Longtime educator dedicated life to Portales schools

Sharna Johnson

Longtime Portales educator David Brooks made his mark with tough love and dedication to the school system, the community and his family, according to those who knew him.

David Brooks, 75, died of cancer Sunday in Lubbock.

“He basically dedicated his life to the Portales educational system,” said Brooks’ son, Davey Brooks.

Davey Brooks said his father was most proud of the great students he saw come through the schools and go on to succeed and contribute to society.

Brooks served as teacher, counselor and principal in Portales elementary school for 25 years, according to information from Portales Municipal Schools. He was a school board member for 13 years.

Portales High School Principal Melvin Nusser said what he most remembered about David Brooks was the man’s dedication to the schools and community. David Brooks provided stability in whatever position he held because of his passion for education and his love for the Portales community, schools, students and school employees, Nusser said.

“He didn’t put on some facade and be someone he wasn’t,” Nusser continued, adding that what David Brooks believed was always clear.

Davey Brooks said his father refused to let him and his sister, Christi Brooks Mills, use setbacks as an excuse not to succeed.

“As a father, I would describe him as someone you could always without question depend on and rely on for brutally honest and open opinions, advice, those kinds of things, but always with the best intentions and in a very caring and supportive manner,” Davey Brooks said.

Until the day he died, David Brooks was dignified and put the needs of others above his own, his son said.

David Brooks was involved in Third and Kilgore Church of Christ for a number of years, his son said. His hobbies were golfing, doing yard work and washing vehicles, and he attended many school-related events.

Davey Brooks said his father was a member of the Portales Country Club and proud that people involved with it made it a place where people enjoyed golfing and spending time with loved ones.

Current school board President Inez Rodriguez said David Brooks gave his all and would be a legacy for the community.

“He was always positive, full of wisdom,” she said. “One of his great traits is that David led by example. David had a great sense of humor. He was always making us laugh.”

Davey Brooks said what touched his father most as he became ill was that he received “all the credit for who I am today.”

“And I honestly hope that I can be half the man he was,” Davey Brooks said.