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Leadership Changes Underway at Two Jesuit Schools in Baltimore

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School announced last month that president Dr. William “Bill” Heiser planned to leave the school in July to accept the position of director of operations for Anne County Public Schools. Arundel.

Heiser’s last day at school in Southeast Baltimore is July 7.

A national search for the next Jesuit president Cristo Rey is underway.

“In his eight years as head of the Cristo Rey Jesuit Community of Baltimore, Bill has been an outstanding leader. His tireless work leading and navigating the nuances of running a work-study high school in today’s environment was on display every day,” said Robert T. Cawley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Jesuits Cristo Rey, in a press release from the school. .

Jesuit Father William J. Watters, 89, said last month he planned to step down as president of the Loyola School, the third of three scholarship-funded schools he founded for underprivileged children in the city of Baltimore. (Courtesy of Loyola School)

Heiser had been president of the Jesuit Cristo Rey since 2015.

During his tenure, Cristo Rey exceeded annual fundraising goals with over $4 million per year and increased corporate internship program revenue to over $2 million for the first time in the world. school history, according to the press release. The school also established a dual enrollment program with the Community College of Baltimore County to offer a certified nursing assistant program to graduating seniors, the first school in the nationwide 37-person Cristo Rey network to offer this career certification program.

Heiser also developed and delivered the school’s first five-year strategic plan.

Additionally, during Heiser’s eight-year presidency, every student in every upper class was accepted into the university.

Heiser came to Cristo Rey Jesuit after serving as principal at Catonsville High School. In his new role, Heiser returns to Anne Arundel County Public Schools, where he served as Principal of North County High School and Vice-Principal of Annapolis High School. While at North County High School, he was named Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.

The Anne Arundel County Public Schools School Board approved Heiser’s nomination at a May 24 meeting. He will take office on July 10.

“It has been an honor to serve the Cristo Rey Jesuit community for the past eight years,” Heiser said in a press release. “Our students are an inspiration and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside our incredible leadership team, faculty, staff and administrators. Cristo Rey Jesuit is a school of transformation.

In another move involving a Jesuit school in Baltimore, Jesuit Father William J. Watters, 89, said last month he planned to step down as president of the Loyola School, the third of three funded schools. through scholarships he founded for underprivileged children in the city of Baltimore.

Loyola Board Chairman Joseph Lombard said in an online message to the school community: “Father Watters believes that – with our sixth school year nearly complete, five of the eight grade levels will soon be established and work on our new building in progress – now is the time for him to hand over his role as school president. He recently asked the board to begin the search for his successor. We will do so, with deep gratitude for what Father Watters has accomplished. He not only brought Loyola School to life, but also established our thriving sister schools, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.

Father Watters opened Loyola School in 2017 as a preschool, first called Loyola Early Learning Center. The school, which charges no tuition and is supported by private donors, added a kindergarten in 2021 and continues to grow by one level each year. By 2025, it will achieve full schooling for approximately 200 boys and girls from needy families in Baltimore. It will then include three pre-school levels, a kindergarten and grades one to four.

A $10 million project is underway to create a state-of-the-art elementary school from five townhouses on East Madison Street across from St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mount Vernon.

Father Watters was also the founder, in 1993, of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, originally located at the facilities of St. Ignatius Church and now in Federal Hill. The tuition-free school serves 120 boys from ethnically and religiously diverse low-income families in grades five through eight.

Father Watters’ other school, Cristo Rey, opened in 2007. It serves 350 girls and boys in grades 9 through 12 who otherwise could not afford a private secondary school. Cristo Rey combines a rigorous university preparatory academic program with work placements for each student.

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