The beginning of the soccer season was kicked off with Cristo Rey Jesuit's first ever Tailgate Party on Tuesday, September 13th. In what was supposed to be the team's first home game, a last minute forfeit inspired a Faculty and Staff vs. Student Game. Students, parents, benefactors and faculty and staff gathered an hour prior to the game for hot dogs, chip and refreshments before heading to the bleachers to cheer on the Lions.
Students tirelessly cheered on both teams for the entire the game. The Faculty and Staff fought a brave fight, losing 4-0 to the Cristo Rey Jesuit soccer team. After the game, students gathered to congratulate the players and dance to their favorite songs. It was a great evening of school spirit and friendly competition. We look forward to watching the Lions compete this season!
Cristo Rey Jesuit celebrated the start of its third academic year with of the Mass of the Holy Spirit on September 1, 2011. More than 800 families, friends and supporters gathered in the school gym for this time-honored Jesuit tradition with The Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza, Archbishop Emeritus, presiding and Reverend TJ Martinez, SJ, Founding President, concelebrating.
Archbishop Fiorenza addressed the eager students by saying, "This is such a marvelous opportunity for you. You will get the best college prep education that can be found here at Cristo Rey Jesuit with the help of an outstanding faculty and staff. None of this would have been possible without so many people who support this school."
He advised the students "to never fail to be grateful to your parents, your teachers and all of the generous donors who make this possible."
The Archbishop further congratulated the parents and guardians for making such a good decision to send their sons and daughters to the school: "It is a sign of the love and care that you have for them. You should feel confident in your hearts that you have turned your kids over to this outstanding school.
Father Martinez delivered his own rousing comments at the end of the Mass further filling the gymnasium with energy and enthusiasm. As Father spoke, he was interrupted several times with thunderous applause from the crowd. "The halls of Cristo Rey Jesuit, which were silent when I first stepped into this building a little over two years ago, have quickly turned into halls of thunder! Rather than the expected 180 students, thanks to our record breaking admission numbers, tonight we welcome over 270 students - an astounding number for our third year open. It is further proof that the Holy Spirit is alive and well at the newest Catholic, Jesuit high school in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.”
Following the Mass, a spirited reception was held in the school café with food catered by James' Coney Island and music by Los Gallitos Mariachi.
This month, we are proud to highlight one of Cristo Rey Jesuit's incredibly talented faculty members –Greg Adragna. This is Mr. Adragna's third year at Cristo Rey Jesuit, having taught Biology and now Chemistry and Earth and Space Sciences. In addition, Mr. Adragna was a team leader for the Spring and Summer sessions of the Woods Project. Mr. Adragna possesses quite an impressive resume.
He received a Bachelor of Science Degrees in Science and Education and Physical Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology. He completed a Master of Science Teaching Degree in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Rice University in December 2010. Mr. Adragna is presently enrolled in a Master of Education Program in Administration at the University of St. Thomas.
In March 2012, Mr. Adragna will be presenting his original laboratory, "Photocataylitic Water Purification", at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Convention in Indianapolis. He wrote the lab while working as a summer intern at the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) at Rice University.
In addition, Mr. Adragna is a Third Degree Night of Columbus in Council 12385 in Corpus Christi Parish.
Below is a short interview with Mr. Adragna about his experiences at Cristo Rey Jesuit.
What drew you to Cristo Rey Jesuit?
God directed me to Cristo Rey Jesuit by situations and people that He put into my life. I have learned not to question why particular circumstances change in your life. Life is change and God places you where He wants you to use your talents. That place for me is Cristo Rey Jesuit.
How is teaching at Cristo Rey Jesuit different than other schools you have taught at?
At Cristo Rey Jesuit, I can use my talents and abilities to best instruct the particular student population that we serve. This is facilitated by the trust that has always been extended by the school leadership without the artificial constraints of public school bureaucracy.
How are the students different?
The faith component and the Work-Study Program at Cristo Rey Jesuit help accelerate student maturity and development of the complete individual. The students work for their education and are motivated to learn.
What is your favorite Cristo Rey Jesuit memory?
Going to my first Mass at school and realizing that I was in a Catholic, faith-based school. It is so different from the sanitized, secular world of public education.
What is the biggest change you have seen in your students over the past years?
Students learning how to learn. I have the opportunity to work with our Juniors since their first year at CRJ. Watching them grow academically, mentally, and spiritually has been very exciting professionally and personally.
What vision do you have for the future of Cristo Rey Jesuit?
I envision our Science Program to continue to develop and evolve in order to produce the future scientists and engineers that will direct our country and our world. Our Science Department will continue to expose our students, who represent an underserved segment of our society, to the most current and critical issues in science and engineering. Our school will become a showcase of progressive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in our community, state, and country.
Cristo Rey Jesuit's humming halls are now halls of thunder! Thanks to an amazing admissions campaign led by Sujey Romero, Director of Admissions and Family Services, and the Assistant Director of Admissions, Mackenzie Burns, the school welcomed more than 140 new students, bringing our total student body to over 270.
At Cristo Rey schools around the country, a boost in admission numbers means a jump in corporate jobs needed, as every student must works to help manage the cost of their education. The Corporate Work-Study team, led by Dan Walsh, Director of Corporate Work-Study Program, and the Associate Director, Brandice Pierre, worked tirelessly over the summer to secure additional jobs to keep pace with the tremendous success of the admissions team. The CWSP team worked closely with several volunteers and Board members to ensure that all students were employed by the first day of school. With their incredible dedication, the Cristo Rey Jesuit Corporate Sponsor list boasts over 75 blue-ribbon companies representing a large variety of industries!
On August 29th and 30th, all Cristo Rey Jesuit students met their sponsors at business breakfasts hosted in the school's café. Although the mornings began with nervous smiles and timid handshakes, they ended with each Corporate Work-Study team giving their new supervisors a spirited tour of the school and sharing their excitement to begin work.
On Tuesday, September 13, the 2010-2011 Yearbook Staff was proud to unveil the product of their year-long hard work. They hosted a Yearbook signing party for all returning students complete with music and colorful pens and markers. Volume 2 of The Magis, entitled "College Ruled," debuted with 104 pages of photos, interviews and articles.
We are thrilled to share with you some very exciting news. Cristo Rey Jesuit's innovative educational model has once again caught the attention of the Houston Chronicle. The August 19th edition of the Houston Chronicle features the second Op-Ed piece published by our school President, Reverend TJ Martinez, SJ. In this piece, Fr. Martinez suggests that the Cristo Rey model offers families a way to take the legislators out of the state's educational dilemma.
While dramatic headlines and news reports seem to go hand in hand with the biennial gathering of legislators in Austin, no debate was more dominant nor more divisive this summer than the one surrounding the state budget cuts in public education. From the myriad arguments that surfaced on either side, two seemed to resonate most forcefully with people across the state.
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Enter Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston. Cristo Rey Jesuit is a rigorous private college preparatory high school sponsored by the Jesuits with tremendous support from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cristo Rey Jesuit targets teenage children living in the most economically distressed families in Houston and advances them to college in four years. It is unique in that it is the only private school in Houston — and for that fact, the state of Texas - that does not charge a traditional tuition (parents or guardians are asked to provide a "tuition fee" to show their commitment to help their kids get to college, which for most families comes to about $25). Rather than looking to Austin - or to any state or federal support in general - the bills are paid through a college prep program that integrates a paying job as part of the students' weekly curriculum.
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Cristo Rey Jesuit offers a way to take Austin out of the educational equation. Even as a public education system remains an important option for preparing our youth, as this summer has taught us all, it is a less reliable and thus less viable source of support, demonstrating that bigger government is not always better.