Leader of the New School – Molding Minds & Rockin Mics with Educator & Broadcaster Nick Harrison

In today’s Dirty South Club spotlight, it is an honor to give a little bit of shine and D$C love to Mr. Nick Harrison. I’ve known Nick all his life and to be able to document this interview and dig a little deeper on his life as an educator, broadcaster and influencer is a pleasure. Mr. Harrison discusses molding the minds of today’s youth and bringing a one-of-a-kind style of entertainment to the world of broadcasting. 

Read on as Nick shares what a life of success looks like, prioritizing your life and of course what he loves about the Dirty South.

What’s your name and what part of the Dirty South are you representing:

My name is Nick Harrison and I am representing Louisiana. Originally from Grambling, Louisiana (Home of Grambling State University), now residing in West Monroe, Louisiana.

What do you do and what inspired you to do it:

I have two professions. My main job is as a 5th Grade ELA Instructor. I’ve been teaching for about 12 years now. I was inspired in high school after attending a summer program in New Orleans at Xavier University.

As a young man, I grew fond of the teaching profession. Now I have taught every grade from kindergarten to the undergraduate collegiate level. I love where I am now and look forward to my future in education.

Now my “side-hustle”, for lack of a better term, is as a broadcaster. A highlight of my career was working for ESPN 97.7 FM, an ESPN Radio affiliate out of Northeast Louisiana. I hosted my own show for two years called “Halftime w/ Nick Harrison” along with other on-air and production duties. My forte was making sports-themed song parodies.

I currently work with the Grambling Sports Radio Network where I have done everything from play-by-play, color and sideline reporting. I truly love working in sports radio and hope to advance my career in the profession.

You have always been a man of many talents, right now let’s focus on broadcasting. What do you try and bring to the table as a sports broadcaster that you believe is missing from the rest:

I try to bring a style of entertainment that not every sportscaster possesses. There are plenty of guys in the business that can bring you a straightforward call. But from music to pop culture and everything in between, there’s a flavor to my brand of journalism that not many can match.

For example, I wrote a parody to Afroman’s “Because I Got High” after Tyrann Mathieu (formerly of the LSU Tigers, now playing for the Arizona Cardinals) was suspended from the team in college for drug use. That parody got national coverage, has over 100k hits on Soundcloud and the YouTube video has over 1,000,000 views. There’s just something different about what I do.

How does it feel to know that as a teacher you have been able and are able to shape the minds of our future entertainers, CEOs, innovators and leaders:

It blows my mind that I have the opportunity to mold the minds of today’s youth. Anytime I have the opportunity to impart a lesson on a young person, whether it be at school or at home with my 6 year old son Patrick, I take pride in that.

There aren’t very many African-American men in elementary education so there’s a sense of pride there. And I try to be an example to the children I reach so that someday, they can go on to amazing heights.

I have students from when I taught at GSU that have gone on to careers in movies, television, music and the like and it brings me great joy to know that, even if just for a moment, I was able to touch their lives in some way, shape or form. It’s a real honor.

Best business or personal advice you’ve ever received:

One of my mentors in college told me when I was 18 years old, that your priorities should be your God, your family and your work…in that order. I have struggled with that over the years, but I have always tried to follow that mantra because I believe it to be true. There are things in this life that we should value above all else and when we begin to realize that and actually follow through, we will begin to see monumental shifts in our lives. 

Any words of advice or encouragement for those who wish to follow in your footsteps:

“Without ashes, the Phoenix would just be a bird getting up…” Now, I heard this on a sitcom years ago, but it really stuck with me because of a situation I was going through at the time. We will all have our rough times, our trials and tribulations that we go through every day. But it’s those hard times, those trials and tribulations that make us the people we are today. Be kind to others, and be kind to yourself.

How do you define success:

Success is doing what makes you happy. When I was a senior in high school, I had three goals: To teach, to act and to work for ESPN. I graduated from Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech with degrees in theatre and got the chance to work professionally, I’ve worked for ESPN off and on for the past ten years and I am currently teaching and have been for over a decade.

Essentially, I’m living the dream. There are those that will define their success in life by numbers in a bank account or cars in a garage. But what good is that success without happiness?

What are your plans or goals in the near future:

I am currently working on putting together a podcast with my broadcast colleague “The Voice” Leon Thomas III. Leon and I are two sides of the same dime, so it will be full of the same music and entertainment that I love to bring to the table. I’ll also be getting back on the radio airwaves, not only on the GSRN but also in other avenues.

What do you like to do for fun:

The most fun I have these days is hanging out with my son, Patrick. I spend most of my time away from work with him, and a lot of my time at work is also spent with him because he attends the school where I work. We go to the movies, to the park…just about anywhere. One of our favorite pastimes is to play air hockey. Patrick gets really competitive. Our favorite of all is watching wrestling. Patrick loves it, and so do I.

What’s your favorite genre of music:

R&B is without question my favorite genre of music. It’s so soothing after a long day at work. My favorite is 80’s and 90’s R&B. Really takes me back. R. Kelly, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, SWV, New Edition…all in the mix. I love hip-hop, gospel and jazz as well.

Where can the people find you online:

You can find me at @mr_professor on all social media and you can find me on Soundcloud as The Real Brother Nick.

What do you love most about the Dirty South:

What I love most about the South is the passion. If you love something in the South, you love it until the day you die. The music, the sports, the people…the love is amazing and I get to feel that every day. My hope is that I get to feel the love and receive the love for the rest of my life right here in the South.

Photo Courtesty of Nick Harrison

© 2017 C. Huey for Dirty South Club | D$C