Last Thursday, the Commerce High School family of students, teachers and staff gathered in remembrance of Tina Christian, a much-beloved biology teacher who passed away Dec. 13.
One by one, during the service, three of Tina Ann Oliver Christian’s students – Kaysi Putman, Aubrey Clayton and Savannah Shaw – shared many fond memories of how much their former teacher gave of herself on a daily basis.
A common theme that ran through her students’ speeches was that Christian was a very good listener who took an active interest in their lives and enthusiastically celebrated their accomplishments.
Christian was also quoted by more than one of her students as often giving her farewells by saying, “Goodbye. See you soon. I love you.”
Both Christian’s students and her colleagues also fondly described her as a “spitfire,” because of how hard she would fight for her students’ best interests.
“If you change the lesson plan format one more time, I’m gonna kick your rear end,” CHS Principal Steve Drummond said as he quoted Christian before giving his reply, “Well, I don’t think your short little legs will reach that high,” to inject a bit of her spirit and sense of humor into the solemn assembly.
The service also included the Commerce High School Choir’s performance of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” and a reading of scripture by Rev. Kris Myers of the First Baptist Church of Commerce.
Christian, who was recognized as Commerce High School’s teacher of the year in 2015, is survived by her husband, RL Wright; son, Ryan Christian; sister, Deborah Hickman; brother, Steven Oliver; aunt, Billie; and numerous nephews and cousins.