The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) has agreed to endorse the planned Cristo Rey high school in the Research Triangle. The Triangle-area school will be part of the Cristo Rey Network® of more than 30 schools throughout the country and is targeting fall of 2021 to open with an incoming 9th grade class of 100 students.
With close to 17,000 priests and brothers worldwide, the Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church and are well known for their mission to educate men and women. Here in the U.S., 27 colleges and universities are affiliated with the Jesuits. There are more than 70 high schools in the Jesuit Schools Network, of which the new Cristo Rey RTP will be a part.
"The Jesuits have been part of the Cristo Rey experience from the beginning," said Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits. "Knowing the success of this model and how it aligns so well with our own mission, we are grateful to be a part of bringing Cristo Rey to new communities like Research Triangle Park."
Cristo Rey is a national network of Catholic, college-preparatory, high schools that exclusively serve low income students. The schools provide a unique four-year, integrated corporate work-study experience. While all Cristo Rey schools are affiliated with the Cristo Rey Network, each school is locally owned and operated. The religious sponsoring and endorsing groups of Cristo Rey schools ensure that the institutions are Catholic in identity and mission, true to the religious charism of the order, appropriately governed and that they develop a local culture that is faithful to the guiding principles of the Cristo Rey spirituality.
Throughout the U.S. Cristo Rey Catholic high schools deliver a powerful and innovative approach to inner-city education that equips students from families of limited economic means with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives. Together, they serve more than 12,000 students in 24 states and collectively claim 18,000 graduates.
Over the past year, a local board of directors, chaired by Cary executive Mark Baric, has been hard at work surveying community leaders, potential students and their parents. The board also explored potential school sites and working with local companies to arrange for student jobs.
"There's a need to reach disadvantaged students here and there's also great opportunity. Our area has vibrant, growing companies that see this as win-win through educating and developing young people now and building a future workforce for tomorrow," said Baric.
Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, former Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Raleigh, was recently named Founding President of Cristo Rey RTP. In addition to Fedewa, the local board includes, Ed Fritsch, Michael Goodmon, Carman Liuzzo, Shelayne Sutton and Chuck Swoboda. Two Jesuit priests will be added as part of the recent agreement together with Conor Heaton of the national Cristo Rey Network.
About The Cristo Rey Network®
The Cristo Rey Network® is the only network of high schools in the country that integrate four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through the Corporate Work Study Program.
Composed of 37 Catholic, college-and career-preparatory schools that today serve 12,200 students in 24 states with 18,000 graduates, the Cristo Rey Network delivers a powerful and innovative approach to inner-city education that equips students from families of limited economic means with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives. While Cristo Rey® schools are locally owned and operated, the Cristo Rey Network national office protects the integrity of the movement and advances school excellence and innovation.
For more information, visit http://www.cristoreyrtp.org.