Marshall Hometown Hero: Christina Anderson
We would like for you to meet this week’s Hometown Hero: Christina Anderson.
Christina is a principal with the Anderson Foundation, which is a foundation co-founded by her and her husband, Richard Anderson.
Christina has been involved with community volunteerism since she moved to Marshall 25 years ago. In her work as a volunteer in Marshall, Harrison County, and the region, Christina currently serves as chairman of the Harrison County Industrial Development Authority (HCIDA) Board of Directors, which is more frequently called the Courthouse Endowment Board. Their mission is to preserve and grow the Courthouse endowment which was established in 2009 after the completion of the restoration of the 1901 Harrison County Courthouse and to assist the County with the ongoing preservation of the restored 1901 Courthouse, in perpetuity.
She is also the immediate past chairman of the Marshall Hospital Foundation Board, as well as immediate past chairman of the 14-county EasTexConnects regional transportation committee, and immediate past chairman of the Texas Shakespeare Festival Foundation. Christina was also the volunteer director of the winning 2014-2015 All-America City Award efforts for the City of Marshall. In 2015, Marshall won the National Civic League’s All-America City Award! In addition to the volunteer organizations listed above, she also serves on the I-20 Corridor Council passenger rail advocacy organization and the Marshall Depot Board, as well as the planning committees for the Community Veterans Day program and 9/11 Community Prayer Service.
Also, she and her husband have worked very closely with the Harrison County volunteer firefighters for many years. This past April, in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were approached by members of the Harrison County Firefighters Association because the first responders in Harrison County were in great need of hand sanitizer. Christina and her husband were able to find a source and, through their foundation, donated 250 gallons of hand sanitizer to the volunteer firefighters, first responders, as well as other departments in Harrison County and the City of Marshall. They were also able to donate protective masks and face shields to local nursing homes and other local places of need.
Christina is a strong advocate for volunteerism and for the public service and leadership which volunteers can provide. One of the things she enjoys most about volunteering is working together with a strong and smart Board of Directors, who bring diverse talents and perspectives to the work. It’s been her experience that volunteer boards and community coalitions can bring about much progress with their work and get needed things done to move our community, region, or even our nation forward.
One of the accomplishments in Christina’s professional life of which she is most proud was the work she did as Director of Curriculum for the non-profit public school reform organization in Los Angeles called The Galef Institute. She was also the author of The Galef Institute’s two-volume American history curriculum, which was part of the history-centered, art-infused public school reform model called Different Ways of Knowing. Due to significant advancement of students’ test scores, comprehension, and engagement from using the Different Ways of Knowing curriculum and teacher training program, the model was ranked highest in the nation of effective comprehensive school reform (CSR) models, at that time, funded by the U.S. Department of Education for scale-up from elementary to secondary schools. The Different Ways of Knowing curriculum and teacher training model was implemented in more than 600 elementary and secondary schools nationwide!
She was also honored to serve as a legislative liaison on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for the National Council for History Education, advocating members of Congress about the importance of strengthening history and civic education in our nation’s schools.
Christina feels blessed to have been able to use the talents she has been given to help others. She is also profoundly grateful for her family and friends. In her free time, Christina loves reading, hiking, spending time outdoors and in nature, spending time with her husband, and visiting her family.
Fun Question: If you could have dinner with someone famous, dead, or alive, who would it be? Why?
If I could take the liberty to choose two people I admire for this dinner, I would pick two persons who, very sadly, our nation has lost recently—that is, Congressman John Lewis and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I care deeply about civil rights, justice, and equality for all and these two American heroes made enormously consequential contributions to our nation and world in those areas. They both lived lives of great integrity and purpose and they overcame many hardships to achieve the important work they accomplished.