Alumni Spotlight: Christen (Radebach) VanNewkirk

Graduated 2001

Christen (Radebach) VanNewkirk

What's your name and when did you graduate?

My married name is Christen VanNewkirk. My maiden name is Radebach and I graduated in 2001.

What are you doing these days?

I'm actually teaching math at Lansing Catholic now! I am now in my 14th year of teaching and what an incredible journey it has been! My husband and I moved to North Carolina in 2007 to build our careers and after spending 12 years singing praises to the beautiful weather, breath-taking beaches and forming life-long friendships, there's still no place like home. So last summer, we brought our two North Carolinian boys (Jayden, 11 and Mason, 9) back to our old stomping ground and we could not be happier!

What is your fondest memory of your time here as a student?

There are so many great memories surrounding Lansing Catholic that it's difficult to select just a few. From dissections in Mrs. Lawrence's Biology class, to meditating in the old Chapel with Mr. Dull's Theology class, every day seemed to be filled with incredible experiences. From the moment I walked in to LCHS as a freshman, to the day I crossed the stage as a senior, I will never forget the sense of community that surrounds Lansing Catholic. To this day, that connectedness is ever prevalent and it is what has brought me back, not as a student, but as a member of the team!

What activities were you involved in as a student?

Spanish Club

What staff person/teacher inspired you, and how?

Again, this is a difficult question, because every one of my teachers helped to form me into the person that I am today! Obviously math is one of my favorite subjects, but it takes a certain kind of teacher to open your eyes to other passions. Mrs. Lawrence's Biology class ignited a flame and a sense of curiosity that actually gave me the idea to minor in Biology.

How did your time and experiences here at Lansing Catholic prepare you for your life or work? 

An education that is grounded in faith is something that carries us far beyond the four years of high school. Lansing Catholic helps to instill a sense of pride in who I am and what I stand for. The culture supports students to become hard-working, driven individuals who trust God's plan to guide them through life.

What made Lansing Catholic unique among high schools while you attended?

Lansing Catholic holds students to high spiritual, social and intellectual standards. Service projects, school-wide masses and a welcoming community are all aspects of LCHS that are not a part of all school cultures so I feel blessed that my parents chose for these to be a part of my high school experience.

How do you see God at work at Lansing Catholic today?

Take a quick walk around LCHS today and it doesn't take long to see God working in our school! Teachers that pray with their students before each class period, weekly Masses (even through these trying times), services hours that ignite us to do God's work and the House system that allows us to connect with each other in a deeper level are all ways that God has called the entire LCHS community to be closer to Him. I am humbled at the level of commitment that our staff has to serve Christ and to help our younger community do the same.

Editor's Note: Christen is one of two National Board Certified Teachers that we currently have on staff at Lansing Catholic.


To see other Alumni Spotlight's, click on the tag listed below.