“Let us now sing the praises of famous men . . .”
- (from the Apocrypha) Ecclesiasticus 44:1
The fact I was able to whiz through college algebra with an A (a rarity for me) I have to attribute to my high school algebra teacher, John Brinson. Why, then I wonder, do I recall so little about being in his classroom, even though he obviously had such a positive impact on my understanding of the subject? The only day I do vividly remember from John Brinson’s “algebra I” class occurred on November 22, 1963. After being summoned out of the room by the principal he stepped back in to somberly announce that President Kennedy had been shot. I’ve always thought it fitting that he should be the one to deliver that news because, even though I remember little else he said in the classroom, I do remember him as a man of fine character. And the things I learned from him about life over the years has far outweighed anything he ever taught me about algebra.
Max Lucado, the famous author and pastor, once observed about his father that he had learned things from him that his father never realized he was teaching. I would suggest that is true of most of those who influence our lives – people like John Brinson. From them we learn many things, most of which they never realize they are teaching.
John Brinson was a long-time dedicated educator in my small hometown community, not only as an esteemed classroom teacher, but later as high school principal, and eventually superintendent of schools where he served many years until his retirement. It was in that community where he met and married the love of his life, raised a fine family, and grew to become a dedicated and highly respected leader. Through the years I’ve continued to watch him from afar, always learning things he never realized he was teaching. Recently John passed away, but his amazing legacy will live on through the many lives he touched.
“Let us now sing the praises of famous men . . . The Lord apportioned to them great glory . . . [For] there were . . . those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people’s lore; they were wise in their words of instruction . . .” That was John Brinson.