May 19, 2014 — The Midwest Jesuits of the Wisconsin and Chicago-Detroit Provinces have announced the opening of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Milwaukee, the 29th Cristo Rey Network school serving inner-city students in the U.S. The school will unite with Milwaukee community and business leaders to provide underserved students with a faith-based, college-prep, leadership-focused education.
“This new school represents a few firsts while standing on a strong foundation of proven success,” said Jesuit Father Tom Lawler, provincial of the Wisconsin Province Jesuits. “Cristo Rey builds upon the 450 years of Jesuit education worldwide and 150 years of Jesuit education in Milwaukee.”
The Cristo Rey model includes a longer school day and year, an expectation that every student should go to college and a requirement that each student participate in a work-study program to gain professional work skills and a glimpse of potential future careers at Milwaukee-area companies.
"Milwaukee needs a Cristo Rey school because the students in Milwaukee's communities deserve what I had,” said Cristina Garcia, a 2007 graduate of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Chicago and 2011 graduate of Marquette University currently studying law at Chicago Kent University. “They deserve teachers who push them and they deserve a job that challenges them. Students will feel at home, and families will feel involved in their child's education."
Andrew Stith was named the school’s first president. Stith previously served as the founding Vice President for Advancement of Cristo Rey Kansas City and is a graduate of Marquette University. His main focus will now be coordinating the school to open with its first class of 100 freshmen in fall 2015.
“I am excited about the tremendous potential of this new school for the young people who will attend. … There is much preparation work to do in the next year including building our enrollment, planning our academic and extra-curricular programs, raising additional funds and working with local businesses to secure student jobs for the work-study program,” said Stith. [Sources: Chicago-Detroit Province, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]