Family Life

Christina Anderson

Christina Anderson is a woman set apart for achievement. She displays determination and grit in everything she does. Not only is she is a high school principal and head basketball coach, but she also has earned a master’s degree, an educational specialist degree, and is just steps away from her PhD. She juggles the busy life of a mom of two children and her many responsibilities with grace. Whether on the basketball court, in the principal’s office, or on the ball field supporting her own athletes, Christina carries herself with confidence and dignity.

How did you meet your husband?
We met at Racetrac on Bluebonnet, my summer job before college.
Tell me about your children.
Granville is my mini-me. He’s very structured, organized, and stays on top of things. He loves a schedule. He’s also the life of a party and always leading something. Katelyn is my more gentle one. She is just starting to get a little feisty, which is funny. She’s very mild-mannered and laid back, more like her father. She’s very sweet and sensitive, and she is an avid reader. They are both active in sports. 
Three things you always have with you?
My cell phone, my janitor ring of keys, and some chocolate. 
Three words to describe yourself?
Dedicated, determined, and outgoing. 

How would your friends describe you?
They would say that if there is something they need, I will be there to serve and help. I’d hope they’d say fun.

What’s something you like to do with your family?
We watch mindless TV like game shows. We watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and compete with each other. 
Most recent proud parenting moment?
My son went to Pine Cove for a week. It was his first time away from us. He did everything he was supposed to do and handled everything well. His counselor said some really great things about him. 
Last mommy fail?
I forgot their lunches for summer camp. 
How do you keep it all balanced?
It’s not easy to do, but I have a super duper supportive husband and mom who are always willing to help. My husband is so supportive, always running the kids places or bringing me something I need or understanding if I have a late meeting. My support system means a lot. And personally, organizing and making sure I am prioritizing it all in my calendar. 
Greatest thing about being a mom?
Being able to see parts of yourself in a little person. And being able to help mold them into the people God wants them to be. I love seeing things in them and helping them grow and mature into those things.

If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would you invite?
C: Maya Angelou.
What’s something parents shouldn’t feel guilty about?
Needing time for themselves. If you’re not good, you can’t be good for them. Take a little time here and there to recharge. 
What good habit do you have that you would like to pass on to the kids?
Serving others. 
Any bad habits you would not want to pass on?
Never saying no. 
Hardest thing about being a mom?
Not wanting to mess them up. I ask all the time, “Is what I’m doing today good enough?” I want them to be great people, and there’s just this fear of if I’m doing the right thing for them at this time in their lives. 
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I love to dance and I love music, all types of music. 
What’s your parenting style?
It’s very hands-on. I want things to be right and orderly. I don’t think it’s overbearing, but I’m structured. 
What’s one piece of advice you often give your children?
I tell them to be who they are. Be who God has created them to be. Be a leader and not a follower. I want them to be okay with who they are and the skin they’re in.
I tell them to find their voices and use them.
How has parenthood changed you?
It really has mellowed me out a little bit. They’ve given me perspective. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect or right on schedule, and to do the best you can. 
What’s one thing your kids have taught you?
Enjoy the moment and have fun. They love joke books and read jokes to me all the time.

 What advice would you give to other parents?
Don’t overschedule and don’t feel pressure to overschedule. We can get into a rhythm of things with certain groups and feel the need to do all the sports and clubs and things. You don’t have to. Do what works for your family. We juggle a lot of things, but my husband and I talk and reevaluate all the time. We check in with the kids frequently. Know your family dynamic and don’t feel pressured to do what other people are doing. 
How does coaching influence your parenting?
It has reminded me to recognize the good things and verbally acknowledge them to my kids because I do that with my players. I make it a point to find the things they are doing well and encourage them, so that I am making deposits into them. When I need to get on them a little bit or challenge them, they know it’s coming from a place of goodness in me because I’ve already affirmed them.

In what ways does being the leader of a high school affect your family?
We have had conversations around the expectations for my kids, especially being on the same campus, and then with my husband about time commitments. Then, in the community we’ll be recognized more because of the association with a place, so we may be under more scrutiny. I’ve been blessed though, in being a pastor’s kid, that I’ve always been watched. I am reminding my kids that there will be a higher standard that some people will hold them to. I am trying to prepare them for any pressures that will come with that.
What are the most important things you want your children to learn from you and your dedication to education?
Anything you set your mind to do, you can do it. No one can stop you from accomplishing anything you desire as long as you put the work in. Honestly, my kids have been one of the main reasons that I’ve pushed myself the way that I have because I want them to see someone who looks like them in their home accomplishing things. That way they don’t to have to look for some role model somewhere, but they can say, “My Mom did this and my Dad did this, we can do this.” The more we are a demonstration of what their possibilities are, the wider their world of possibilities becomes. 
What do you want your family to gain from this experience of being in leadership?
Unity and togetherness. No matter what position we are in, no matter what is happening or how busy we are, we are always a family unit, and we are great people within ourselves no matter what titles we may hold. ■


Quick Q&A

Before kids, I never thought I would… zipline and do outdoors adventure things.
The parenting item I couldn’t live without… calendar.
In my fridge, you will always find… cheese.
My guilty pleasure is… taking myself out. I will go to a movie and lunch and treat myself.
Growing up, I knew I wanted to… be a leader and lead something.
I can’t stop listening to… jazz.

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