Cougar Chronicles: 10 Years of Empowering Students, Issue 1

Sep 1, 2022 | Cougar Chronicles

Greetings, Cristo Rey Columbus supporters!

While it may be hard to believe, Cristo Rey Columbus High School has embarked on its 10th school year! “The School That Works”, which began as a dream, is now celebrating a milestone year, and we welcome everyone in our community to be a part of it.

Our school’s theme for this year is Together We Thrive,” which perfectly describes not only Cristo Rey Columbus’ origin but how we continue to approach each day. It was the hard work and faith of original stakeholders and champions of the mission that made Cristo Rey Columbus possible. It was the effort and perseverance of the first faculty and staff members that gave Cristo Rey Columbus a presence in our community and fulfilled its promises to students and families. And it is the ongoing passion and fortitude of business partners, donors, volunteers, and community supporters that allows Cristo Rey Columbus to continue to grow and THRIVE.

Throughout the school year, you’ll receive these special edition Cougar Chronicles: 10 Years of Empowering Students e-newsletters that will commemorate the school’s journey and all those who contributed to its development. As you hear from Professional Work-Study Partners, original board members, and the students themselves, we hope you will enjoy a look back at Cristo Rey Columbus’ past and help us celebrate its future.

Thank you for being a part of the Cristo Rey Columbus family and we look forward to sharing in this 10-Year Celebration with you!

Viva Cristo Rey!

We are so grateful to ALL of our Professional Work-Study Partners, past and present, for championing our students and giving them an invaluable professional experience.

In this issue, we celebrate 10-Year Partner, Kimball Midwest. Family owned and operated since 1923, Kimball Midwest is a Maintenance and Repair Operations (MRO) distributor committed to superior products, customer service and product availability. Kimball Midwest hosts three student teams, which allows twelve Cristo Rey students to learn areas of business such as purchasing, distribution, and sales.

In addition to hosting three student teams, two of Kimball Midwest’s leadership team members have been involved in Cristo Rey Columbus at the board level: (left) Dave McCurdy, Chief Operating Officer (2016-2020) and (right) Brian McCurdy, Division Manager (2020-present)

We asked Lindsay Bodnar, Development Planner and Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Champion at Kimball Midwest what she enjoys most about working with Cristo Rey Columbus students: 

“I really enjoy watching my student interns grow from day one. When our interns first start their job at Kimball Midwest, if not a returning intern, the information that needs to be processed and understood can be very overwhelming. Every day that they return to work they add onto the previous work day’s knowledge and understanding. It is so exciting for me to see them make sense of what we do – on a very high level. The impact that each of the interns has on our associates and company overall is great, and the interns continue to surprise me each and every single day by wanting to learn and do more and continue to make that impact.”

Returning to the Kimball Midwest student team this year is Lania, a junior at Cristo Rey Columbus, and she has a video message to share. Click below to take a look!

There are countless individuals who played a part in making the dream of Cristo Rey Columbus a reality, and we thank them all!

For this issue, we sat down with original Cristo Rey Columbus High School Board of Trustees member, Lucia McQuaide, a.k.a. Cia, to ask her a few questions about how her role in getting Cristo Rey Columbus off the ground has made a lasting impact on her:

Q: What is your fondest memory of your involvement with Cristo Rey Columbus so far?

A: My fondest memories are: 1) The day Bishop Campbell told me he approved contacting the Cristo Rey Network and for me to conduct a study to open a Cristo Rey High School in Columbus, 2) Our first Mass to open Cristo Rey Columbus, and 3) attending the Graduation of our first class.

Q: How has being a part of Cristo Rey Columbus given you a sense of joy, fulfillment, and service to others?:

A: I was Superintendent of the Diocese of Columbus for 16 years and opening Cristo Rey Columbus High School was the highlight of my career. At the time there were no vouchers to attend a non-public school. To be able to have any student no matter their financial means to be able to attend a Catholic High School was a dream come true.

Q: What is your hope for the future of Cristo Rey Columbus?

A: My hopes for the future of Cristo Rey are:

  • Growth in enrollment;
  • Growth in faculty and staff;
  • Growth in advancement;
  • Growth in the number of business partners;
  • And most of all… Growth in the spiritual life of the students.

Each issue will feature a look inside the school to showcase the enhancements taking place to enrich and enliven the student experience. Click below to enjoy the short video!

In the summer of 2019, a series of interviews took place with key individuals involved with Cristo Rey Columbus’ creation and early days of operation. Conducted by Liz Webb, Columbus Foundation Fellow, these interviews have been compiled into an oral history of the school. We will share one of these interviews in each issue, and who better to start with than Cristo Rey Columbus High School Founding President, Jim Foley. Click on the link below to enjoy the audio interview!