2020 Park Hill Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee: Christie Pearl Nesbitt

– When people think of Christie Pearl Nesbitt, they think of how committed she is to her work and her community. Christie spent her early years
at Union Chapel Elementary, where her mom, Marilyn,
worked in the front office. Throughout school, she
was a serious scholar and an officer for
National Honor Society. She also served on her
class Executive Council, participated in Thespians and had roles in seven
theater productions. Following graduation, Christie attended what is now Missouri State University on full-ride academic scholarships. She was elected to several
National Honor Societies and heavily involved in her sorority. But it was an elective
course, Sign Language, that would prove to
have the most interest. Christie graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Communication
Sciences and Disorders, with an emphasis in Deaf Education. She then attended graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin, receiving a Master’s in Deafness Studies and received Graduate Student of the Year for the Deafness Studies program. In 1996, Christie moved
back to Kansas City and taught elementary and middle school deaf education in the Blue
Springs School District for 10 years, before transferring to
her current position as the process coordinator
and educational consultant for the Regional Multi-District Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Program. She works with 29 metro school districts on how to best serve their students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. And she coordinates a
fall and spring workshop every year for these K-12 students to support their needs. She also served on a statewide committee through the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education on literacy and deaf education. And she’s had an article
published in a national journal on promoting deaf
awareness and deaf culture in a public school setting. Along with her professional involvement, Christie has an impressive list of community contributions. She’s tutored families with deaf children through the Whole Family Project, volunteered to help provide
direct communications for students at summer camps, served as a board member
and volunteer coordinator on Chiefs Hall of Famer Will Shields’ Will to Succeed Foundation, served as a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City, and volunteered weekly several summers at Operation Breakthrough. In 2007, Christie’s mom, Marilyn, was battling breast cancer. While Christie had participated in the Susan B. Komen Race
for the Cure previously, when her mom had breast cancer she was inspired to recruit
and organize a team. That initial year, Team
Marilyn won two awards, Top Rookie Team and Top Community Team. Christie organized a
team yearly after that. In 2017, Christie herself was
diagnosed with breast cancer. In the following year, she earned a place on the Pink Honor Roll
for Komen Kansas City for her fundraising efforts. Christie is also very
involved in her church, Second Presbyterian in Brookside,
where she’s volunteered in the children and youth programming as well as helps with
community service projects. She particularly likes their annual Be the Church Sunday, when she and her family
always served together at Amethyst Place. Christie has been married to
her husband, John, for 17 years, and together with their
daughter, Caroline, and son, Tommy, they love to travel and experience different countries and cultures. She and John are actively involved in all aspects of their kids’ lives and teaching them to become good citizens. – I have to be honest, I’ve
felt a range of emotions since being notified that I
was selected for this honor. First, I felt gratitude
to one of my favorite high school teachers, Mrs. Judy Seifert, for nominating me. I know that she knows a
great many Park Hill alumni, and I was truly honored that she thought enough of me to nominate me. Next, and this feeling
went on for a while, I felt extremely humbled and almost embarrassed by this compliment. I began thinking of a long list of people, just in my own graduating class, just off the top of my head, who I thought probably deserved
this honor before I did. But finally, with some
thought and reflection, I realized that the fact that I know so many Park Hill graduates who are doing great things speaks volumes of the
Park Hill School District, and I was able to settle
on a sense of appreciation for the opportunity to accept this honor on my own behalf and the behalf
of so many other alumni who are making a positive
difference in the world, every single day. (children chattering)

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