Christy McCoy - Career Achievement Award 2018

      “It only takes one voice,

      at the right pitch,

      to start an avalanche.”

                        Dianna Hardy

For many school social workers across Minnesota, Christy McCoy was that voice. Christy’s commitment to the profession of school social work is undeniable. As Minnesota School Social Workers Association’s Legislative Chair and President, she traveled the State sharing her passion for social advocacy and empowering each one of us to make our voices heard about what matters for our students, their families, our communities and our profession. Christy’s voice inspires each of us by speaking so eloquently about what is happening in the world and what we can do to advocate and support those we serve. Her message makes school social workers believe “I can do it” and it becomes a call to action. Christy makes macro-level advocacy feel accessible and inspires others to assert an avalanche of voices.

Christy has worked in the St. Paul school system for 20 years. She currently is employed at AGAPE High School where she uses her voice to mentor, guide and empower pregnant and parenting teens to achieve their goals. “Her contribution in the areas of equity, trauma and restorative practices within the school setting has promoted a culture of collaborative healing for all of our students, especially those most disenfranchised.” wrote Lois Vosika-Weir, Administrator. Christy gives voice to her students by organizing leadership opportunities to speak and share their stories during Day at the Hill at the Capital. Heather Alden, President Midwest School Social Work Council wrote “She is a leader in her equity work with the staff and students demonstrating the need for all students’ voices to be heard and given the opportunity to be shared.” Christy’s passion for her students is clearly evident in the words shared in her nomination letters of support. Special Education teacher, Rebecca Andestic wrote in her nomination, “She puts her entire mind, body and soul into the work she does with students.” ...“She works relentlessly for the good of the students and it shows true by how much the rely on her and adore her.”

MSSWA has been fortunate to have Christy involved at a State level for 15 years where she has served as President, Legislative Chair and Secretary. Christy is a leader in the organization; never shying away from a challenge, difficult conversations or daunting task. Nominator, Molly Fox wrote, “Christy has always been a strong voice for MSSWA and is truly passionate about the roles she has taken on at a state and national level.” Her knowledge and passion about school social work is infectious and has provided her with opportunities beyond the boundaries of Minnesota as she is also the current Recognition Chairperson for the Midwest School Social Work council.

Christy’s voice has taken a national platform as she is now the Legislative Chair for School Social Work Association of America. Christy works tirelessly to make connections with legislators, news agencies, lobbying organizations, community agencies and build partnerships with groups who share the mission and vision of MSSWA’s legislative agenda. Her professionalism and the ease at which she speaks commands the attention of elected officials; who have now begun to consider MSSWA a viable resource as they are looking to understand the impact of legislative actions. The voices of Minnesota school social workers are being heard, the profession of school social work is recognized as making a difference, and MSSWA is grateful to the voices like Christy’s for initiating the landslide. Thank you Christy!

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