On May 1, 2020, I took on the role of President and CEO of Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School with hope, enthusiasm, and above all, gratitude for the work done before my arrival. God has graced our institution with great leadership and selfless generosity. I strive to honor this greatness by working tirelessly with the staff, Christian Brothers, and Cristo Rey Network to continue our beautiful mission.
This mission proclaims that economic status, zip code, gender, and ethnicity should not obstruct the pathway to educational and life success. Through a rigorous and personalized college preparatory curriculum and an innovative corporate work study experience, we prepare students of limited economic means to become individuals of faith, purpose, and service. We lean heavily upon the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Cristo Rey Network. They serve as our North Stars. Together we will always remain committed to these Truths.
Our Response to the Pandemic
As of late, supporting this mission has become challenging. Like everyone else, we are doing our best to prepare for an unpredictable future. Schools have unique challenges – many have struggled to adjust. Yet our blessings run deep. I am so proud to tout our successes in these distressing times. Here are some highlights.
- Thanks to an early and disciplined admissions process, 80 incoming freshmen have already committed to attend Cristo Rey in the fall. In contrast, only 30 students had committed to enrollment by this time last year.
- In response to the County and State-wide announcements of all schools shutting down, we took a single day to regroup and revamp. On the second day after the announcement, we executed and sustained full remote instruction. This was and is the cultivation of phenomenal school leadership. By any metric, this accomplishment is a huge success.
- At the same time, we began working with our Corporate Work Study partners to transition our students to remote tasks. Thus far, many of our students perform their corporate work study tasks successfully from their homes. Again, fantastic leadership and committed corporate work study partners facilitated the furtherance of this foundational pillar of our mission.
As you see we have been gifted an already inspired community. We are particularly well suited to not only thrive in these times, but to robustly continue our mission as we transition back to a “normal” routine.
Like all academic institutions, we will face monumental challenges ahead. With an incoming class of more than 100 students, we must nearly double our capacity. We will need to greatly expand our resources to meet our students’ needs. Some of our plans include:
- adding an additional 30 corporate work study partners,
- increasing staff by more than 30%, and
- equipping all incoming students with Chromebooks and materials.
With your generosity we will meet these challenges, and, in spite of the epidemic, we will thrive.
As St. John Baptist De La Salle said, “To be entrusted with the teaching of the young is a great gift and grace of God.” Difficult times require us to immerse ourselves in our very foundational beliefs. St. John Baptist has pointed us forward. We are all entrusted with the future of our students. Together as a community of board members, administrators, teachers, staff, donors, and corporate work study partners, we will guarantee this success, regardless of obstacles.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve. May St. John Baptist De La Salle pray for us. May Jesus live in our hearts forever.