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Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

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College Success Team and Ms. Flock-Johnson Honored at MISF's 2021 Private & Independent Education Awards

APRIL 29, 2021
 
The Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) honored Cristo Rey Jesuit College Success Team Members, Raquel Gudiel, Elizabeth Rojas, Kia Burton, and Domonick Fields, as well as faculty member Trish Flock-Johnson, at the MN Private & Independent Education Awards on April 29, 2021.
 
Cristo Rey’s College Success Program combines College Counseling activities with up to six years of post-graduation support. College Counselors ensure that all seniors apply to 10+ schools and provide intensive, individualized supports for students and families while they navigate the college application, financial aid, and acceptance process. Alumni Counselors build relationships with current students, and support graduates with enrollment, transfers, FAFSA, and academic and social guidance. More than 90% of our students are first-generation college students (and many are the first in their families to earn a high school diploma); removing barriers to the college process maximizes college enrollment, persistence and degree attainment.
 
Despite significant difficulties presented by COVID-19, this program met and exceeded all annual goals and successfully shifted to all-virtual (and all bi-lingual) offerings for students and families. Each branch of this program has demonstrated tremendous successes, including:
-100% of our graduating seniors have been accepted to college for 11 consecutive years 
-Over the past 4 years, an average of 85% of graduates have direct enrolled into college the fall after graduation (and 81% of the Class of 2020) For Context, nationally, this is 36-37% of Hispanic and Black students (respectively).
 
This program was the first in the nation-wide Network of Cristo Rey schools to double its staff size for Alumni Support, allowing us to expand graduate supports and enhance communication and engagement.

This program’s Leadership and Staff is 100% first-generation, professionals of color.
 

Program Award: College Success Program, Raquel Gudiel, Director of College Counseling from MN Independent School Forum on Vimeo.

 
 
Trish Flock-Johnson is a founding Cristo Rey faculty member and currently teaches Chemistry and AP Chemistry.

Trish exemplifies what it means to be an Ignatian educator. She lives out her values in every interaction with students and colleagues. She is an expert in her content area, and she exudes enthusiasm in all of her classes. She makes clear to students that they are capable of solving challenging problems, and that they have what it takes to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology. She is a trusted guide to her students who celebrates their successes. Our school offered AP Chemistry for the first time last year; Trish completed additional professional development to create the curriculum for her class, and then revised it entirely to prepare them for the exam.

Students see Trish as an expert; they trust her: each year, she is asked by 40+ rising seniors to write letters of recommendation. In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago, students in her classes reported the highest positive ratings of any classes in the school for both classroom community and for developmental relationships. This means that students gave overwhelmingly positive ratings to prompts such as: “This teacher makes sure students know how much she enjoys working with us”; “This teacher puts effort into making sure this class is a welcoming place for everyone”. This school year has been entirely online; nevertheless, Trish set a goal that her class would continue to be a place where students felt welcomed, cared for, and supported, and the survey data demonstrates how effective she has been in meeting that goal.

Trish also contributes to our school community as the moderator for the “Ignatian Carbon Challenge”, our school’s environmental club, which recently worked to introduce composting in the school cafeteria, a shift that has positively impacted the way that our school thinks about its environmental responsibility. She also led a group of students in the We Share Solar program, to build portable “solar suitcases” that were then sent to a refugee camp in Kenya, so that young people could continue their schooling without worrying about electricity. Trish routinely bakes several dozen cookies and shares freely with all students (and staff) to make the day extra special. Her recipe has become so sought after that she started meeting students after school to share her secret recipe and then bake and talk together.

Trish is a lifelong learner who pursues opportunities for personal and professional growth. She was a recent participant in a two-year Seminar in Ignatian Leadership program. She has collaborated on several projects with the University of St. Thomas Chemistry department to offer college-level experiences to Cristo Rey students, including collaborative environmental lab practicums with Cristo Rey and St. Thomas students for spring 2020 before COVID delayed those plans.

She is a beloved and respected member and leader of the Cristo Rey community, and we are proud she's been honored with this award!
 
 

Honor Teacher 9-12 Award: Trish Flock-Johnson from MN Independent School Forum on Vimeo.