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Educator Excellence

Golden Ex of the Year

For Elaine Fairbanks Nail, attending what was then San Angelo College turned out to be a key step toward a career in education that lasted more than 40 years.

  • Elaine Fairbanks Nail
    Elaine Fairbanks Nail

As a San Angelo native, it made sense for her to start at SAC.

“My parents weren’t quite ready to send me away to college,” Nail said, “and it was much less expensive to have me live at home and go to San Angelo College.”

After earning her associate degree at SAC, Nail transferred to Trinity University in San Antonio, where she earned both her bachelor’s degree in sociology and education and her Master of Education in counseling. While working as a schoolteacher in San Antonio, she married her childhood sweetheart, Jimmy Nail, and took a break to start a family. She later returned to work as a teacher in Brownfield and then as a school counselor in Lubbock for 24 years.

Following her retirement, Nail took on leadership roles in various professional organizations, including as president of the then nearly 6,000-member Texas Counseling Association from 1994-95.

In recognition of her distinguished career launched at SAC, Nail has been named the ASU Alumni Association’s 2014 Golden Ex of the Year.

Thinking back on her time at SAC, one particular memory stands out.

“I got to work as the night librarian,” Nail said. “Some of the football players were assigned to go to the library to study at night. They had to sign in and sign out. Of course, when the football players went over there, the girls came over. And with the girls there, the other boys came over. So I got to know everybody.”

“I grew to love SAC,” she added. “I really felt like it was the right place for me to be.”

  • Laurel Scott

    Laurel Scott

    Laurel Scott is a news and information specialist at Angelo State University. 
    E-mail Laurel at laurel.scott@angelo.edu.