Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (Baltimore)
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|Cristo Rey Jesuit High School|
|420 South Chester Street
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore City), 21231-2729
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Rev. John W. Swope, SJ|
|Assistant Principal||Dawn Strickland|
|Color(s)||Black and Gold|
|Accreditation||Maryland State Board of Education|
|Affiliation||Cristo Rey Network|
|Corporate Internship Program Director||Janet Shock|
|Director of Development||Jessica Favret|
|Director of Admissions||Patricia Hill|
|Director of Communications||Mary Beth Lennon|
|Dean of Students||Derrick Lifsey|
|Athletic Director||Adam Noto|
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (CRJ) opened in August 2007 and graduated its first class in June 2011. It is part of the Cristo Rey Network of high schools, the original being Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago.
The collaboration of the Maryland Province Jesuits, who sponsor the school, and the Cristo Rey Network (CRN) formed the organizational backbone for the founding of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. The Maryland Jesuits bring proven leadership to the school, having advanced educational opportunities for the young people of Baltimore since 1852. Loyola Blakefield, Loyola University Maryland and St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a tuition-free middle school for young men from low-income homes, are among the schools the Maryland Jesuits have established in the city. A year-long feasibility study completed in July 2005 identified the need for more opportunities for low-income Baltimore high school students, and the Maryland Jesuits decided to launch CRJ.
The educational model for CRJ is based on a school the Jesuits founded in 1996 in the inner-city Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood in Chicago. Families wanted a better life for their children, and the Jesuits saw that education was the way out of poverty. Low-income children have few options for quality, affordable college preparatory education, and the problem of how to pay for this college prep education at first seemed insurmountable. The solution came through an innovative corporate internship program that gave students the opportunity to earn money toward the cost of their education.
That first school was so successful that groups in other cities inquired about starting such a school, and the CRN was formed to support the new schools. Headquartered in Chicago, CRN provides invaluable ongoing guidance as each school develops its academic, work-study and support programs. Affiliation with CRN allows CRJ to shorten the learning curve, adopt best practices from network schools and benchmark progress according to 10 mission effectiveness standards. Currently, 25 schools across the country are in the CRN. Several more are in the feasibility study phase.
CRJ opened in the fall of 2007. CRJ’s student body represents Baltimore’s racial, religious and ethnic diversity, with enrollment open to motivated students of all faiths. The school's first commencement took place on June 18, 2011 at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Seventy-eight young men and women are members of the first graduating class. All were accepted to college. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, delivered the commencement address. Mariah Gangersad'11 was class valedictorian; Jonathan George'11 was salutatorian.
Book about the Cristo Rey Model
In January 2008, Loyola Press released a book titled More than A Dream: How One School's Vision is Changing the World (More than a Dream official site). The book, authored by G.R. Kearney, a writer and former volunteer teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, documents the unlikely development of the Cristo Rey model and its remarkable success throughout the United States.
- Cristo Rey School Website
- Jesuit Secondary Education Association
- More than a Dream (official book site)
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore