Alexandria Nellie Brooks Quander will be the Grand Marshal of the Campagna Center’s 46th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 11 a.m. in Old Town Alexandria. As Grand Marshal, she will lead Scottish Clans, pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie Dogs, classic cars, local dignitaries and Santa and Mrs. Claus through the streets of Old Town.
The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade kicks off Alexandria’s holiday season with events that celebrate and honor Alexandria’s Scottish founders.
Quander, an Alexandria native and leader in education, received her early education in the Alexandria Public Schools and is a graduate of Parker-Gray High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond and a Master’s Degree in education administration and an education specialist degree, both from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
She was appointed to several Alexandria public school administrator positions including the assistant principal at Cora Kelly and principal at Jefferson-Houston Elementary Schools. In 1972, she became principal at Fairfax County’s Hybla Valley School. While in Fairfax County she served as coordinator of elementary curriculum, administrative assistant to the superintendent and an area coordinator.
During the desegregation of the Alexandria public schools, she was the first African American to be appointed to an administrative position in a school that had been historically all white. Quander was the first African American woman in Virginia to be initiated in to the Delta Kappa Gamma Education Society International, and was the first African American woman to be elected as president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. In 1978, Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles appointed her to serve on the State Board for Community Colleges.
She has been a member of the Alfred Street Baptist Church for more than 67 years and continues to support the church and its work. She is the only daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Houston G. Brooks. She married Welton Quander of Fairfax County and they had two children, Sherrie Michele Quander and Welton Andrew Quander Jr. Nellie and her four brothers have been named to the Charles Houston Hall of Fame. Her brother Leo A. Brooks achieved the rank of General in the United States Army and his two sons, Leo A. Brooks, Jr. and Vincent K. Brooks have also achieved the rank of General in the U.S. Army. They are the first African American family to have father and sons achieve this distinction.
The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade is the largest fundraising activity for The Campagna Center. Visit http://www.campagnacenter.org/scottishwalkweekend to learn more about this weekend’s events and activities.