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.

Christine earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Notre Dame and was planning a career in business when she signed up for a two-year stint as a volunteer with AmeriCorps. While volunteering, Christine also earned a master’s degree in education from University of Notre Dame.
Volunteering, she says, is important to her; something that was instilled in her at the Academy and never went away.

Christine wound up teaching math and science in McAllen, TX through AmeriCorps’ Alliance for Catholic Education program. There, she met her future husband, Tony, who was volunteering with Teach for America, another AmeriCorps program.

After Christine and Tony completed their volunteer commitments, they were married. Tony began his career in technology sales and Christine worked in finance. Tony’s job took them to a number of places, including Charlotte, NC, Denver, CO and San Jose, CA.

In Denver, Christine worked in banking, but it was short-lived. “I missed teaching,” she says. So, she changed gears and went back to school, earning a degree in school administration from the University of Colorado.

When Tony’s job moved them to Northern California, Christine taught grades 6-7 and then became an administrator at an at-risk middle school. She says she and Tony enjoyed California, but Christine’s home state beckoned her. “We were talking about starting a family,” she says. “I wanted to do that in New Mexico. It’s a great place to raise children.”

Once back in New Mexico, Christine and Tony adopted two children: Andrew, who is now five years old, and Kaitlin, who is three years old. Hoping to spend more time with her children than a traditional 9-5 job would allow, Christine started an educational consulting business, helping students set and reach various academic goals.

Christine is currently working on her doctorate in curriculum development at the University of New Mexico. She says, despite her early inclination to seek a career in other areas besides education, she knows she is in the right place. She has a deep commitment to education and to students in New Mexico.

“There’s such a great need here,” she says. “Education – true higher learning – not only benefits those students directly involved, but also the larger community. An effective education system has a positive impact on all students, as well as the overall economy.”

From her own experience at Albuquerque Academy, Christine knows first-hand the impact a good education and effective teachers can have on children. “I hope to have a positive impact on a state that is in the midst of an educational crisis,” she says.