As Cristo Rey students returned to school for the 2016-17 year, Dr. Kathleen Hanlon announced to the community that she will conclude her 43-year educational career at the end of the academic year. As the second president of Cristo Rey Kansas City, Dr. Hanlon took office in 2012 and inspired strong community collaboration to build enrollment, expand academic and co-curricular programs, and enhance facilities. Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Cristo Rey opened in 2006 to provide a Catholic college preparatory education to students of limited means.
“Kathleen has accomplished much during her tenure,” observed Steve Clifford, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “In 2012, she provided the strategic leadership and vision for the 21st Century Learning Initiative, which added six classrooms, deployed 1:1 technology, and expanded curricular offerings, from STEM to the arts,” he said.
Dr. Hanlon once again marshalled community input and spearheaded a broad strategic planning effort in 2013. With stakeholder support, the Cristo Rey flag was planted on school grounds with lighting, renovated hardscapes and landscapes, and signage. Facility upgrades extended through the lobby and into the activity center, which is used for community meetings, physical education, competitive sports and fine arts.
“Kathleen has accomplished much during her tenure,” said Clifford. “While facility upgrades are lasting reminders, the most significant additions were in programming,” he said.
A concerted emphasis on ambitious instruction resulted in literacy across the curriculum and further expansion of course offerings, most significantly in engineering, biomedical and computer sciences. To connect the classroom with student interests, students formed extra-curricular groups ranging from robotics to Girls Who Code ©.
To ensure a smooth transition, Clifford appointed members of the board to a presidential search committee. As an initial step, the committee engaged a national executive search firm. Educational Directions Incorporated (EDI), of Portsmouth, RI, will assist the board in identifying a highly qualified and diverse pool of candidates. In addition to gathering stakeholder input, EDI will advise the search committee at each stage of the presidential selection process. The board anticipate concluding the search by February 2017.
About Cristo Rey Kansas City
Cristo Rey Kansas City is part of the network of 32 Cristo Rey high schools that break the cycle of poverty through education and work experience. Cristo Rey Kansas City provides a Catholic, college prep education enhanced by an innovative corporate work study program to culturally diverse students with economic need. The model of education equips students to see past their urban roots towards college and beyond.