James Borrego ’96

James Borrego '96
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James Borrego is currently an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Megan, who also attended Albuquerque Academy, and his children Grace, Zachary, and Nicholas.

James graduated from Albuquerque Academy in 1996. During his time at Albuquerque Academy, he led the Chargers basketball team to two state championships. James attended University of San Diego and earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in leadership studies. He played three seasons on the University of San Diego’s basketball team and was named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team his senior year.

James started off his basketball coaching career assistant coaching his alma mater, University of San Diego, for 2 years from 2001 to 2003. During his time there, University of San Diego won the Western Conference Championship and went to the NCAA tournament in the 2002-2003 season.

James made his NBA debut in 2003 as an assistant video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs, and was promoted to assistant coach shortly after. He spent seven seasons with the Spurs and was a part of two championship teams in 2005 and 2007.

In 2010, James left San Antonio and took a position as assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets until 2012. He then joined on with the Orlando Magic as the lead assistant. After head coach Jacque Vaughn was fired, James took over as head coach and made his NBA coaching debut against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the head coach for the remainder of the season.

James returned to the San Antonio Spurs in June of 2015 as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich.

Denise Baker ’77

Denise Baker '77
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Our goal is to be the leading provider of world-class craft beers in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Who would have thought that running into a fellow Academy alum on a family vacation in Europe would eventually lead to joining the craft brew scene in Albuquerque? For Denise Baker ’77 and her husband Randy, it was an unexpected encounter in the tasting room at the Guinness Brewery in Ireland in 2004 that got the creative juices flowing.

“I saw a man wearing an Isotopes hat, before I had the chance to ask him where he was from, his wife came over and asked us where we were from because we looked familiar,” says Denise about the initial meeting. “Turned out, they weren’t only from Albuquerque, but he was also an Academy alum.”

The man was David Giblin, Class of ’78. “When we returned home from our trip, we spent some time with the Giblins. David and Randy both enjoyed quality beer and eventually they became very interested in the art of brewing.” Ten years later, Randy’s passion grew into opening a brewery while David’s passion stayed in home brewing, winning awards for his brews in the State Fair.

Four months ago, Denise and Randy officially opened the doors to Rio Bravo Brewing Company in Downtown Albuquerque. The 14,000 square foot brewery is located just south of I-40 on 2nd Street in the old Firestone Building.

“We did it right,” she says, “We invested in the highest quality equipment and hired the best people we could find.” And they did just that, building a state-of-the-art brewing facility and hiring a head brewer and operations manager who have produced beers that are already being poured in restaurants and bars across the state. “Our goal is to be the leading provider of world-class craft beers in the southwestern United States and Mexico.”

This isn’t their first major business venture. Denise and Randy are also the brains behind D.R.B. Electric Company. Since 1986, D.R.B. has provided electrical contracting, maintenance, and voice and data services to clients in New Mexico and Arizona.

Both D.R.B. Electric and Rio Bravo Brewing Company allow Denise and Randy to continue a family tradition of service to the local community. “Along with serving on various nonprofit boards, we also host events at the brewery, donating free event space and proceeds from the pints to nonprofit organizations in our community,” Denise says. The team at Rio Bravo is currently creating a specialty brew for the 2016 Skip Porter Memorial Golf Tournament. The name of the beer? The Skip Porter Porter.

To learn more, visit the Rio Bravo Brewing Company website by clicking here.

Galen Detrik-Hartenberger ‘03

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“I want to show that it is possible to do music responsibly.”

For as long as he can remember, music and helping others has been part of Galen Detrik-Hartenberger’s life.

Growing up in Albuquerque with four siblings, Galen says he learned the meaning of generosity from his parents. “They sacrificed everything for their kids,” he says. “They poured so much into us.” When you grow up in that kind of environment, he says, you can’t help but appreciate the value of helping others.

His parents also taught him the value of great, and meaningful, music. Galen grew up listening to Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Motown artists. He started playing guitar in the 9th grade at Albuquerque Academy and participated in the Classical Guitar program. Galen says former faculty member John Truitt has been one of the most influential people in his life.

But, when it came time to go to college, Galen decided to follow a practical career path, enrolling in the Civil Engineering program at New Mexico Tech, rather than pursuing music. After the first year, Galen transferred to the Biology program, earning a bachelor’s degree in 2007. But, music was still very much a part of his life.

After college, he took a couple of years off to travel, spending time in Israel, Greece, and the United Kingdom. When he returned home, with the help of an old friend, he stumbled into a job as a dental assistant and within days, decided to attend dental school.

While at the University of Colorado in Denver, Galen had the opportunity to join fellow students and faculty on a dental mission trip to Guatemala in 2011. “It was the most formative trip I have ever taken,” he says. “It showed me a side of dentistry that you don’t typically see,” he says, adding that the experience made him realize the importance of this kind of work.

The trip also had an unexpected effect, says Galen. “After that trip, I had the biggest songwriting streak of my life,” he says. “That experience changed the fabric of my existence.”

Galen became a cosmetic dentist, and about a year ago, he and his wife Davina (a classmate at the University of Colorado) attended a dental conference in Florida. It was at this conference that Galen met Adam Braun, the founder of Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds quality schools and provides sustainable educational programs in places where they are needed most.

PoP describes itself as a “for-purpose” rather than a non-profit, and it’s this purposeful mission that got Galen’s attention. He was inspired by Braun and his work, and with the help of Davina, Galen found a way to combine his love of music and his desire to help others.

In early 2014, Galen launched Ventriloquus, a visionary movement with the sole purpose of welding music and philanthropy together as the new industry paradigm. Ventriloquus released its first track, The Architect, online this week.

Galen decided to use a choose-what-you-pay model (with a minimum of $1.49 for the song and music video), bypassing the traditional music industry/iTunes route. Ventriloquus will donate the first $25,000 raised in full to PoP to fund the construction of a school, and 50 percent of the proceeds thereafter. “This enables us to give far more to the right causes and have transparency about where the money actually goes,” he says.

“The idea,” he says, “is to release a new song and music video every four months following the same rubric, partnering with game-changing charities and forward-thinkers.”

There is a catch though. Each new release will only be available for 40 days. This, he hopes, will encourage people to download the music – and help build a school – now!

For Galen, Ventriloquus represents the intersection of two very important aspects of his life. “It’s about music from the heart – not just about entertainment,” he says. “I want to show that it is possible to do music responsibly.”

Learn more about Galen’s project and download his music here.


Denali Schmidt ‘11

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I have found my purpose as a filmmaker and as a person.

When Denali Schmidt ’11 decided to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, it wasn’t a big surprise. She was very involved in visual arts at Albuquerque Academy – and her grandfather had attended RISD (Class of 1949) – so the college seemed like a good fit.

After spending her freshman year taking classes in everything from drawing and design to spatial dynamics, Denali declared a major in textiles. But, she says, there was another art form that kept pulling at her.

“I am not sure what part of filmmaking interested me most,” says Denali. But, she listened to that inner voice, changing her focus to filmmaking, and began working on stop-motion animation.

Denali says her first experiences in filmmaking and animation happened at the Academy. “My 6th grade history project was probably my first exposure to video-making,” she says, referring to an animated Powerpoint presentation she made in Mr. Baklini’s class.

She continued to dabble in similar projects throughout her time at the Academy – making videos in Spanish and science and creating the video for the homecoming dance in her senior year. “I had iMovie on my laptop and I just learned how to edit and add music on my own. I really liked it!”

Denali says that when she reflects on these experiences, she realizes each of these projects were, in fact, little documentaries – they were all different approaches to telling a story. And, she says, it is that storytelling aspect of filmmaking that she finds so appealing.

So, when Denali started seriously thinking about her final project – at RISD the senior year is dedicated to one single project – she began considering the possibility of making a documentary, rather than an animated film.

Then, when a friend from school who was working with the Department of Corrections in Rhode Island told Denali about a woman named Joyce Haskett – a woman convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison who had devoted her life to helping the children of incarcerated parents – Denali knew she had found a story to tell.

Now midway through her senior year, Denali has spent the past five months developing the concept for her film. Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated is a short film about Joyce’s work, taking a close look at what happens to children – from an emotional perspective – when their mothers or fathers are incarcerated. The film focuses on three children whose fathers are in prison in Rhode Island. (Click here to watch the trailer.)

Denali, who now uses her mom’s last name of Tiller as a professional name, has spent several months developing the story, building relationships with the children and their families, and figuring out logistics. Now, she’s busy filming, but she needs some help. In order to finish the film, and in hopes of using the short film as launching point for a full-length documentary, Denali has started a Kickstarter campaign, hoping the crowdsourcing website can help her raise awareness and the funds she needs to produce the film.

As her final project at RISD, the film will debut at the RISD Senior Show on May 9. Denali says students are also encouraged to show their work beyond this venue, so she is considering entering some film festivals.

Once this project is complete, Denali is hoping to be in a position to take this project to the next level. With the success of this short film, she hopes to be able to spend more time with the children and their families featured in the film, and the program itself, in order to make a feature film surrounding these issues.

As Denali continues down her chosen career path, one thing is clear: She was wise to listen to that little voice that led her to a life of documentary filmmaking. “I have found my purpose as a filmmaker and as a person,” she says. “This is very exciting work.”

If you are interested in this project or Denali’s work as a filmmaker, you can show your support by donating to her Kickstarter campaign.

Kristine Hain ‘85 Rollinson

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Kristine is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in Houston, Texas. She and her husband maintain a license to provide foster care and sometimes have one or two foster children living with them.

Kristine graduated from Albuquerque Academy in 1985. A National Merit Scholar, a Presidential Scholar, and later a Truman Scholar, she graduated magna cum laude from Rice University in 1989 with a degree in economics and managerial studies. During college, she volunteered with the Rape Crisis Center and counseled at the Juvenile Detention Center in Houston. After graduation, she and her husband volunteered for four months in Venezuela, caring for abandoned children.

Kristine graduated from Stanford Law School, and her legal education included a semester interning with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica. In 1993, she started work as an associate with a private law firm, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, in Houston. She was able to arrange her employment to work part-time hourly for a few years while her two daughters were young.

In 2007, Kristine left Fulbright & Jaworski to clerk for the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2008, Kristine joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she specializes in criminal forfeiture law and works to return forfeited assets to fraud victims.

Tomas Atencio-Pacheco ‘99

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After graduating from Albuquerque Academy in 1999, Tomas attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. During his summers, Tomas would return home and work as an AmeriCorps volunteer in local after-school programs. After completing his undergraduate studies, Tomas continued with AmeriCorps while working on a master’s degree in education at the University of New Mexico. During this time, he also served as a graduate assistant for the office of Community Learning and Public Service at UNM.

In 2004, Tomas embarked on his first teaching job at his neighborhood school, Washington Middle School, one of the lower performing schools in New Mexico. Tomas taught sixth grade earth science. While there, he pursued a master’s degree in public health in hopes of fulfilling his dream of starting a health care-based charter school. Tomas earned his master’s degree in public health in 2009. After four years of teaching at Washington Middle School, Tomas transferred Amy Biehl High School, a charter school in downtown Albuquerque, where he taught biology, chemistry, and physical science.

While at Amy Biehl High School, Tomas married Milagro Tognoni, a teacher at Washington Middle School and started a family of his own, continuing to look for opportunities related to his health care-based charter school dream. He soon connected with an organization that was starting a health care-focused charter school in Albuquerque. Working closely with the founders and the future principal of the school, Tomas participated in its design and started teaching at Health Leadership High School in 2013. Tomas currently teaches social studies, language arts, health, science, and Spanish.


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I am excited to come back to Albuquerque (the mountains and the green chile), but also to invest in a community that has given so much to me.

Katie Ogawa ’10 graduated from the Academy, she chose to study biology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas because the school reminded her of the Academy. “I loved the small class sizes, the brilliant and compassionate faculty, and everyone I met when I visited,” she says.

After four years at Trinity, Katie is extremely thankful for all that she has learned outside of the classroom. “Trinity is a place where learning is not confined to a desk and chalkboard, but learning also occurs through leadership or service opportunities.” During her years at the Academy and at Trinity, Katie has fully embraced both of these. Read more


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Beau Hilland was an Academy 8th grader on September 11, 2001. The events of that day had a tremendous impact on Beau, and he decided that after high school, he would enlist in the military.

“It was my sister who ultimately convinced me to apply to college,” he recalls. But, it was Academy College Guidance Counselor Donna White who told the then-junior how he could achieve both of these goals, simultaneously. “Ms. White presented an option to attend college and serve in the military at her alma mater, West Point,” he says.

Less than three weeks after graduating from Albuquerque Academy, Beau began basic training at the United States Military Academy, West Point. In 2010, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Beau’s first assignment was as a platoon leader of a 25-soldier mechanized, combat engineer platoon out of Fort Carson, CO when he deployed with them in 2011 to Iraq. After returning to Fort Carson from Iraq 12 months later, Beau deployed to Afghanistan for nine months where he served as the executive officer of the same 103-soldier company. Beau’s been back in the US since November, 2013, attending Engineer Captain’s School during the day and working on a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Missouri in the evening. Beau has several options following graduate school but will focus on preparing to lead his own company.

Beau says he recently did a Google search for “great American novels” and the search returned a list of novels he had already been introduced to at the Academy. “I immediately thought about the lessons and comments from various teachers at the Academy,” he recalls. “I realized, that consistent with the school’s mission statement, they had been preparing me all along to serve country and community with wisdom, conviction, and compassion. The Academy never formally explained how to meet the intent of their mission statement through any specific profession I chose, or even what that profession should be. They simply allowed me to explore my natural passions.”

Laura Wolfe ’05

Laura Wolfe photo
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By the time I actually went to the doctor, I was in pretty bad shape

When Laura Wolfe ’05 graduated from Albuquerque Academy, she had big plans. She attended Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance. She expected to land a job in a financial district in Texas, but things don’t always work out the way we plan.

With the shape of the financial industry in 2009, Laura wasn’t able to find a job in finance. Instead, she ended up returning to Albuquerque and accepting a position as an accountant at a radiology center. But, after four years there, Laura’s plans changed again. Read more

Monica Berry ’94

Monica Berry Headshots ©Jerry McClure-0068
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Monica Berry ’94 has been an attorney since 2001. After leaving Albuquerque Academy, she earned a degree in English and Spanish from University of Michigan, and then attended law school at University of Wisconsin.

After completing school, Monica served as a staff attorney for the District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. She then moved to Dallas where she clerked for the chief judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and then went on to a law firm where she practiced bankruptcy and real estate law for about six years. Monica later moved to corporate law, serving as in-house counsel for Hostess Brands before settling at her current position at NTR Metals, one of the world’s largest precious metals companies, in Dallas.

While she enjoys her career as a lawyer, Monica has a secret passion: she loves to write. She was a writer at the Academy, working on student publications including the Advocate. “I always enjoyed writing, but I really started to blossom in Ms. Ireland’s class,” says Monica. “I also enjoyed writing stories for Mr. Barney and always appreciated the time and feedback Mr. Dunbar gave me when I found him in his office to talk about writing.”

So, in 2008, shortly after her father died, Monica decided to start writing again. “I took a creative writing course at Southern Methodist University,” she says. That class, which focused on fiction, helped her figure out that what she really wanted to do was to write about her family.

“My father was Hindu and my mother was Jewish. They met at grad school,” she explains. Monica’s mother was diagnosed with leukemia when she was seven years old and her sister Sheila ’97 was four years old. Their mother died three years later.

“My dad promised my mom that he would raise us Jewish,” says Monica. A Hindu father, raising two young Jewish girls, has given Monica a great deal of memories, as well as some wonderful material for writing.

Monica has been writing steadily since 2008. From 2010 to 2011, she wrote Love Convection, a weekly column for the Dallas Observer, a food blog, and a daily blog called 365 Days of 35 chronicling her days as a 35-year old.

She’s also earned prizes in various writing contests, including the 2010 Houston Writers Guild Fall Writers Contest; the 2011 Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest; and the 2013 San Antonio Writers’ Guild Annual contest. Monica was a finalist in the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference’s 2012 Book Manuscript Workshop and the Texas Bar Journal’s 2010 Short Story Fiction Writing Contest.

It was through the Houston Writer’s Guild that Monica discovered Listen to Your Mother, a touring production that features live readings by local writers on motherhood, in celebration of Mother’s Day.

“I decided to submit a piece to Listen to Your Mother in honor of my paternal grandmother,” says Monica. Her grandmother, who lives in Delhi, India traveled to New Mexico to help the family when Monica’s mother was sick.

Monica’s tribute to her grandmother was selected for the Beaumont, Texas LTYM event. You can see Monica read her story here.

Monica says that participating in the LTYM event was an amazing experience. “When you hear people telling their stories aloud – it creates community,” she says. “You don’t realize how many people are touched by your story until you do it live. It’s a really powerful program.”
Monica continues to work as a lawyer and a writer. She is currently writing a humorous memoir about her childhood.

Evan Liu ’13

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Evan Liu ’13 was born on the East Coast, and although he moved to New Mexico when he was only four years old, he says he always figured he’d go back East for college. That was before he learned more about Stanford University.

“I actually applied to 16 east coast colleges and only two west coast schools,” he says. “I wasn’t sure if I would get into Stanford,” he says, modestly. But, when he did, he seized the opportunity.

“Stanford has a really strong mathematics program and a fantastic Computer Science program,” he says. And, its proximity to California’s Silicon Valley creates even more opportunities for young people interested in these fields.

Down the road, Evan is hoping to take advantage of Stanford’s Co-term program, which allows juniors to take courses towards their undergraduate and graduate degree concurrently. He is majoring in mathematics, but is considering adding Computer Science for a double major .

Evan has always been interested in mathematics, but after some exposure to computer science in his freshman year at Stanford, he’s thinking that it might be a better career fit for him. “I’d like to continue to use the analytical mindset and beauty of mathematics in a more applied setting.”

As he reflects on his first year of college, Evan says it was a pleasant surprise to see just how well the Academy had prepared him for college. Being at a big school like Stanford, he misses the small classes and close relationships with teachers at the Academy. But, he believes, those will develop in time. In the meantime, he says he’ll continue to come back to campus and visit his former Academy teachers.

Livia King ’00 Blackburne

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As an Academy sophomore in 1998, Livia King ’00 Blackburne was certain of one thing: she did not want to participate in the 10th grade mandatory camping trip. “I had already gone on the 7th and 9th grade trips and that was enough for me!” she says. “I am just not a camper.”

So, Livia took advantage of a little-known policy that would allow her to skip the trip if she submitted an acceptable proposal for an alternative project. Livia proposed that she would write a novel instead of camping, and her proposal was accepted.

During her sophomore year, Livia wrote about 40 pages of the novel, then set it aside. Two years later, she decided to revisit the novel as her Senior Project.

“The story was about a girl thief named Llana who discovers she’s a wizard,” explains Livia. By the end of her senior year, she submitted nearly 80 pages of the book to her Senior Project adviser, Stuart Lipkowitz.

“Stuart read the story and gave me some really valuable advice,” she recalls. “He told me that only one character – Kyra, Llana’s best friend – had a very distinctive personality,” she says.

But, after graduating from the Academy, Livia didn’t do much writing for pleasure. She attended undergraduate school at Harvard and then moved on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience, conducting research on the neural correlates of reading.

Not only did Livia not have a lot of time for leisure writing, she says, she didn’t have much time to read for pleasure either. However, while in grad school, Livia found herself drawn to the display for theTwilight series while waiting for a bus at the Harvard bookstore. “I read the series and I found it really addictive,” she admits. “They reminded me of how much I loved reading.”

They also inspired her to pull out her old novel. She decided to take Stuart’s observation to heart, building an entire novel, Midnight Thief, around the character of Kyra. Livia finished the book while simultaneously earning her PhD.  In fact, she sold the book to Hyperion before she finished school. Midnight Thief was published in July.

While waiting for Midnight Thief to be published, Livia wrote a prequel novella, Poison Dance, the electronic version of which is currently available for free on all ebook formats. She is working on the second book in the duology (which is due out in July 2015) and is planning an additional prequel as well.

Livia lives in Southern California with her husband Jeff, a scientist that she met at MIT. While she is currently focused on her career as a young adult fantasy novelist, Livia continues to dabble in neuroscience. Check out her blog on the intersection of writing and brain science.

Gianni Esparza ’09

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What appealed to me the most was the negotiating

Back when he was a student at Albuquerque Academy, Gianni Esparza ’09 says he had never heard of a career as a landman. But, five years later, he’s well on his way to a long and successful career with ConocoPhillips Company.

In Gianni’s defense, a lot of people have never heard of a landman. According to Gianni, the job involves working with oil industry geologists and engineers to identify, acquire, develop, and divest mineral rights throughout the various phases of an oil field’s life. Read more

Mira Jacob ’91

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With writing, there’s no guidebook on how to do it and no guaranteed success.

Mira Jacob ’91 has always liked writing, but it wasn’t until she studied at the Academy with some amazing teachers – including Miriam McCluney, John Gray and David Dunbar – that she realized she wanted to be a writer.
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Jessica Lowe ’03

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I got to travel all over the country to compete in national tournaments and made life-long friends.

After graduating from Northwestern University with a major in Communication Studies and Psychology, Jessica Lowe ’03 did what most recent magna cum laude graduates do: She joined a live sketch and improvisation comedy company and moved to Amsterdam.
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Steve Westman ’80

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I love New Mexico. I have deep family roots here.

Technically, Steve Westman ’80 isn’t a New Mexico native. He was born in Long Beach, California. But, his mom always said that since she moved him back to New Mexico before he was six-months old, he is still a native as far as she is concerned.
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Jenny Ramo ’88

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These houses are absolutely amazing. You have to see them!

For Jenny Ramo ’88, community service has been an important part of life since her days at Albuquerque Academy.

“I was deeply involved with the community service club at the Academy,” says Jenny. “I remember having the opportunity to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House while I was a student and it was a wonderful experience.”
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Amina Akhil ’04

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After seeing it, I knew I had to take action.

Last year, when Amina Akhil ’04 attended a screening of “Girl Rising” in Albuquerque, she had no idea the film would change her life. Now, as she prepares for the adventure of a lifetime, she says the film has been a tremendous inspiration for her. Read more

Alex Flores ’04

Alex Flores
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My view of public policy is that it is created at the intersection of the law and politics.

When Alex Flores ’04 came to the Academy as a 9th grader, he had no idea what an impact the school would have on his life. He knew he was in for a great education and opportunities he may not have had otherwise, but he didn’t realize the long-term benefits he would enjoy, including a future wife. Read more

Ava Dellaira ’02

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“He suggested I write a novel,” she says. “The idea had never really occurred to me. But, that night on my drive home, the title popped into my head and I started writing the book that night.”

Ten years after graduating from the Academy, Ava Dellaira ’02 already had her first Hollywood hit as a producer on the film “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” In April, Ava will add author to her list of accomplishments when her first novel, “Love Letters to the Dead,” is published.
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Marcella Alvarez ’08

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Speech and debate taught me how to think quickly on my feet, but also how to prepare for pointed criticisms.

After graduating from Albuquerque Academy in 2008, Marcella Alvarez attended Colorado College, pursuing a double major in Russian language and comparative literature. At the time, Marcella was expecting a career in immigration law.

But, a chance meeting in 2012 with two Eastern European activists, changed everything.
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Sean Murphy ‘81

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I love it because I think that young people have a real struggle to define their place in the world and have a sense of meaning.

Sean Murphy ’81 believes that helping students realize their potential with excellence is an important goal of education. It is essential, says Sean, to nurture both kinds of excellence, that of the heart as well as that of the mind. He says educators need to discuss that ethic often with students and give them opportunities to practice it. “There are many smart people running around in the world, but not all of them are making a positive difference,” he said. “We need more compassion.”
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Jorge Silva-Bañuelos ‘99

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My life has come full circle, all the way back to my Academy days. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

When Jorge Silva-Bañuelos started at Albuquerque Academy in 1992, he had no idea what an impact the experience would have on his life. Now that he’s been out in the world for a while, he’s well aware of how the Academy has helped shape his future.
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Elise Eberle ‘11

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Working on ‘Tiger Eyes’ was such an amazing experience.

Early on, Elise Eberle knew she wanted to act. In fact, her career started to take off right about the same time she came to Albuquerque Academy. As a 6th grader, Elise signed on with a local talent agent, and within a year, had her first part in a Hollywood production, “The Astronaut Farmer,” starring Billy Bob Thornton.
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Christine Archibeck ’94 Lenhart

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I hope to have a positive impact on a state that is in the midst of an educational crisis.

Christine Lenhart ’94 comes from a long line of teachers. Three of her grandparents, multiple cousins, and her mother were all educators in New Mexico. Watching their challenges led Christine to seek other paths for her career initially, yet her passions kept reuniting her with the path of education. Today, Christine has been involved in education for more than 15 years.
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