Louis Antoine Assistant Dean
Mr. Antoine was born and raised in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Newark Academy and The University of Delaware. Before joining the Cristo Rey team, Mr. Antoine was previously employed at Temple University, where he worked as a Behavioral Health Specialist. Mr. Antoine has many years of experience working with the youth population, focusing on character education and behavior management. Mr. Antoine is very excited to join the Cristo Rey family. Go Raiders!
Lynette Ashaba, Service Corps Volunteer
Ms. Ashaba is honored to join the Cristo Rey team as a literacy service corps volunteer. In this role, she will offer support to the sophomore team by challenging students to think deeply and creatively about their writing and, by extension, about the world around them. Ms. Ashaba is Ugandan, she finished high school at a United World College in Norway and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Having moved around a lot - from Uganda to Norway to Philadelphia to Kenya and back to Philadelphia - she looks forward to settling in and getting to know the students and staff at Cristo Rey.
Eric Becker Faculty, Chemistry
Mr. Becker is honored to join the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as the Sophomore Chemistry teacher. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, he graduated from Syracuse University (Go Orange!) in 2012 (B.A. in Chemistry and Secondary Science Education.) After graduation Mr. Becker moved to Houston, Texas where he served as an AmeriCorps service member and spent three years teaching Chemistry at a local public school. Missing the Northeast, Mr. Becker chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania (M.S.Ed. in Learning Sciences and Technologies) where he learned the importance of devloping 21st century students through innovative teaching practices and technology integration. At Penn, Mr. Becker had the pleasure to be taught by Dr. Gomez. Outside the classroom, he spends most of his time exploring Philadelphia, watching Syracuse sports, and hanging out with his basset hound, Hank.
Tess Beckwith Faculty, Biology
Ms. Beckwith is so excited to be joining the Cristo Rey family as the biology teacher. Her passion and zeal for life and how things work brought her to the field of biology and she now has the privilege of sharing this love with her students. A 2012 graduate of Eastern University(B.A. in Anthropology, minor in Biology), Ms. Beckwith has since found herself in many diverse educator and scientific roles such as a literacy tutor at Fredrick Douglass in north Philadelphia, a wilderness guard in Oregon, a field biologist in Florida, an educator with a study abroad program called Creation Care Study Program, and most recently an instructor for the Philadelphia Outward Bound School, leading week-long wilderness trips. Outside of the classroom Ms. Beckwith enjoys any and all outside activities and is constantly learning how to better love the people and places that surround her. Ms. Beckwith is happy to be in such a beautiful new space where the common goal is to put the wonder back into learning and to create an environment where everybody knows that they belong and are cared for.
Lyanna Berry Work-Study Program Coordinator
Ms. Berry is happy to join to Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as a member of the Work-Study department under the Service Corps program. As a recent graduate of La Salle University earning her B.S. in Psychology, she wants to help students reach their full potential in both the academic and work realm. As a native New Yorker, Lyanna is no stranger to the Cristo Rey mission, having graduated from Cristo Rey New York in East Harlem. During her undergraduate years at La Salle, Ms. Berry was an avid volunteer, participating in programs such as Pheed Philadelphia, Habitat for Humanity, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In her free time, Ms. Berry loves to read, write, and binge-watch novelas.
Burt Blackburn Director of Transportation
Mr. Blackburn is pleased to join the Cristo Rey team as the Director of Transportation. He recently retired from the Radnor Township School District in southeastern Pennsylvania after 30 years of working in student transportation overseeing all aspects of school district transportation services. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Eastern University and his master’s degree from Neumann University in Organizational and Strategic Leadership. He is very excited to be working in an educational environment that challenges young people to achieve their dreams and serve their community. When not working, he enjoys volunteering, traveling, hiking and spending time with his wife and family.
David Blome Faculty, Latin
Dr. Blome teaches sophomore Latin at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Prior to joining the Cristo Rey team, he served in the US Marine Corps, graduated summa cum laude with distinction in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, earned a PhD in ancient history from Cornell University, and taught at Stanford University. He also found time to coach track and field and compete in Ironman triathlons. A lifelong athlete and combat veteran, Dr. Blome brings a great deal of energy to the classroom. He is looking forward to sharing his enthusiasm for the ancient world with Cristo Rey students while guiding and teaching them on their journey to college and adulthood.
Jared Boyd Faculty, Health and Fitness
Mr. Boyd is proud to be the newest member of the Cristo Rey Health and Fitness team and is thrilled to assist the school community on their health and physical literacy journeys. He believes whole heartedly in Cristo Rey's vision for the students of Philadelphia and is eager to add to the positive culture that has been established. Mr. Boyd's passion for fitness, athletics, and coaching was shaped while attending Trinity College (CT) where he was an Educational Studies major and 4 year member and captain of the football team. Go Blue Pride!
Michael Burke Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Mr. Burke was born and raised in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. He is a proud graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and Saint Joseph's University (B.A. Finance & Risk Management/Insurance, Minor in Economics). Mr. Burke is currently serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he teaches Freshman Latin, works in the Office of Campus Ministry, and assists in student transportation here at Cristo Rey Philadelphia. He is both excited and inspired by the mission of Cristo Rey and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Cristo Rey family. In his free time, he likes to exercise, watch Philadelphia sports and Notre Dame Football, and relax with family and friends.
Sean Conard Faculty, History
Mr. Conard joins the Cristo Rey team as the 10th grade World History teacher. He spent 3 years teaching middle and high school social studies in Richmond, VA before moving northward. He is a graduate of Drake University (B.A., History/International Relations) and the Richmond Teacher Residency program at Virginia Commonwealth University (M.T., Secondary Social Studies Education). He is excited to pivot to a community-minded school that believes deeply in student-centered learning and holding high expectations for students and teachers. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, cooking, and experiencing the great culture that Philadelphia provides. As a Green Bay, WI native and subsequent Packers fan, he is not looking forward to the coming heckling but will get through it with the support of his friends and family.
Danielle Cook Faculty, Health & Fitness
Ms. Cook was born in Abington, PA and raised in Willingboro, NJ. She is a graduate of Willingboro High School and was a four year state champion and member of the girls cross-country, indoor and outdoor track and field team. She graduated from the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. where she graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Mass-Media Communication. While at UDC, Ms. Cook was Co-Captain of the Women's Cross-Country and Track and Field Team and was acknowledge by the NCAA on National Student-Athlete Day for maintaining over a 3.2 GPA during all her seasons of competition. Since graduating in 2009, Ms. Cook went on to take classes and complete two internships in the Sports Industry Management Masters program at Georgetown University from 2009-2011. In 2012, Ms. Cook became certified as a Personal Trainer and later in 2014 became certified as a Functional Movement Specialist. Before coming to Cristo Rey, she was a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor specializing in functional and basic movements, athletic and sports performance training. She loved working with the junior high and high school population and experienced a lot of gratification from helping young adults increase their fitness and performance and teaching them about their body, how it works, and how to keep it in good health. She has coached track and field at Germantown Friends School and as a volunteer for the Willingboro Track Club. Ms. Cook loves to workout and participate in outdoor activities/sports in her free time. She also likes to read, try out new restaurants and experience good food, watch sports, spend time with family and friends and motivate others to exceed their fitness goals and make their health and fitness a priority. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Harry Crimi Faculty, Latin
Mr. Crimi is thrilled to teach Latin at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Born and raised in Havertown, PA, he is very passionate about the mission of the Cristo Rey Network and is honored to make a difference in the city he loves most. Mr. Crimi attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Classics. He believes that the study of Latin is crucial to the development of strong anayltical skills and effective communication. Having lived in both Athens and Rome, he plans on engaging students with an all inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to the classical world from his own experiences. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Crimi has extensive experience in ballroom dancing, singing in choir and A-Capella groups, producing college musicals, and organizing service trips. He is very excited to bring all of these passions to the Cristo Rey family!
Keshema Davidson Work-Study Program Coordinator
Ms. Davidson was born and raised in Jamaica. She joins Cristo Rey as a Work-Study Program Coordinator with a passion for community and youth development and an eagerness to learn from our students. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs from Drexel University. Most recently, she was the Program Director for a legal education company based in Philadelphia called LawMeets. She has also worked at Drexel Law School. the National Education Association, and Street Law Inc. She loves to volunteer and served for several years as the Co-chair of the Amnesty International Central Africa Regional Action Network. She loves to travel, cook, and exercise (which goes hand in hand with her love of cooking.) She is very excited to be a part of the Cristo Rey family!
Britt DeLine Student Counselor
Ms. DeLine fell in love with the Cristo Rey community as a Counseling Team Intern for the 2016-2017 school year. Upon finishing her internship, she knew she just could not leave. Ms. DeLine is extremely excited to be joining the Cristo Rey team full-time this year. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Ms. DeLine is a graduate of the University of San Diego (B.A. Psychology). Following graduation, she served as an Augustinian Volunteer where she taught English in Chulucanas, Peru for 2013. Ms. DeLine earned a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from Villanova University where she worked as a Campus Ministry Intern. A National Certified Counselor, Ms. DeLine calls Center City, Philadelphia home!
Christina D’Emma Faculty, English
Ms. D’Emma is inspired by learning with her students and colleagues. She is moved by the mission of the Cristo Rey Network and is thrilled to be a part of the CRPHS community. She was a teacher coach for AmeriCorps volunteers in the Response-Ability program, a ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. Prior to that she taught ninth and tenth grade English at her alma mater, Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, NJ. She was a seventh and eighth grade Language Arts and Religion teacher at St. Denis School in Havertown, PA, and at the Gesu School in Philadelphia, PA, beginning her career as a Response-Ability volunteer. Currently, she serves on the board of the McNamee Scholars Program. Ms. D’Emma is a graduate of Rosemont College (B.A. English, 1999, M.Ed. Mid-level Education, 2002) and Villanova University (M.A., English, 2010).
Dan DiPasquale Faculty, Math
Mr. DiPasquale is excited to join the Cristo Rey team as the senior math teacher. Originally from the Greater Philadelphia area, Mr. DiPasquale attended Fordham University, Rose Hill (B.S. Mathematics, Minor in Classics, 2009). He then spent two years in the Cristo Rey New York High School Volunteer Program, teaching math and computers, coaching soccer, co-directing plays, accompanying the school choir, and running the math club. In the time between, Mr. DiPasquale worked at Villanova University, first in Campus Ministry and then in the Center for Multicultural Affairs, while completing graduate school (M.A., Theology, 2013; M.S. Counseling, 2014). He loves playing the piano, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Lili Dodderidge Academic Manager
After a year in our Service Corps, Ms. Dodderidge is excited to continue her Cristo Rey journey as both Academic Manager and US History Faculty member. In her role of Academic Manager, Ms. D takes great pride in serving as both student and teacher advocate and liaison to the Administration, and she enjoys working through the many operational and logistical puzzles of the Academic Office. In her AP and US History classrooms, Ms. D is committed to cultivating a community of readers, writers, and critical thinkers who will work to build a better future through a deep understanding of our past's failures, successes, and aspirations. Prior to Cristo Rey, Ms. Dodderidge worked as the Administrative and Communications Coordinator at the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, a research and advocacy center at Drexel University's School of Public Health. Ms. Dodderidge is a proud graduate of Georgetown University (B.A. English, 2013) and a Philadelphia-area native.
Maryanne Doyle Chief Financial Officer
Maryanne Doyle is excited to join Cristo Rey as the Chief Financial Officer. She was raised in Cherry Hill, NJ and graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a BS in Accounting. Mrs. Doyle is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania and has worked in higher education for over 30 years at Holy Cross and Loyola University Chicago. She has been married for 37 years and has two children.
Sarah Edelson, Academic Support Coordinator
Ms. Edelson is excited to join the Cristo Rey community as the Academic Support Coordinator through the Service Corps. She looks forward to working with community volunteers and helping students organize their materials, develop effective time management and study strategies, and keep up with their school work. Ms. Edelson is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In her spare time, Ms. Edelson enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two spirited cats.
Jared Epler Director of College Counseling
Mr. Epler joined the team at Cristo Rey Philadelphia after spending over five years helping students on their path to a college degree. After graduating from Albright College (B.A. Communications, Minor in Music), he spent time as an admission counselor at his alma mater. During this time, he recruited students from Philadelphia and Camden and quickly realized he had found his passion. Mr. Epler, spent the past three years as a college counselor at Summer Search, a nonprofit in Philadelphia that supports low-income, first generation youth on their pathway to college completion by exposing them to life-changing travel opportunities coupled with a circle of supportive relationships. Upon receiving his masters degree from University of Pennsylvania (M.S. School Counseling), he jumped at the opportunity to join the team at Cristo Rey Philadelphia as their first college counselor. Jared has supported two graduating classes through the college application process (100% accepted to a 4-year college!) and has taken on the role of Director of College Counseling. He is excited to begin year 4 at CRPHS!
Sister Regina Flanigan, IHM School Administration
Sister Regina serves in School Administration for Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School with responsibilities that include counseling, student attendance, family contacts and assistance to the Admissions Office. She is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She also serves as an ambassador, sharing the Cristo Rey mission with students, faculty, and administrators at local grade schools and community organizations. She attended Millersville University (M.A. Spanish) and Immaculata University (M.A. Psychology). Her most formative years were spent as a missionary at IHM apostolates in Santiago and Lima. Sister Regina has been the recipient of various Pro-Life awards and was honored by Pennsylvanians for Human Life as their award winner in 2004. Being a member of our Cristo Rey team is the fulfillment of years of interest in and work for the establishment of our new school.
Taylor Fleming Faculty, Math
After spending a year in the marketing department at the school, Ms. Fleming joins the Cristo Rey Philadelphia math team as the Algebra 1 teacher. She is very excited to be teaching the freshmen students and helping with their transition into high school. Prior to joining the team, she worked as an Assistant Account Executive at Devine + Partners, a public relations firm located in Philadelphia. Ms. Fleming graduated from Duke University (B.A. Psychology, Markets and Management Certificate, 2011) where she was a member of the women's lacrosse team. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys running, coaching, and photography. Ms. Fleming is very excited to be part of a group that is so passionate about education and helping to create a bright future for its students.
Jenara Gardner Manager of Philanthropy
Ms. Gardner is honored to join Cristo Rey Philadelphia as Manager of Philanthropy. A native of Philadelphia, she is excited to return to the area after 10 years in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, she graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in Journalism and began her career in fundraising. She comes to Cristo Rey Philadelphia with a passion for education and a wide range of development experience including events, data management, and relationship development. Most recently she was Manager of Individual Giving at Arden Theatre Company and Manager of Donor Relations at Boston Children’s Chorus. As a member of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team, Ms.Gardner manages the Annual Fund including the EITC/OSTC Programs and the Scholarship Partner Program. When she is not at work, Ms.Gardner can be found walking her dog, watching the latest from Marvel Studio, or salsa dancing with friends.
Michael Gomez Principal
Dr. Gomez is principal of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. He previously served as principal of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School where he had direct responsibility for the daily operations and educational development of the school since his appointment in July of 2006. Prior to that he was the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE. He began his career in education as a teacher, director, and coach at his alma mater, St. Peter’s Preparatory School, in Jersey City, NJ. He is a Trustee at St. Peter’s Preparatory School. Dr. Gomez is a graduate of Providence College (B.A. English, 1995) and Binghamton University (M.A. English Literature, 1997). He also holds a Master of Arts in Private School Administration from Teachers College, Klingenstein Center at Columbia University and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania (Ed.D., 2012). In May 2013, Dr. Gomez was selected and honored as one of "Philadelphia's 40 Under 40" by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Dr. Gomez also teaches a graduate-level educational leadership class at the University of Pennsylvania.
Yesenia Guzman Faculty, Math
Ms. Guzman was born and raised in Houston, Texas and is fluent in Spanish and English. Her parents were born and raised in Mexico, so she loves to dance and eat, especially fajitas and rice. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX (go, Rattlers!), where she received her Bachelor’s in Mathematics with teaching certification for grades 8-12. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she pursued a Masters of Education at the University of Notre Dame (Go, Irish!) through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). As an ACE teaching fellow, Ms. Guzman taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math in the Rio Grande Valley along with coaching volleyball and basketball. Now Ms. Guzman is at Cristo Rey, ready to teach her favorite subject: Algebra 2 She's excited to be part of this family, and hopeful to become someone the students can rely on.
Rachel Hodas School Psychologist
Dr. Hodas was born and raised in Philadelphia. She studied Psychology and Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania and recently earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Temple University.
Dr. Hodas has worked in a variety of clinical and school settings with children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds exhibiting academic, behavioral, social, and emotional difficulties. She has also taught courses in education and psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Dr. Hodas is committed to improving the educational opportunities for students in the Philadelphia area and is thrilled to be joining the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team. As CRPHS’s school psychologist, Dr. Hodas supports students by helping them identify and develop areas of strength, addressing areas of need, and collaborating with teachers, staff, and families to improve student outcomes.
Tara Hank Development Office Coordinator
Ms. Hank is excited to join the President’s Office and Development team at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. As an alumna of Mount Saint Joseph Academy, she believes that “the hope of the harvest is in the seed” and is humbled to join a Team that is committed to providing our students with a high-quality education. Ms. Hank graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a B.A. in Spanish and Sociology. For a year during her undergraduate career, she lived in León, Spain, with a host family, took classes at the University of León and tutored teenagers in English. In her free time, Ms. Hank can be found running or journaling.
Robert Janoski Faculty, English
Mr. Janoski grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and is humbled and thrilled to be a part of the English Department at Cristo Rey. Throughout his education, he has maintained a strong belief in connecting rigorous literacy skills to relevant forums for student self-expression and advocacy. He is energized by both the students and the caring and committed staff and community at Cristo Rey, and looks forward to the hard and important work ahead. Prior to joining the freshmen team, Mr. Janoski studied at Villanova University (B.A. English, Minor in Writing and Rhetoric, 2014) and the University of Pennsylvania (M.S. Secondary Education, 2016).
Jaleyne Jud Faculty, Math
After a few years' hiatus, Ms. Jud is excited to be back in the classroom and teaching Principles of Math to the sophomore class. Prior to joining Cristo Rey, she worked in IT for a public school district, taught technology at a local Catholic elementary school, and taught Algebra to 9th graders. She has been tutoring for many years and loves working with students in one-on-one and small group settings. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she is no stranger to the neighborhood as she is a proud alumna of Central High School. Ms. Jud is a graduate of Penn State (B.S. in Mathematics with a focus in Education) and Philadelphia University (M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology). To help strengthen her Spanish, she spent a semester abroad at La Universidad Interamericana in San Germán, Puerto Rico. She has also studied German. In her free time, Ms. Jud enjoys being with her husband and two young children.
Ryan Kelley Faculty, English
Prior to his appointment in 11th grade English at Cristo Rey Philadelphia, Mr. Kelley taught writing, literature, and public speaking at area colleges, including Gwynedd Mercy University, Bucks County Community College, Arcadia University, and the Community College of Philadelphia. He is eager to bring this experience to the college preparatory environment and aid students in the development of transferable analytical and communication skills for use in the classroom and life. Further, Mr. Kelley is excited to explore and discuss American literature with Cristo Rey juniors and to engage students with classic works, great thinkers, essential questions, and big ideas. Mr. Kelley is a graduate of Temple University (B.A. English and Journalism, 2005) and Chatham University in Pittsburgh (M.F.A. Creative Writing, 2007).
Robert Killion Faculty, Theology
Mr. Killion grew up outside of Reading, Pennsylvania and now happily calls Philadelphia home. He studied TV/Film at DeSales University in Allentown, PA and received his MA in Religion and Culture from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Mr. Killion lived in Leavenworth, KS for two years as Campus Minister at the University of Saint Mary and has worked in various capacities in television, ministry, and teaching. He has a deep love of culture and enjoys music, theater, writing, and film.
Anne Marie Kochersperger Human Resources Manager
Mrs. Kochersperger has extensive experience working in Philadelphia area independent schools, Villanova University and for the federal government in the financial, budget and human resources arenas. She received her PHR from Villanova University and is a current member of the Society of Human Resources Management as well as a member of the HR committee of the Philadelphia Area Independent School Business Officers Association. Mrs. Kochersperger is a lifetime resident of the Greater Philadelphia area and was educated in the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Catholic school system. She has 3 children working in the Philadelphia area education and medical fields and is the proud grandmother of 6. Mrs. Kochersperger is very excited to be part of such an amazing educational institution and strongly believes in the Cristo Rey Philadelphia mission.
Kirstin Kramer Faculty, Philosophy
Ms. Kramer is excited to join the Cristo Rey team as the senior philosophy teacher. Originally from the Philadelphia area, she taught for nine years at her alma mater, Villa Maria Academy in Malvern, PA, where she served as chair of the English department. Prior to that, she taught middle school English in Brooklyn, NY as a Teach for America corps member. Ms. Kramer is a graduate of Boston College (B. A. English, 2005), Pace University (M. S. Teaching, 2007), and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College (M. A. English, 2016). She thinks that getting to spend her days talking with students about the fundamental questions of existence is pretty much the best job ever.
Leah Mafrica Student Success Manager, Admissions
With a love of writing and a passion for education, Ms. Mafrica is thrilled to join Cristo Rey Philadelphia. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Ms. Mafrica ventured across state to attend Temple University, where she earned a B.A. in journalism and made Philadelphia her home. Prior to joining the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team, Ms. Mafrica worked in marketing and communications at Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit located in West Conshohocken, PA. In her free time, Ms. Mafrica likes to run and teach writing workshops to high school students.
Richman Mathis II Faculty, U.S. Government and Politics
Mr. Mathis is honored and eager to join the Cristo Rey team and teach U.S. Government and Politics to seniors, and connect our complex government policies and social norms to how they impact our everyday lives and the world around us. Following a passion for urban education, Mr. Mathis studied and graduated from DeSales University (B.A. Secondary Ed.) in Center Valley, PA, where he also currently pursues his M.Ed. with an additional teacher certification in TESOL (May 2017). Mr. Mathis has previously taught American History, African American History, Civics, and World History in the Philadelphia Public School System. In 2015, he was awarded the Camelot National Teacher of the Year award. Prior to teaching, he worked as a teaching assistant and training instructor for seven years at Hunterdon Developmental Center in Clinton, NJ. Mr. Mathis enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, awesome daughter, and cool dog, Eli.
Liam Matthews Service Corps Volunteer
Mr. Matthews is incredibly excited to join the Cristo Rey community as the Junior U.S. History teacher and a Service Corp member. Born in Jersey City, NJ, he attended Regis High School and recently graduated from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. Mr. Matthews currently holds a B.S. in English with a Double Concentration in Creative Writing and Literature. New to Cristo Rey and the city of Philadelphia, he can't wait to become part of the family that makes up this school.
John R. McConnell Founder and President
Mr. McConnell is the head of the school’s leadership team and represents Cristo Rey to the Philadelphia community. He retired as a partner at the management consulting firm Deloitte in order to lead the founding of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. He has served as Chairman of the Board at St. Joseph's Prep and is an active parishioner at St. Katherine of Siena in Wayne, PA. Mr. McConnell is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep (1970) and Georgetown University (B.S. B.A., 1974). He earned a Master in Business Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1982. A Philadelphia native and father of four, he lives with his wife, Gwen, in St. David's, PA.
Lauren Mifsud Faculty, Math
Ms. Mifsud is thrilled to be joining the Cristo Rey family as the freshman Principles of Math teacher. She is very excited to share her love for math with the freshman students and is looking forward to helping with their transition into high school. Prior to Cristo Rey, Ms. Mifsud spent a year serving in San Francisco, CA through the Mercy Volunteer Corps. As a proud Saint Joseph’s University graduate, (B.S. Mathematics, 2014, M.S. Mathematics Education, 2015) she is happy to be back in the city of brotherly love. THWND! Outside of the classroom, Ms. Mifsud enjoys running, playing her ukulele, and spending time with family and friends.
Guy Moore Athletic Director
Coach Guy Moore has over 21 years of coaching experience. He has taught basketball on the middle, high school, and college levels. Last year, he took over the Cristo Rey Philadelphia Blue Pride boy's basketball program. In his first season as head coach he guided the program through a rigorous 26 game non-league schedule, which included winning the first ever Cristo Rey Battle of the East Tournament. The tournament included fellow network schools Cristo Rey Boston, Cristo Rey Brooklyn, and Cristo Rey New York. Coach Moore also serves as the school's athletic director. One of his many tasks is to transition our club teams into junior varsity and varsity level programs in 2017-2018.
Sean P. Murray Assistant Principal
Mr. Murray provides instructional support and feedback to the Cristo Rey Philadelphia faculty and is responsible for the planning and implementation of the school's academic support program. He also focuses on staff recruitment, curriculum development, and data analysis. Mr. Murray joined the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team in May 2012 as a founding faculty member. He taught 9th grade theology and was a member of the 9th grade literacy team until his appointment to the Assistant Principal position in 2015. Prior to his work at Cristo Rey, he spent 5 years teaching theology at Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken, NJ. He is a member of the Contemplative Leaders in Action, run by the Jesuit Collaborative. Mr. Murray is a graduate of the University of Scranton (B.A. Theology, 2nd Major in Counseling, 2003) and Villanova University (M.S. Counseling Psychology, 2006). He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Theology and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from St. Joseph's University.
Erik Nelson Faculty, English
Mr. Nelson is looking forward to the challenge of preparing Cristo Rey seniors to develop the skills needed in order to read, write, and reason at the college level. He believes deeply in Cristo Rey’s vision for the students of Philadelphia, and is excited for the opportunity to be part of such a driven and committed team. Prior to joining the English Department to serve as the 12th grade English teacher, Mr. Nelson studied at Stockton College (B.A. English) in New Jersey and the University of Pennsylvania (M.S. Secondary Education), where he developed a passion for urban education and a love for the vibrant city of Philadelphia.
Flannery O’Connor Faculty, Theology
After serving two years as the Director of Admissions, Ms. O’Connor is very excited to back in the classroom as a Theology teacher. She began her career in education as a member of the Alliance for Catholic Education Program (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame. As an ACE teacher she taught fourth grade, coached, and moderated student clubs at All Saints Catholic School in Fort Worth, TX. Ms. O’Connor is a graduate of Boston College (B.A. Theology, Minor in Philosophy, 2006), University of Notre Dame (M.Ed.) and Villanova University (M.S. Counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health). She is a member of the Gesu School Young Friends Committee and co-founded Philadelphia Advocates for Catholic Education, an organization that advocates for and supports Catholic schools in the city.
Michael O'Grady Academic Office Assistant
Mr. O’Grady is thrilled to join the Cristo Rey staff as the new Academic Office Assistant for the school. A recent graduate from The Roxbury Latin School, located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Mr. O’Grady is spending his gap year in Philadelphia before he heads to Providence College for the Class of 2022. Originally from Milton, MA, he is excited to make a difference on the team, learn a new aspect of education before college, and master the new roads of Philadelphia in the process. As an avid Patriots fan, we are sure there will be many of bumps along that way.
Denis Okema Faculty, Business Literacy
Mr. Okema is excited to join the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as the Business Literacy teacher. Originally from Uganda, Mr. Okema graduated from Makerere University (B.S. Development Economics and International Affairs). He went on to work for different international development programs for eight years and later private consultancy for international agencies such as USAID, Danish International Development Agency, World Vision, Mercy Corps, and International Alert. He gained critical skills in conflict mitigation, resolution management, peace building, poverty elevation, and intervention to address HIV/AIDS prevalence. Mr. Okema later graduated from Chestnut Hill College (M.S. Administration of Human Services), where he also teaches as an adjunct professor, and is also in the process of completing a Masters Certificate in Agile Project Management from Villanova University (2016). Mr. Okema is a motivational speaker and an advocate for peace and human rights.
Devon Perkins Faculty, Physics
Mr. Perkins teaches Junior Physics at Cristo Rey High School. He believes wholly in the mission to use school education as equipment for a fulfilling and productive life structure. He is thrilled to be able to cultivate scientific literacy and logical reasoning in our students as they build upon their models of the universe and develop the skills necessary to be successful in their university and career endeavors. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University (B.S. Mathematics, B.S. Physics) and Jenkintown High School, and before joining our team, he taught secondary math and science prep courses at a supplementary learning center in Elkins Park.
Danny Pietrovito Work-Study Coordinator
Mr. Pietrovito is a new member of the work-study program at Cristo Rey. He is a graduate of Kutztown University (B.S. Secondary Education with a concentration in History, 2009). Previously, Mr. Pietrovito was a 7th grade History teacher in the School District of Philadelphia for three years. In 2014 he decided to return to school full-time at Villanova University to obtain his Masters in Public Administration, where he was a graduate assistant in the Office of Service Learning. Mr. Pietrovito enjoys hiking, camping, and biking through Philadelphia. He is excited to be a part of the Cristo Rey family.
Donna Pinkney School Administration
Ms. Pinkney is thrilled to work at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. She believes strongly in the school's mission and is very committed to serving the staff and students to help them achieve their goals. Her pervious experience in education is at the university level, working with both liberal arts and medical students. Ms. Pinkney is a Philadelphia native and the mother of two. She graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic High School. After graduation, Ms. Pinkney pursued majors in English and Business at both Community College of Philadelphia and LaSalle University. She enjoyed an extensive career in banking and also served proudly as a United States Woman Marine. Ms. Pinkey currently teaches religious education to middle school aged students and volunteers for her church.
Kimberly Pohl Faculty, Geometry
Ms. Pohl is honored and thrilled to be a part of the math team at Cristo Rey Philadelphia. She is responsible for teaching geometry to the sophomore class. Prior to this position, Ms. Pohl served as part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as a founding member of the school's Service Corps. She taught Principles of Math to the sophomores in order to properly prepare them for the ACT math test. Ms. Pohl is a graduate of Temple University (B.S. Mathematics, concentration in education, 2014). She also holds a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate in Mathematics grades 7-12. Outside the classroom, Ms. Pohl assists in coaching the girl's soccer team.
Eva Porter Faculty, Science
Mrs. Eva Porter came to Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School in 2013 as the founding Biology teacher. She is a graduate of Manhattanville College (B.A. Biology, Minor in Religion, 1999) and completed her graduate training at Fordham University (M.S.T. Biology Education, 2004). She has been teaching science since 2000 and throughout her years as a teacher, Mrs. Porter always emphasized higher education and challenged her students to go beyond their comfort zones. Mrs. Porter is excited to bring her passion for STEM education as the Director of the Tiger Woods Learning Center and 9th grade Biology, AP Biology, and Engineering teacher. As a native New Yorker, she enjoys exploring the rich cultural experiences that Pennsylvania has to offer with her husband, Justin, and baby boys, Aidan and Matthew.
Richard Pugh Assistant Principal for Student Life
Mr. Pugh is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University (B.A. English and Theology, minor in Faith-Justice Studies). Upon graduation in 2005, he served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he taught at St. Ignatius School in The Bronx. Mr. Pugh spent the next four years at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida working as a full-time Youth Minister. He earned a M.A. in Theology from Villanova University where he also worked as a Campus Ministry Intern. Mr. Pugh is grateful for the support he receives from his wife, family, and friends and is grateful to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School community.
Tasha Rivera Admissions Counselor
Mrs. Rivera was born and raised in North Philadelphia. Her mission and passion for over twenty years has been to serve the youth of Philadelphia, specializing in conflict resolution, life skills, and social skills. She has worked for many years in non-profit coordinating youth programming, and worked for seven years at a local charter school as their Conflict Resolution Specialist and Teen Parent Coordinator. Mrs. Rivera recently graduated from Chestnut Hill College with her Bachelors of Science in Human Services. Since then she has continued to serve students as the Academic Director at a local after-school program, and now as the Admissions Counselor at Cristo Rey. Her extensive experience working with youth has fostered a passion and belief that every child is a gift from God, and they can grow to be healthy, productive citizens. As the Admissions Counselor, she looks forward to building relationships with schools, parents, and students, to assist and guide them through the admissions process at Cristo Rey. During her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her children, family and friends.
Evelin Roman Director of Admissions
Ms. Roman is honored to have the opportunity to work and live out the mission of the Cristo Rey Network. As an educator and youth minister she brings twenty years of experience in building strong relationships with parents, students, and the community. Ms. Roman was born in St. Croix, USVI and is of Puerto Rican descent. She grew up in Camden, New Jersey and is both fully bilingual and bicultural. She is a graduate of Rutgers-Camden, (BA-Sociology), and was a member of the NJ Army National Guard for eight years. For the last five years she was part of the Catholic Partnership Schools as Director of Family and Graduate Support. It was during this time her love and admiration for Cristo Rey grew, and she advocated strongly for CPS graduates to transition to Cristo Rey Philadelphia. As a mother of three children who attend Catholic School, Ms. Roman is a firm believer and supporter of high quality education for all children. Although Ms. Roman currently lives in Merchantville, NJ with her children and brown chocolate lab Bella, her heart is in Camden. When not at Cristo Rey she enjoys cooking, dancing and spending time with family and friends! Ms. Roman also enjoys a daily cup of coffee on her back porch.
Danielle Rossi Faculty, Art
Danielle Rossi feels blessed to have the opportunity to help students at Cristo Rey become more in touch with their own creative spirit. Danielle has taught art in the Philadelphia area for the past twenty years. She believes that weaving humor, storytelling, and spirituality into the art making experience encourages students to continue to be creative in other areas all of life. Danielle teaches painting at Chestnut Hill College and is an artist and entertainer at “Painting with a Twist.” Danielle is also an associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and commits to living the mission of unity in her daily life. Danielle has art degrees from Chestnut Hill College, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and Temple University. Her favorite art making endeavors include puppet shows and pop up ice cream trucks with her four amazing children, David, Anthony, Noelle, and Vincent. When Danielle and her husband Mike are not at home in Conshohocken, they are probably chasing their children around the Philadelphia Zoo.
Troy Sams Dean of Students
Mr. Sams was born and raised in West Philadelphia. He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and Temple University. Before joining the Cristo Rey team, Mr. Sams was previously employed at the Gesu School, where he worked for nine years as a teacher and administrator. Mr. Sams has over eighteen years of experience working with young men and women, focusing on character development and behavior modification. During his free time, Mr. Sams enjoys relaxing with his wife and two children.
Mary Santiago Reception
Ms. Santiago is a proud member of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team. Ms. Santiago serves in School Administration and her main responsibilities include operating the Front Office. Prior to joining the team, she held numerous positions in nursing and social work. Ms. Santiago was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Upon graduation from college, she relocated to Philadelphia to start her career and a family. Ms. Santiago is a graduate of the Interamerican University (B.S. Nursing) and is the proud mother of six.
Laura Schmidt Head of Counseling
Mrs. Schmidt is the founding School Counselor for Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. She was born and raised in a Philadelphia-area suburb. Mrs. Schmidt is a graduate of Merion Mercy Academy and Villanova University (B.A. Theology with a concentration in Ethics, M.S. in Secondary Educational Counseling grades 7-12). Prior to joining the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team, Mrs. Schmidt was the school counselor for a Nativity/San Miguel-modeled middle school in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. She began her career in education as a teacher in an all-boys prep school in Wilmington, DE. Mrs. Schmidt is grateful for the loving support of her husband and daughter at home.
Olivia Sharkey Faculty, Theology
Ms. Sharkey is a native to Northeast Philadelphia, a proud Nazareth Academy High School alumna. After graduating from Saint Vincent College (go Bearcats!) with a degree in Theology, Ms. Sharkey participated in a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where she taught at the Cristo Rey school in Newark, NJ. It was there that she was introduced to the Cristo Rey mission, and she is now more than excited to share in that great mission back in her hometown. Ms. Sharkey teaches junior Theology, and very much enjoys learning from her students, viewing faith through their perspective, and witnessing the Church alive in their actions. She is an eternal optimist who wholeheartedly believes that each day offers us the opportunity to learn something new.
Sister Janice Shaw, IHM Faculty, Science
Sister Janice grew up in Southampton, PA. After graduating from Bishop McDevitt High School, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants, of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She taught in elementary and high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Harrisburg. She also served as an elementary school principal. Sister Janice comes to Cristo Rey from West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, where she taught physics and chemistry. Sister Janice is a graduate of Immaculata University (B.A. 1972, B.S. 1981) and Villanova University (M.S. 1989).
Becca Slocum Manager of Communications and Marketing
Mrs. Slocum could not be more excited about joining the team at Cristo Rey! Originally from Central Pennsylvania, she has made Philadelphia her home for the past seven years. She attended Temple University (B.A. Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Minor in Public Health) Go Owls! Before coming to CRPHS, she worked in communications and development at Saint John's Hospice - a homeless shelter in Center City. When she isn't crafting the most relevant #hashtag or finding the perfect branding moment, she enjoys (pretending she's good at) gardening, discovering new coffee shops, and spending time with her husband and dog.
Chloe Strickland Service Corps Volunteer
Ms. Strickland is honored and thrilled to be part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School family. Born and raised in Scranton, PA she is one of four children. She earned a B.S. in Counseling and Human Services from University of Scranton in May 2017. She believes strongly in caring for the individual person and respecting each person’s differences. She looks forward to being an agent of change for the students at Cristo Rey by encouraging them to realize their personal interests, dreams, goals and helping them to understand the various options available to them after graduation. She enjoys exercise, running, biking and spending time with her family and friends.
Dillon Vita Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Mr. Vita is a Jesuit Volunteer and is thrilled to be serving his year at Cristo Rey Philadelphia. He was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He graduated from the University of Scranton in 2017. He will be co-teaching a Freshman Latin class and will be working in Campus ministries as well. In his free time, Mr. Vita loves to read and watch Notre Dame football.
Cecily White College Advisor and Alumni Program Coordinator
Ms. White is thrilled to join Cristo Rey Philadelphia as the College Advisor and Alumni Program Coordinator. After graduating from Goucher College (B.A. Religion), she moved to Philadelphia and spent six years working in youth mentoring and development at Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. After receiving her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in (M.S.Ed. School and Mental Health Counseling), she worked with high school students as they navigated the college process. Through this work, she realized her passion around college access and success, and she is excited to build the alumni support program for the Cristo Rey Philadelphia community. In her free time, Ms. White loves spending time with her friends and family, trying new restaurants in Philly, and traveling.
Latoya White Faculty, Business Literacy Teacher
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ms. White graduated from Kutztown University (B.S. Public Administration) and Walden University (M.Ed.). After graduating, Ms. White worked in the social work field as a senior medical case manger at a non-profit called Bebashi for eight years. Ms. White also serves as the secretary on the board for a non-profit called Tools 4 Success, Inc., focusing on professional development with Philadelphia youth. Ms. White is eager and grateful to join the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as the Business Literacy Teacher. She has a passion for helping her community and pushing youth toward success.
Gillian Wible Faculty, Latin
Mrs. Wible is entering her fourth year as part of the Cristo Rey community and enthusiastically continues teaching freshman Latin She is a proud graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A. Classics) and the University of British Columbia (M.A. Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity). Prior to joining the Cristo Rey team, she taught Latin, Roman history and literature, and Greek history and literature at a suburban high school. She is excited to share her love of the ancient world and the Latin language with the students of Cristo Rey Philadelphia. But more importantly, she is eager to help and guide the newest members of CRPHS as they become men and women for others. Mrs. Wible lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Sarah Winn Faculty, English
Ms. Winn is excited to be joining the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as the sophomore English teacher. She is inspired by students and loves the energy they bring to the classroom every day. Ms. Winn is a Boston native who graduated from Harvard College with her B.A. in English. While working towards her teaching credentials as an undergrad, she spent a semester student teaching at Cristo Rey Boston High School. It was there that Ms. Winn fell in love with the Cristo Rey mission and decided to spend the 2014-2015 school year serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer and teaching 10th grade English at Cristo Rey Boston. Ms. Winn is looking forward to working with passionate colleagues and students. In her free time, Ms. Winn can be found playing tennis, volleyball, reading, or exploring her new home.
Anna Winter Director of Development, Communications, and Community Affairs
As the Director of Communications and Community Affairs, Ms. Winter is responsible for all Cristo Rey Philadelphia internal, external and online communications, branding and community relations. Prior to joining the Cristo Rey Philadelphia Team, she served as the Communications Coordinator at Elwyn, a multi-state nonprofit organization located in Media, PA. Ms. Winter is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University (B.A. Public Relations and Advertising, Minor in Business, 2010). Ms. Winter is honored to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team.
Joanna Wusinich Director of the Work-Study Program
Prior to joining the team, Ms. Wusinich served as an associate attorney at Reilly, Janiczek & McDevitt, one of Cristo Rey Philadelphia's founding Job Partners. She specialized in the defense of businesses and individuals in civil litigation matters involving products liability, toxic torts, premises liability and motor vehicle liability. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Wusinich obtained her Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law and is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross. Prior to law school, Ms. Wusinich served for two years as a Jesuit Alumni Volunteer at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, IL. At Cristo Rey Chicago, Ms. Wusinich taught American Government and English as a Second Language and coached mock trial and basketball.
Kristine Zeiset Faculty, Health and Fitness
Ms. Zeiset is a graduate of Eastern University (B.S. Exercise Science, Minor in Accounting, 2012). She has a special interest in athletics, as she was involved in sports throughout high school and college. Now, she enjoys coaching athletes in these sports. Ms. Zeiset has worked as a camp counselor and group fitness instructor at a Health and Fitness camp in Vermont for girls who desire to make physical and psychological improvements to their daily habits. She has also invested as an intern at Bryn Mawr Hospital in the Cardiac Rehabilitation department. In addition, Ms. Zeiset has done personal training with individuals to work towards health and fitness goals. She enjoys teaching and inspiring others to develop a lifestyle full of healthy habits and recreational activities.