About Cristo Rey
A Joyful Announcement
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,
It is with great joy that I share that the Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle Feasibility Study has been completed.
After listening to over 300 community members, receiving $3.6 million in philanthropic pledges, and securing 33 letters of intent from Corporate Work Study partners, including Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile, Costco, Premera Blue Cross, Accenture, JLL, Expeditors, and Seattle Bank, we determined that there is indeed substantial need and community support for a Jesuit, Catholic, college-prep, career-focused school in the Seattle region.
In January, we submitted our proposal to Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle, Provincial Sean Carroll of Jesuits West, and the Cristo Rey Network Board to open the first Cristo Rey high school in Seattle—and the 40th Cristo Rey in the US. We are thrilled to announce that all three approved Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle. We will welcome our first class of 9th graders in the summer of 2024.
Beyond securing approval for the school itself, our next most important job was recruiting a founding President who combines a heart for youth education with the bold vision and innovative experience to make Cristo Rey Jesuit a vibrant reality, especially for students with limited economic means. To that end, we launched a national search involving spiritual, corporate, and educational leaders, and considered a range of candidates within Catholic education, nonprofit leadership, and the business community. We are proud to share that Paul Hogan has accepted our offer to lead Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
Paul has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping young people achieve their potential. He joins Cristo Rey from SetPath, a non-profit that provides free mentorship and life-planning services to young adults. Prior to SetPath, Paul spent 28 years at Jesuit High in Portland, including a decade as Principal. He has also served as a trustee for organizations serving young adults, including Edison High School, University of Oregon’s Enrollment Advisory Board, and the Children’s Cancer Association.
Lastly, following an exhaustive property search, we have entered exploratory discussions with St. Paul Parish near Rainier Beach in southeast Seattle. Cristo Rey Jesuit, the Archdiocese, and St. Paul have signed an initial memorandum of understanding. We look forward to sharing more information with you regarding our location in the months ahead.
Please continue to spread the word and stay tuned for the latest updates and information regarding the Cristo Rey Admissions process, which will begin in the Fall of 2023 for 8th graders seeking to become part of the Class of ’28. We look forward to accompanying you as you support your students’ faith journeys, and as they pursue success in college, careers, and beyond.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Steve Hooper, Chair of the Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle Board of Trustees
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. Comprised of 38 Catholic, college- and career-preparatory schools that today serve 12,000 students across 25 states and collectively claim 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.
The Cristo Rey Network of high schools delivers a career focused, college preparatory education in the Catholic tradition for students with limited economic resources, uniquely integrating rigorous academic curricula with four years of professional work experience and support to and through college. We partner with educators, businesses and communities to enable students to fulfill their aspirations for a lifetime of success.
When the first Cristo Rey school opened under the leadership of John P. Foley, S.J. in 1996, it introduced a highly innovative integration of academic and professional experience to Catholic secondary education in the United States. The model had immediate appeal, first to Catholic educators across the country and soon after to prominent philanthropists committed to educational reform.
Through the talent and commitment of local communities and generous and enthusiastic support from philanthropic investors, the Cristo Rey Network has grown over the last 20 years from a single school in south Chicago to a national network of 38 schools. During a period when traditional Catholic schools were shuttering their doors at an alarming rate, the Cristo Rey Network has grown into the largest network of high schools in the country that exclusively serves low-income students.
With a national footprint, the Cristo Rey movement is continuing to grow and establish new footings for a better future for all.
Cristo Rey Featured on 60 Minutes
What Others are Saying about Cristo Rey Jesuit
Archbishop Paul D. Etienne
“Grounding students in our faith, while helping them develop a deeper relationship with Christ is the essence of Catholic education, and one reason why I welcome Cristo Rey to the Archdiocese of Seattle. I am grateful that the new Cristo Rey school will form students to reach their full potential, and through Catholic education, gain access to meaningful and dignified employment while increasing their future opportunities.”
Fr. Sean Carroll SJ, Provincial of Jesuits West
"We are excited to welcome Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle High School into our family of Jesuit schools,” said Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits West Province. “I am grateful to Archbishop Etienne for his invitation to become the religious sponsor of the school as we partner with the Archdiocese in this important work. We have a shared commitment to ensuring that students have access to Catholic education regardless of economic barriers, and we look forward to accompanying the talented students who will walk the halls of Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle in the creation of a hope-filled future.”
Fr. Scott Connolly, Pastor at St. Paul Parish
“St. Paul Parish welcomes Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to the community and looks forward to witnessing the development of these students as they grow in their faith alongside their academics and professional development.
Jose Ubeda, SVP Digital Solutions at Expeditors
“With higher than 2x the college graduation rate for students in the same demographic and part of the largest network of high schools for low-income students, Cristo Rey Jesuit marks the 17th Cristo Rey Network school we’ve partnered with across the U.S. over the past 10 years. To provide real-world work experience is one of the ways we have lived out our core value of creating opportunity to more than 400 students. Working with the students engages our employees and each student who works at our company will increase their confidence, skills and job readiness.”
Michael Tadesse-Bell, community member, Cristo Rey alum, Cristo Rey Network Board Member
"It brings me great excitement to learn that students and their families in Seattle will benefit from the educational model that is Cristo Rey. I’m privileged to have personally benefited from this model as a senior at Verbum Dei High School in South Central, Los Angeles. The holistic education received and social capital developed remain a critical part of my journey. That foundation has resulted in my lifeline commitment to supporting work that develops equitable opportunities for Black and Brown students and students from low-income backgrounds. Serving on the national board of the Cristo Rey Network allows me to continue that work and directly connects me back to where it all started — at the ‘Verb.’”
Gaynell T. Walker - St. Paul Parishioner, Retired School Administrator, CRS Community Engagement Chair, CRS President Search Committee Chair, CRS Board Member
"As a long-time member of St. Paul Parish, I am thrilled that Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle High School will open on the campus of St. Paul in 2024. This Catholic, college-prep high school in partnership with the business community will also provide a corporate work-study internship experience and will put students from limited financial means and the farthest away from educational opportunities on a trajectory for life-long success. This will be an amazing legacy for the Seattle community and for the Archdiocese, leading in a profound way and aligning with the Jesuit mission of service."
Provost Shane P. Martin, Ph.D., Seattle University
“Seattle University supports the new Cristo Rey Jesuit-Seattle high school to provide greater access to Jesuit education and strengthen the educational pipeline into the university. The Cristo Rey model is proven to be academically ambitious, aligned with Jesuit pedagogical values, and a pathway for success in college and in life for its graduates. Alumni of Cristo Rey schools are people with the competency, conscience, and commitment to serve as agents of change for the common good of society. Seattle University is pleased to partner with our new Cristo Rey school for the benefit of the Jesuit network and the greater Seattle community.”
Katie Seltzer, Feasibility Study Director
“Cristo Rey schools open doors to opportunities to young people of promise across the country in 38 schools currently. Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle will be the 40th school in the Cristo Rey Network and will empower our young people of promise with innovative experiences as the future of highschool, college, and work are all undergoing major shifts. Through the high expectations of a college preparatory academic program and the unique four-year work experience, students will have unique tools to achieve their highest aspirations. The Puget Sound will benefit from this new, local talent pipeline with cutting-edge skills and education to continue to strengthen our communities”
John Stanton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Mariners
“At Cristo Rey, students receive a career-focused, college-preparatory education that can make a real difference in their lives, unlocking skills and inspiring opportunities they never imagined. Until now, Seattle was one of the largest cities in America without a Cristo Rey school. Terry and I are so proud to join many others in supporting the successful launch of a school that will have such a positive impact on the lives of so many Seattle youth.”
Justyna King, assistant superintendent, Archdiocese of Seattle
Having a college-prep career focused school like Cristo Rey Seattle will be absolutely transformative to our community and bolster the reach of our Catholic school’s mission. Although we have always been blessed to offer a myriad of excellent high school programs throughout our Archdiocese, I believe that Cristo Rey will support a community that is currently underserved and continue to strengthen the mission of our Church. I look forward to seeing this program change the lives of young people and connect marginalized communities with opportunities to serve, learn from and partner with mission-driven corporations in the greater Seattle area.
Tom Ellison, former owner and Chairman of the Board of Savers Inc.
“The Ellison Foundation invests in non-profit and educational institutions who effectively impact the communities they serve. One of our core beliefs is the direct connection between the quality of an individual’s education and their access to opportunity. We support Cristo Rey-Seattle because of its 28-year history of empowering students and families in 38 schools across the country. They do this through a truly unique strategy involving rigorous academics and a corporate work-study experience. We look forward to Cristo Rey-Seattle opening its doors to its inaugural class of ninth graders in 2024.”
Bob Ratliffe, President of Silver Creek Capital Management and Co-Chair of the Cristo Rey Seattle Feasibility Study
"A rigorous, college preparatory education combined with professional work experience has the power to break the cycle of economic hardship and offer limitless opportunities to the youth of Seattle. Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle High School will open in the fall of 2024 to fulfill this mission by providing our young people with a new opportunity to succeed, thrive and positively impact the community. I wholeheartedly support this endeavor and look forward to watching the next generation of community leaders, business executives, and policymakers emerge from the halls of Cristo Rey."
Mary Grace Roske, SVP, Marketing Communications and Community Relations at Seattle Bank
"Partnering with Cristo Rey Seattle to provide real-world work experience to students is one of the ways we live out our values at Seattle Bank. Each student who completes a work study program at our bank will increase their confidence, skills and job readiness, in addition to building their professional network."
Rafael del Castillo, Executive Director, Rainier Scholars
“The achievement gap is wider than ever, and students and families who are farthest from opportunity should have as many college prep pathways as possible. Seattle needs options like Cristo Rey to narrow that gap and maximize possibilities, particularly for students of color.”