Anthony was born March 24, 1971. He was the third of six children to Adolfo L. Cristo Jr. and Elizabeth Ann Cristo. His father worked two and at times three jobs to support the family, which allowed for their mother to raise them all at home.
His parents raised them in a strict Catholic household. They often prayed the rosary at night and went to church every weekend. He and his siblings served as altar servers for Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Anthony remained an altar server through high school. He even served as a lector / commentator for the parish from the time he was twelve.
Growing up in Kirby, Texas, he and his two older brothers played outside, fished, and played sports outdoors. In elementary school they were in 4-H where they showed hogs and chickens. In 6th grade, Anthony was identified as gifted and was placed in the Gifted and Talented program at Kirby Elementary School.
Junior High and High School
In Junior High Anthony was placed in Honors classes for all subjects. He also was a member of the Junior High band where he played drums and became 1st chair and section leader in 9th grade. Though he was also a gifted athlete, he only played football his 7th grade year. His main passion was for UIL competition. He competed in Number Sense, Poetry Reading and Acting. As a 9th grader, Anthony became only the second person in the history of the Judson School District to win 1st place as a Freshman in UIL competition for his Poetry Reading.
When he went to Judson, he remained in band an additional year but quit to focus on other interests. He was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta math club, Business Professionals of America, Science Club, and the Academic Decathlon Team. His senior year of high school he advanced to the state finals as a Computer Programming Specialist II. He also represented the Academic Decathlon team at their regional competition. He also occasionally competed in UIL where he placed 1st in Number Sense his senior year. Anthony graduated in 1989 under the Advanced with Honors program from Judson High School.
UTSA Years 1990 – 1992
Anthony took a year off from school to save up money for college. He enrolled at the University of Texas at San Antonio during the summer of 1990. Working full time and going to school full time was tough but he managed. He did become a duly initiated member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and served as an officer.
UTSA was fun and exciting but something in the back of his mind pulled him away from there to pursue a different calling.
In January of 1993, Anthony entered into the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He felt he had a calling to serve people as a Roman Catholic priest. After a year and a half of discernment, he finally went in to explore this calling.
As a seminarian he received an ecumenical education from the seminary and attended the College of Santa Fe where his classes concentrated on Philosophy, Religion, Communications, Spanish, and Writing Composition.
Since Anthony was no longer able to work due to his seminarian status, he focused his full attention to his studies. At the end of the semester, he made the President’s List for his superior academic performance. However, he realized that he was not meant to be a priest. Rather than use the church for a free education, he told his vocation director that he could not, in good conscience, continue as a seminarian.
The Passing of His Mother
After leaving the seminary in June of 1993, Anthony moved up to the Pacific Northwest. He lived in Seattle, Washington until the end of the year then moved back to Santa Fe. Being homesick for Texas, he moved back to Kirby to be close to his family in May of 1994.
In December of 1997 his mother was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer. For the next two years he watched as his loving mother deteriorated from the disease. On November 5, 1999 she succumbed to the disease and passed. His last words to her were:
“Everything I do from now on, I do in your name.”
A New Passion
The death of Anthony’s mother ignited a spark in him. In August of 2000 Anthony returned to college to finish the degree he begun ten years earlier but had been placed on hold since he left the seminary in 1993.
Anthony enrolled at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio where he majored in Communication Arts with a minor in Theatre. As a student there, he was involved in several theatrical productions and was selected by the Vice President of the University to host “University Forum” on Catholic Television of San Antonio.
He made the Dean’s List all four semesters he attended and his GPA (3.83) was high enough to be inducted into the Alpha Chi college honors society. Anthony graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts on August 10, 2002.
Post Graduation till 2007
After graduating college, Anthony devoted some time helping others with cancer by working as a Cancer Information Specialist for The American Cancer Society. He also began working for Pearson Education Assessment in February of 2004 scoring essays for state standardized tests.
In July of 2004, Anthony moved out to Hollywood to put his Communications degree to work in the motion picture and television field. He remained a remote scorer for Pearson while working as a production assistant for various motion picture and television shows.
Call of Duty
In the summer of 2007, Anthony felt another calling. This time, it was a call to duty in the military. Growing up in Kirby, he recalled how poorly all the soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated. It had now been six years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil and he felt he should do something to show support for our troops.
As a college graduate, Anthony was eligible to enter the service as a communications officer. However, he wanted to help the wounded so he voluntarily waived his right to be an officer and enlisted as a Navy Corpsman.
In September of 2007, he left for Boot Camp at the age of thirty six.
In November he graduated Boot Camp third in his class out of nearly 1,000 recruits and was recognized by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
Anthony went on to Corps School in Great Lakes, Illinois. Afterwards, he went to Field Medical Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton. He graduated FMTB with a brown belt in Marine Corps Martial Arts and Certification in Tactical Combat Casualty Care.
Though he was scheduled to deploy with 4th LAR in August 2009, his orders were canceled when his left knee failed the pre-deployment physical. Sadly, the Corpsman who volunteered to go in his place was killed in action January 2010 along with their Sergeant Major.
That summer and the summer of 2011, Anthony volunteered to do his AT (Annual Training) at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Rather than pick an easy task, he elected to serve in the Emergency Room. There he saw firsthand as wounded Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers trickled in from Afghanistan. Some were from the unit he was scheduled to deploy with.
He often did suicide watch on these men who just 72 hours earlier had their whole life changed by an IED or gunfire. This experience instilled an even deeper respect and appreciation for our military.
Anthony was let go early from his Navy Reserve contract in 2011. He wanted to remain and complete his obligation but the needs of the Navy deemed they no longer needed him.
In July of 2013 Anthony married the love of his life, Katie. Though they have moved from San Antonio to Colorado and back to Texas, Anthony still remained an active employee with Pearson Education Assessment. He is currently a Scoring Director for the company which enables him to learn, study and then teach the scoring rubrics and criteria for various state standardized writing tests. He even scores essays for the top college entrance exam administrators.
He and Katie have resided in Schertz, Texas since September 2016. Then moved to Cibolo, Texas in January 2018. They live together with their cat and their dog, Biscuit.