Roberts, Alice Hamilton, Wm. Fry, Ms. Dowis (all 6th & 7th), and from 8th to 12th, Phyllis Grizzle, Martha Mercer, Ms. Spears, Mrs. Callison, Mrs. Brookins, Coach Bear Thompson, Coach Fry, Mrs. Henley, Coach Shirley, Mrs. John Ray Buice, and Myrtle Davis.

The staff member from Buford City Schools that had the biggest influence on Nina was Coach Fry.  He instilled in his students a certain respect for southern culture Perhaps the most important thing that he taught his students was the art of note-taking.  His note-taking skills “sustained me through my college degrees and my careers.” Nina goes on to add, “Some of my classmates and I have discussed our education at Buford and Coach Fry’s note-taking skills always come up.”

Although she doesn’t quite remember what her GPA was, Nina explains, “I had no problem getting into college. The education we received at Buford City Schools sustained all of us in whatever we endeavored. No matter what we chose to do, whether it was the workforce, the military, or college. We could all be as successful as we wanted to be. The only thing that I am aware of that could hold any Buford graduate back was personal motivation.”  

Nina laughingly says, “I played basketball for a couple of years but I wasn’t good at it, so I kept the basketball books.”  She was also involved with the Future Homemakers of America club, Future Teachers of America club, and she directed the senior play under Myrtle Davis during her time at Buford High School.

After she graduated from Buford High School, Nina laid down roots in Mobile, Alabama.  She didn’t start college until she was 21 and through hard work and perseverance, she finally earned her BS in Education:  Speech, English, and Drama in 1979 from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Nina worked two to three jobs while earning her degree, even taking a job as a cook on a shrimp boat.  She later went on to earn two MA’s from South Alabama, one in Special Education: Bright and Gifted and another in English. Nina has additional endorsements she has earned. She has some from Oglethorpe University for AP 11th and 12th Language and Literature, as well as, one from the University of Alabama in Rural Documentation.

Armed with her degrees and inspiration from those who taught her at Buford, Nina became a teacher for Mobile County Public Schools at Alma Bryant High School in Irvington, Ala. “The area I taught in was a small French fishing village rich in history, charm, and personality. I fell in love with it immediately. Good old salty dogs. Bayou La Batre is the Seafood Capital of Alabama,” Nina says. She has since retired from teaching.  

Nina is now able to split her time between Mobile and Buford. Photo – Nina Holladay

She still resides in Mobile with her husband, Mark Holladay.  Nina has one daughter, Kathryn South. In 2005, tragedy struck Nina when Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home.  It was her hometown of Buford that rallied behind her. The townspeople of Buford along with West Buford Baptist Church assisted her in the recovery process. 

Recently, Nina was able to acquire a second home back in her hometown of Buford. When in town, she still attends the City Commission meetings and the School Board meetings.  Buford still tugs on her heart and she says that it is a special place. She feels extremely blessed to be able to call both the bayou and Buford home. Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!  

 

The BHS Alumni Spotlight is made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.

BY:

alicia@northgwinnettvoice.com

Alicia joined the North Gwinnett Voice, as the Editor, shortly after the first publication. She is a homegrown Buford native, with the southern charm and "bless your heart" included. ...

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