Strength, self-sacrifice, and grace define this outstanding leader in our community. Principal of the elementary school with Chickasaw City Schools, Christy Amick has been a strong advocate for students, teachers, and the community during her 22 years of service in education. She graduated from the University of Mobile with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Alabama. Under her leadership, Chickasaw Elementary was recognized as Leader of Model Site for Alabama Safe and Civil Schools and as a Leader of a Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Banner School Recipient. Christy has been nominated by her peers to represent District II as the Principal of the Year.
Christy and her husband reside in Mobile with their two beautiful children.
Tell us about your business(es)/employer. List services offered and/or work you do and how you describe what you do to others:
I am an elementary school principal with Chickasaw City Schools. Elementary school principals are managers, instructional leaders, advocates for students and parents, faculty/staff, and the community in which they serve. Principals provide leadership for student academic and social/emotional development, strive to create a positive school culture, cultivate leadership among faculty and staff, manage staff, data, finances, and daily operations.
Are you involved with the community, any nonprofits, etc. and why is that important?
Chickasaw did not offer organized sports in the area, and certainly not at the elementary level. I assisted in the creation of a youth athletic program and oversaw the program at Chickasaw Elementary School from 2015 – 2019. This program offered football, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, volleyball, and soccer. Chickasaw students in grades 3 – 6 played with area teams and church leagues. This program helped to build a sense of community for a newly formed school district for the students and parents, and the school staff.
I was also honored to serve as the liaison between Chickasaw Elementary School and Sunny Side Theater, which selected our school to perform the musical, “Elf Jr.” This opportunity afforded our K-5 students to participate in singing, dancing, performing on stage, learning lines, and building confidence and, ultimately, resulted in a magical performance that attracted 600 community members.
Outside of school and the Chickasaw community, I have also served as team mom at Westside Baseball Park in Mobile since 2016 and have been an active volunteer in my church’s children and youth ministries. Community involvement also includes assisting my two children and the organizations in which they are involved, such as travel baseball and cross country, and local nonprofit organizations and activities. It is important to my husband and me that we participate as a family in supporting our kids at each sporting event and in each of their community involvement interests.
What is your vision or hope for women in the Mobile and Gulf Coast communities?
My vision is for women to find ways to encourage, support, and mentor one another in positive ways. Together we are stronger than working and living in isolation. My hopeis for women to find a balance that includes mental, emotional, and physical health. A quote that resonates with me is, “Don’t let the praise go to your head, and don’t let the criticism go to your heart.” (Rigel J. Dawson)
Are there any specific policies and/or laws you would like to see changed to advance women?
Efforts could be made for an open dialogue regarding maternity leave for state employees. Thankfully, state employee benefits are rich in regards to insurance, retirement, and the ability to receive sick days from co-workers; however, if an educator or educational staff member delivers during the school year, she is subject to use sick days, have prorated pay, or loss of pay due to not having enough accrued sick days. Currently, federal and corporate employees are offered maternity plans that provide pay while on leave.
Another policy that interests me is equal pay for equal work. There can be disproportionality in salaries between women and men for the same position and/or same line of work.
Was there a moment for you that was a game changer and can you tell us about it?
God sometimes closes doors or allows us not to achieve what we perceive as important at the time in order to open doors later that meet His will for our lives. I am grateful for the times I have been told “no” and not received positions sought after, as it has led me to be right where I am to hopefully make a positive impact in the lives of others.
How important has education and/or continuing education been to you?
Without obtaining a Master’s, I would not be able to hold my current position. Continuing my formal education has been imperative to meet my life goals; however, a multitude of career paths are available that do not require an advanced degree and provide for a successful career. One can achieve success by making a difference and by serving others with or without a college degree.
“Every day is unique, and every day provides the opportunity to improve the life of someone else.”
Do you have a mentor? Who are they and how have they helped you?
Yes, Jodie McPherson who is the Federal Programs Director at Chickasaw City Schools. Mrs. McPherson provides motivation and emotional support both personally and professionally. She is a sounding board who always provides advice that keeps me focused on the goals of our institution and sets a high standard for me to strive to achieve.
You seem to really love what you do, tell us why:
Being a principal is multi-faceted. It is important to possess leadership skills and hold high expectations, yet be approachable and realistic. There are no boring days in education. Every day is unique, and every day provides the opportunity to improve the life of someone else.
How do you take care of yourself everyday so that you stay balanced and centered?
Spending quality time with family on the weekends, and doing things that require a different skillset than day-to-day responsibilities such as cooking, baking, gardening, crafting, being outdoors.
What’s the hardest part about being a working mom/wife/single mom?
Due to having working parents, our children are self-reliant and willing to roll up their sleeves to help with family responsibilities and community events. As a family we focus on completing the tasks and challenges of each day as a team. Balancing time and attention for children and a spouse at the end of the workday is exceptionally difficult. This is all the more reason for women to support one another whenever possible. If it were not for the help of a strong support system of family and friends, I, like most women, would not be able to juggle all that is associated with being a working mom.