Cristo Rey San Diego High School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
About » Founding Principal

Founding Principal


Opening: Founding Principal


Cristo Rey San Diego High School seeks a mission-driven, innovative, collaborative, student focused, and community-centered Principal to serve as the chief academic, instructional, and formational leader for a brand-new Catholic high school.  The Principal will start July 1, 2019, and spend a “launch year” preparing the school before it opens with its first class of 9th-grade students in the Summer of 2020.  The Principal reports directly to the school’s President, and serves as a critical member of the school’s leadership team. 


About the School:


Cristo Rey San Diego High School will be a 9-12 Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose, and service.  Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a professional work study experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life.  Cristo Rey San Diego High School will be a part of the largest network of high schools in the country that exclusively serve under-served youth.  As a part of the Cristo Rey Network (CRN), Cristo Rey schools adhere to a set of Mission Effectiveness Standards to protect the integrity of the model and articulate the shared mission.  Cristo Rey San Diego High School is scheduled to welcome freshman students to its campus in the summer of 2020.  Classes for sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be added one year at a time towards a full capacity of 520 students by fall of 2023.


Principal Roles and Responsibilities:


Catholic Identity and Cristo Rey Mission

  • Serve as a spiritual leader for the school; promote and sustain the school’s Catholic identity; ensure that the school’s Christian values and mission drive school decisions, and that liturgical practices, prayer, and Catholic culture are integrated into school life; ensure that time and resources are appropriately allocated to Campus Ministry and Adult Faith Formation.
  • Ensure that all members of the school community are treated fairly, equitably, and with respect and compassion; positively support all stakeholders; actively work to create a loving environment; protect the rights and confidentiality of students and staff.
  • Actively participate in and support the school’s leadership team; promote and support the importance of integrating academics with the Corporate Work Study Program as part of a college preparatory experience; ensure clear communication of shared expectations for students.
  • Actively participate in CRN professional development and take advantage of CRN coaching and support; actively participate in faith formation programs aimed at deepening and nurturing your capacity as a spiritual and mission-driven Catholic school leader.
  • Work with the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, the school’s Catholic sponsor, to develop and sustain the school’s Catholic identity


Teaching and Learning

  • Serve as the lead-learner in the building; stay current with research, best practices, and trends relevant to Catholic, urban education, and issues that may be affecting the school’s students.
  • Oversee faculty members; conduct regular classroom observations using a research-based framework; maintain a visible and active leadership presence throughout the building; provide teachers and classroom staff with valuable feedback to further develop their professional skills.
  • Lead the implementation of the common, rigorous, college-ready Cristo Rey Network curriculum; promote and nurture a college-going culture with high student expectations.
  • Lead the implementation of school-wide cycles of formative/interim assessments, analysis of data, and monitoring of student progress; identify and prioritize needs and determine team and individual interventions; communicate academic data to stakeholders.
  • Plan and execute a program of professional development informed by instructional, school culture, and student achievement data. Ensure that professional development is collaborative and aligned with the school’s instructional and formational vision.


School Culture and Family Involvement

  • Foster and promote a school culture that values diversity and the unique gifts that all staff, students, and families bring to the school community; foster the creation of an inclusive school environment, and ensure that parents are welcomed and acknowledged as partners with the school; develop and implement strategies for meaningful and reciprocal family and community engagement.
  • Lead the school community to create a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement, complemented by high levels of support; promote and articulate a vision for continuous improvement that recognizes existing equity gaps and commits to their elimination.
  • Serve as a model of the school’s values and mindsets, and hold self and others accountable to maintaining high standards; actively promote the regular exchange of affirming and constructive feedback among members of the school’s staff.
  • Ensure an active co-curricular life of the school, which gives students opportunities to develop their non-academic talents and interests (musical, artistic, athletic, etc.).


Strategic Planning

  • Lead the school community to develop a detailed, concrete, and compelling vision for excellence that encompasses academics, school culture, community engagement, alumni engagement (when applicable), and partnership with the Corporate Work Study Program. This vision must reflect a critical understanding of the students’ varied cultural identities, along with the school’s Catholic identity; consult with the President and other stakeholders to incorporate their understanding of the school’s context and to secure their investment in the school’s vision for excellence.
  • In consultation with the President and other key stakeholders, develop a multi-year strategic plan that is aligned to the school’s shared vision of excellence, that leverages the resources of the Cristo Rey Network, and incorporates knowledge of current realities and progress-to-goals.
  • Predict the needs of staff, students, and families in pursuing the strategic plan, adjusting over time, as necessary; anticipate barriers, and develop measures of effectiveness and plan for contingencies.
  • Design and execute processes and systems for progress-monitoring with goals and metrics across all critical areas of the strategic plan.
  • Establish concrete, ambitious, meaningful medium- and long-term goals that serve as qualitative and quantitative indicators of students’ college-readiness.


Allocation of Resources and Supervision of School Personnel

  • Audit time, personnel, and resources to ensure college-readiness for all students.
  • Set and communicate clear expectations for excellence, and define responsibilities for staff; delegate tasks and responsibilities in ways that are consistent with role definitions; maximize the impact of each team member under your chain of management.
  • Develop and execute strategies to improve performance of staff over time and hold staff members accountable.
  • Monitor progress on multiple work streams and individual expectations. Acknowledge progress, celebrate successes, and intervene in a prompt, direct, and professional way to address gaps when needed.
  • Consistently follow federal and state policy and establish a high bar for professionalism and discretion when handling personnel issues.


Additional Skills

  • Deep commitment to low-income, urban youth
  • Flexibility, energy, stamina, and foresight to be an effective leader of a start-up school
  • Ability to build a shared vision and inspire commitment to a mission
  • Ability to build relationships with a diverse staff and parent community
  • Ability to plan in a manner that anticipates barriers and recognizes needs school-wide
  • Strong collaboration with others and the willingness to solicit input prior to developing strategies and solutions
  • Ability to motivate and influence others to achieve excellence in the workplace
  • Openness to feedback
  • Ability to think critically and reflectively, and to prioritize effectively
  • Openness to growth and a commitment to continuous learning
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to develop and execute an effective school budget
  • Master’s Degree in an educational field
  • Minimum five years experience in school leadership
  • A commitment to Catholic education
  • Demonstrated ability to connect with low-income, urban students and families
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as the faith leader of the school
  • Proven background in curriculum design, teacher supervision, and data analysis
  • Demonstrated understanding of the college qualification and acceptance process
  • Background in designing and executing school improvement plans
  • A commitment to personal and professional integrity and moral character
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred



All interested and qualified applicants with a passion for Cristo Rey’s mission are invited to apply by Friday, March 29, 2019. Please include the following:


  • Resume
  • Cover Letter (not longer than one page).
  • Responses to the following questions (not longer than 1000 words total):
    • How would you describe your philosophy of education? How would you put it into practice at Cristo Rey San Diego?
    • How would you describe your leadership style?
    • What past experiences in educational leadership have prepared you to serve as a founding principal of a brand-new school?
    • What qualities and dispositions will you look for when hiring teachers and staff? How do you plan to support, evaluate, and train teachers?
    • How would you ensure the Catholic identity of the school? How would you define effective Catholic leadership?
    • What is your vision for the ideal graduate of Cristo Rey San Diego High School?
  • References: Please list three professional references with their email addresses and telephone numbers.

Please email your completed application as an attached PDF to Bob Nascenzi at



Equal Opportunity Employer:

Cristo Rey San Diego is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All employment decisions, policies, and practices are made in accordance with applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws. Cristo Rey San Diego will not engage or tolerate unlawful discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.