Anita Christian retired from education in 2018 after nearly four decades as a teacher and administrator in Wilson County.
Christian, who was raised in the Norene community, credited her parents and many former educators with her choice of career.
“My parents were my first role models and stressed to us growing up the importance of receiving an education,” she said. “Mrs. Hazel Knowles was one of my teachers at Norene School who made a difference in my life. At Lebanon High School Mrs. Carolyn Dudley and Miss Pat Climer influenced me as teachers, so I knew that I wanted to become a teacher and desired to make a difference in the lives of my students as I had seen these ladies do.”
Christian holds an associate’s degree from Cumberland College; a bachelor’s degree from Belmont; a M.Ed. from MTSU; and an Ed.S from Tennessee Tech. She taught English and language arts for 21 years before accepting the position of assistant principal at Watertown Elementary School. She served as assistant principal for five year before the former principal retired and she was selected as the new principal. Christian served in that capacity for 18 years.
“I love the Watertown community, the students and their parents,” she said. “I enjoyed watching students learn and developing relationships throughout the years. There was such an excitement to witness firsthand student growth and achievement during each school year and helping to build a student’s self-confidence and a love of learning.”
Christian and her husband, Philip, have been married 41 years. The couple met in high school, but didn’t start dating until she was in college. “I always say I fell in love with his 1964 Chevy before I fell in love with him,” she joked. “He always had a sharp vehicle.”
Christian loves horseback riding and to be with family and friends. She and Philip enjoy traveling to antique car and truck shows.
“We have four horses that I spend time with daily,” Christian said. She is also a fan of George Strait and has attended over 30 of his concerts – meeting the country music superstar twice.
Christian is a member of Fall Creek Baptist Church.
She named her mother, Dorothy “Dot” McPeak, as the woman she admires most.
"She raised five children working at Robertshaw Lux Clock, helping my father milk cows before and after she went to work, cooked our meals, and was always busy. She always had time for us and raised us to go to church,” Christian continued. “Her faith in God and leading by example to always do the right thing has greatly influenced my life. She also taught us to never give up. I am blessed to have her in my life.”
To nominate someone for the Woman of Wilson feature, send information to Sabrina Knowles at email@example.com