The people in Thomas Christie’s life had an impact on him, and he in turn has had an impact on what was his accidental but eventually chosen hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Born in South Carolina, Christie’s mother died when he was just two-weeks old, leaving his father with five children to care for on his meager share cropper income. After living with a variety of family members, at the age of 12, Christie left Pennsylvana and came to Lincoln to live with his older sister and her husband who was serving in the Air Force based at the Lincoln Air Base.
The people of Lincoln have a sense of caring. It makes our city a great place to live.
That move put Christie in touch with a number of people of all races and backgrounds and those people helped him complete high school and college. And they helped put him on a career track that would have a wide impact in Lincoln and beyond.
Following a short time as administrator of Lincoln’s Malone Community Center, Christie spent the bulk of his career with Lincoln Public Schools, first as a teacher, then building administrator and ultimately as system-wide administrator of the Lincoln Public Schools multicultural initiative.
In addition to his sister and her husband, a number of people helped Christie after his arrival in Lincoln. The list, which he details in this interview, includes policemen, City Council members, teachers and school administrators.
I had people who supported and believed in me and that made all the difference.
Christie retired from Lincoln Public Schools in the summer of 2018, but he’s left a legacy that will have an impact on our community for many years to come.
Lending a helping hand
Pete Peterson, Lincoln’s first African American policeman and City Councilman, took me under his wing. Eventually I was given a formal foster care arrangement with the Peterson’s. I still consider them as my other family.
What Makes Lincoln Special
Quality jobs. Quality relationships. These things help make Lincoln a high-tech community in the middle of America.
Leadership Lincoln and Project ALL have done a lot to encourage cross-cultural relationships.