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.
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.
Quintel Coles Executive Chef
Mr. Coles is the Executive Chef at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. As the Executive Chef, he and the kitchen staff bring to life the "Eatiquette" food program in partnership with the Vetri Foundation at Cristo Rey Philadelphia. Mr. Coles bring over 25 years of professional cooking experience. Throughout his career, Mr. Coles worked at a number of restaurants across the Philadelphia region. At school he is affectionately known as "Chef Qu." He loves cooking for the students, faculty and staff and is grateful to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team.
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!
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
Ms. Dodderidge is thrilled to join the Cristo Rey community as part of the Service Corps teaching Principles of Math to sophomores. She enjoys the challenge of fortifying math skills to ensure success on the ACT, and she hopes to empower all of her students to feel confident and capable when assessing any problem, whether in the classroom or out. Prior to Cristo Rey, Ms. Dodderidge worked as the Administrative Coordinator 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.
Alicia Donahoe Development Associate
Ms. Donahoe is delighted to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia Team as the Development Associate. She graduated from the University of Delaware (B.A. Communications, Minors in Organizational Leadership, Theater, and Human Development and Family Studies) and is thrilled to make the beautiful city of Philadelphia her home. Previously, Ms. Donahoe worked with student affairs at UD Residence Life and Housing and the Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative, she also managed the public relations at The Geographical Society of Philadelphia. Ms. Donahoe is impassioned by the Cristo Rey mission and honored to be a part of its development.
Tom Dooner Faculty, Math
Mr. Dooner is a lifelong Philadelphia-area native. He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep and Villanova University (B.A. History, B.A. Secondary Education). While studying at Villanova, he volunteered in Philadelphia high schools including School of the Future and Overbrook School for the Blind. He completed his student teaching at Norristown Area High School, where he taught Social Studies. Mr. Dooner began at Cristo Rey in the afterschool tutoring program, and is now excited to join the team as a Principles of Math teacher and member of the Service Corps. In his free time, Mr. Dooner enjoys being active and playing sports.
Jared Epler Director of College Counseling
Mr. Epler joins 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.
Robert Fabiszewski Student Mentorship
Mr. Fabiszewski has 29 years of commercial real estate experience with both debt and equity investments. Retired in 2011 from TRECAP Partners, LLC, he now serves on its Board of Directors, and formerly its Executive and Investment Committees, after founding the company's real estate investment advisory business under predecessor companies Capmark Investments, LLP, GMAC Institutional Advisors and GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation in 1996. He developed and directed the company’s real estate private equity business model (approximately $5 billion in assets under management and supervision) and portfolio and related asset management activities on behalf of third-party investors. Mr. Fabiszewski directed the Real Estate Equity Group’s business operations, strategic planning, relationships with investor clients and property acquisition/joint venture programs with existing and new operating partners. From 1982 to 1996, Mr. Fabiszewski was responsible for the acquisition and underwriting of real estate investments for The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and developed its national origination network. Mr. Fabiszewski is a graduate of La Salle University (B.A. Finance), is a retired member of the Pension Real Estate Association and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers, and has lectured for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America on real estate finance and negotiation skills. He also currently serves on the boards of area education-based non-profit organizations.
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.
Dylan Frendt Faculty, U.S. History
Mr. Frendt is honored and excited to join Cristo Rey Philadelphia as the junior history teacher. Raised in a small town called Lehighton, PA, Mr. Frendt traveled around and graduated from the College of William and Mary (B.A., Government) and later from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (M.S.Ed.). In college, Mr. Frendt spent a year as an AmeriCorps Community Fellow in Washington, PA, served on William and Mary’s historic Honor Council, and served the entire student body as the Student Assembly’s Secretary of Diversity Initiatives, where he focused on equality and cultural awareness. When not at school, you can find Mr. Frendt walking through West Philly, jogging on the Schuylkill River Trail while humming to himself, laughing with his friends and family, reading books about the human brain, or riding the trolley.
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.
Nancy C. Green Director of Development
Ms. Green is responsible for all aspects of fundraising for Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. She has over 30 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, primarily with social justice organizations. Particularly relevant are her six years as the first full-time development director for White-Williams Scholars, which recently merged with Philadelphia Futures and supports college-bound public high school students from low-income families. She is well versed in the challenges faced by students from families of modest means and is passionate about the importance of education in changing the trajectory of their lives. Ms. Green is a former board member and current development committee member of Lifecycle WomanCare (formerly The Birth Center) in Bryn Mawr, PA. She is a Philadelphia native and mother of three.
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.
Lauren Hamilton Faculty, Chemistry
Ms. Hamilton graduated from Saint Joseph’s University (B.S. Biology, Minor in Gender Studies, 2012) and University of Notre Dame (M.Ed.). After multiple service trips to Honduras, she began an organization at Saint Joseph’s University designed to provide a better education for the children in Honduras. As part of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program through the University of Notre Dame, Ms. Hamilton taught middle school science, coached, and led a girls STEM program in Dallas, TX. Born and raised in Jenkintown, PA, Ms. Hamilton is looking forward to bringing her passion for science and education to Philadelphia as part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia community.
Rodney Hardee Work-Study Program Coordinator
Mr. Hardee is proud to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia Work-Study team. He works alongside Mr. Fabiszewski, Ms. O’Neill and Ms. Wusinich and assists in the daily operations of the Work-Study Office. Mr. Hardee is a graduate of La Salle College High School and the Pennsylvania State University (B.A. Communications Arts and Sciences).
Jalaal Hayes Faculty, Physics
A native of North Philadelphia, in June 2015, Dr. Jalaal Hayes successfully defended his dissertation entitled, “Thermodynamic and Kinetic Studies of Alkali-Metal Doped Lithium Amide-Magnesium Hydride Hydrogen Storage System” in Applied Chemistry. He was 22 years old. The degree was conferred on December 20, 2015 at Delaware State University winter commencement as he was lauded as “the youngest ever Doctoral Candidate” in the university’s 124 year history. He attended The Ivy Leaf School, Pratt Arnold Elementary, People for People Charter School, Conwell Middle Magnet School, and the High School of Engineering and Science before graduating from Northeast Preparatory School at the age of 15. During these school years he tutored, created science projects and mastered the Tenor Saxophone. Dr. Hayes accepted an appointment as a STEAM educator in Philadelphia to advance his personal mission on making science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) simple through teaching. He also founded a company, Elyte Universal, that further enhances his life as a chemist and educator.
Will Henry College Counseling Assistant and Faculty, Latin
Mr. Henry is excited to be joining Cristo Rey Philadelphia’s Service Corp to teach Latin II to a select group of Juniors, and to fulfill the role of an assistant in College Counseling. He is a graduate of Xavier University (B.A. Classics) in Cincinnati, OH. He has spent time working and studying in both Greece and Romania, and particularly enjoys the topics of Greco-Roman history, culture, and archaeology. He is happy to be working with such bright young minds, and is looking forward to a wonderful school year with them at Cristo Rey!
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.
Taylor Holko Faculty, Fitness
Mr. Holko was born and raised in Allentown, PA. As a Parkland High School graduate of 2007 he excelled in soccer and track. He then went west and graduated from Slippery Rock University (B.S. Health and Physical Education). While at Slippery Rock, he also studied athletic training and exercise science. Since graduating in 2011, he has been honing his skills as a strength and conditioning coach for high school and collegiate athletes. Mr. Holko has helped to train athletes from various colleges including: UNC, Temple, University of Massachusetts, and University of South Carolina. In his free time he enjoys working at a local country club as a caddy for the golf members. His love of sports, health, and fitness can be seen in his every day life as he motivates others to achieve their goals.
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 5. Mrs. Kochersperger is very excited to be part of such an amazing educational institution and strongly believes in the Cristo Rey Philadelphia mission.
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.
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.
John McGovern Faculty, English
Mr. McGovern is thrilled to join the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as a member of the English department with the Service Corps program. Originally from Media, PA and a graduate of St. Joseph’s Preparatory, he is happy to be back in the city of Philadelphia. Mr. McGovern graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Political Science, a minor in Portuguese, and a Certificate in Latin American Studies. During his time at Pitt he studied abroad twice in Brazil where learned to speak Portuguese. He is looking forward to working with and learning from the students and the staff at Cristo Rey. In his free time Mr. McGovern enjoys reading, watching movies, and the outdoors.
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.
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.
Collence Nyazenga Faculty, Physics
Mr. Collence Nyazenga graduated from Haverford College with a bachelor's degree in Physics and a minor in Math. He joined Haverford in 2010 as a USAP student from Zimbabwe and graduated in May 2014. He joined Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School in July 2016 and will be teaching seniors Physics.
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.
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.
Giuliano Pichini Academic Support
Mr. Pichini is honored to be a part of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia team as a member of the Service Corps. He will be working alongside the Academic Support team, as well as assisting in transporting students to their Work-Study jobs. No stranger to the Jesuit mission, Mr. Pichini graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School and Fordham University, where he earned his B.S. in Biology. He aims to attend dental school in the near future, but in the meantime he is excited to take some time off from studying science all day and instead focus on providing individualized support to the students of Cristo Rey Philadelphia. In his free time, you can find Mr. Pichini working out in the school gym, reading, listening to music, and playing with his puppies.
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). In 2000, she started teaching science at the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula in the Bronx, NY and continued to teach there for seven years. She taught General Biology, Biology Honors, AP Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. She completed her graduate training at Fordham University (M.S.T. Biology, 2004). In 2007, Mrs. Porter relocated to Florida and continued to teach Biology and Advanced Placement Biology for the School District of Osceola County. Throughout her years as a teacher, Mrs. Porter always emphasized higher education and challenged her students to go beyond their comfort zones. Mrs. Porter love sharing her passion for biology and education with her students and serving as the advisor for the Cristo Rey Honor Society. 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 Director of Campus Ministry and Student Activities
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.
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 Student Billing Manager
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).
Michael Tillman College Counselor
Mr. Tillman is excited to join Cristo Rey Philadelphia as a College Counselor as part of the Service Corps. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Mr. Tillman is ready and eager to help Cristo Rey Philadelphia complete its mission. As a first-generation college student from Colby-Sawyer College (B.A. Sociology), Mr. Tillman has developed the passion for guiding and supporting prospective first-generation, low-income college students through the college process. In college, he worked in the admissions and residential education departments where he served as a mentor for minority students. He believes that “education is the birthright of all children,” and is passionate about assuring the students at Cristo Rey Philadelphia acquire that birthright.
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 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 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 for two years 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.
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 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.