Cougar Chronicles: Holiday Edition

Dec 14, 2021 | Cougar Chronicles

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Cristo Rey! We hope the season finds you in good health, good spirit, and good will. The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, and as you take a look at the exciting updates in this edition, we hope you’ll also reflect on the blessings in your life and how you are a blessing to others. The faculty and staff at Cristo Rey are reminded of our greatest blessings everyday – the young men and women who fill the school building with such energy, hope, and passion. We strive to be blessings to them by teaching them, guiding them, and caring for them. And it feels extra special this time of year when the school building is so beautifully decorated for Christmas! A special thank you to the National Honor Society for decorating during their retreat (photos below.)

Have a joyful and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year!

PWSP Remote Room supervisor, Mr. Anthony Holt, checks in with each student during the day to discuss their work assignments and ensure they are staying on task. The improvement he sees in the students’ experience from last year, when remote work was located in the school cafeteria due to space constraints, is evident. “This space is much more conducive to productivity and the students getting the most out of their work experience,” said Mr. Holt. “I had a student last year who worked remotely in our cafeteria, and this year was placed in a job where she goes into the office. When she stopped by to see the new Remote Room, she said that if she had known how great this space was, she would have wanted to continue working virtually!”

Technology is another key ingredient to a successful remote work experience. Each student is given the appropriate equipment for their role, whether it’s a second computer monitor for data-driven projects or VPN connection for seamless collaboration with their supervisors. The students who work remotely for JPMorgan Chase (photo right) have adjacent desks so they can easily work as a team. As remote work continues to evolve, Cristo Rey will make sure that students have what they need to succeed.

Whether your job has adopted new policies or you’ve experienced multiple delays in returning to the office, for many people, “WFH” or “work from home” continues to be the norm. So too at Cristo Rey, many students are performing their Professional Work-Study roles remotely, this year in a convenient and conducive new location thanks to our great partners at Encova.

Each morning, students who have remote job assignments check-in at the school then take a short walk to the Remote Room just two blocks away. The Remote Room is set up with work stations, private areas for students to take work calls, a lounge with soft seating for breaks, storage cubbies, and even an office kitchen complete with a refrigerator and coffee maker!

Cristo Rey is extremely thankful for all the Remote Partners and Supervisors who make this virtual-working experience possible! And with that, we’d like to share some thoughts directly from the students:

“I am thankful for the Remote Room and the resources we have access to.” – Brenda G. ’22, Godman Guild

“The Remote Room has given me the opportunity to work in a big company like Chase with my classmates as coworkers.” – Mateo T. ’22, JPMorgan Chase

“In our virtual meetings, my supervisors at PINK not only encourage me to go for my dreams, they take the time to get to know what I love to do.” – Kira W. ’22, VS Service Company

With remote work here to stay for the foreseeable future, Cristo Rey is thrilled that students are able to get a realistic and fulfilling workplace experience, one that mirrors in-person work as close as possible.

Are you interested in becoming a work-study partner? Contact PWSP Director of Sales, Ms. Somers Martin, at or (614) 223-9261 ext. 005

Student Service Projects

Each year, the National Honor Society (NHS) conducts a donation drive that benefits the National Kidney Service. Students, faculty, and staff brought in essential items like clothes, toothbrushes, and tissues and at weeks end, over 1,000 items were collected! A huge shout out to the NHS for taking on this project that directly serves those in need.
New this year to Cristo Rey’s slate of student organizations is internationally recognized UNICEF. In short order, the CRC UNICEF members have already held their first service project, a student dress down day that collected monetary donations. We are excited to see what else this group will do as they share their passion for impacting children around the world!

Cougar Athletics

Championships and awards galore for the fall sport athletes!

Boys’ Soccer

United League Champs!


Coach Huynh named United League Coach of the Year

Juan R. ‘23 named United League Player of the Year

First Team All-Conference:

Kevin C. ‘22

Everardo M. ‘23

Kam N. ‘23

Juan R. ‘23

Nata R. ‘24

Girls’ Cross Country

United League Champs!

Girls’ Volleyball

United League Co-Champs!


Coach Dixon named United League Coach of the Year

First Team All-Conference:

Madison B. ‘23

Second Team All-Conference:

Isis C. ‘24

Aireana M. ‘25

Logan R. ‘23

Do Cristo Rey students make you SMILE?

Then be sure to designate CRC as your AmazonSmile charity!

Simply go to, click the “Supporting” tab in the top left corner, and type Cristo Rey Columbus High School.

A portion of select purchases you make on AmazonSmile will support Cristo Rey!

If you want to meet a Cristo Rey student who stays busy, look no further than Paul, class of 2022. He is treasurer of the National Honor Society chapter, treasurer of the newly-formed UNICEF chapter, debate coordinator for the Junior State of America chapter, a member of the Cross Country team, and spends his work-study days at IGS Energy. Oh, and did we mention that his academic course load includes 2 AP classes, Engineering, and an Intro to Physics College Course where he’ll earn 4 college credits through Hocking College? We’re exhausted just reading all that! We sat down with Paul to find out how he balances it all, why leadership is important to him, and his plans for the future:

Q: You are involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, have a full academic course load, AND are applying to colleges. How do you manage it all?

A: In all honesty, I don’t know how I manage my involvement in my extracurricular activities but, I believe it is by God’s loving grace. My freshman year, I wasn’t involved in any extracurricular activities. I gave my full attention and time to my academics in order to adapt and understand Cristo Rey. Over time, during my sophomore and junior years, I got involved in clubs that I found interesting.  Gradually, I learned how to better manage time spent on my academics which opened up time to enjoy my last year at Cristo Rey as a senior. As for applying to colleges, I give all credit and thanks to our school’s counselors and teachers. All the preparations I worked on during my junior year with our counselors are what allows me to easily navigate the college application process, as well as the helpful programs like Common App, College Board, and Naviance that Cristo Rey has taught us to utilize.

Q: UNICEF is a new club here at Cristo Rey. Why did you want to be a part of this club in its founding year and what impact do you hope the club will have?

A: I joined UNICEF to be of support to my friend, Shreejana B. ‘22, who I went to middle school with before we both came to Cristo Rey. Shreejana shared her idea and fascination about establishing a club that reaches out and helps children in our society and world. We have a similar immigrant background, and as children, we experienced many of the same things that have brought us to our current place and position. We’ve realized that though we came from our own personal hardships that we are very fortunate compared to other children in the

world. As such, once Shreejana expressed her interest in UNICEF, I gave my support in agreement with her goals and became a chapter officer. I hope our Cristo Rey UNICEF chapter continues to attract our community’s support in advocating for those who are less fortunate than us, educating young people about their potential and the impact they can have on the world, and provide a safe place where we as young adults can freely express ourselves.

Q: You hold leadership roles in a lot of student organizations. Why is it important to you to be a leader?

A: It is important for me to be a leader because I yearn to push myself and grow as a supporting pillar in my community. By being a leader, I get the chance to live and learn from experiences that most people miss out on. Although these experiences can be hectic and nerve-racking at times, they help me to adapt and overcome stressful situations.

Q: Can you share your college plans with us? Which colleges or universities will you be applying to, and where do you hope to go?

A: My plan is to apply to all of the colleges on my list and be able to make a decision based on tuition assistance. My list consists of The Ohio State University (College of Engineering), Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University,  Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Brown University, Miami University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and MIT. Financial affordability will be a key factor, and although all of these colleges are wonderful, my dream school is MIT.

Q: Last question – as you head into your final semester of high school, what do you plan to do to make the most of it?

A: Heading to my final semester of high school, I plan to strengthen the bond that I have with my classmates and underclassmen, enjoy my remaining time as a Cristo Rey Cougar and community leader, and be of support in any way possible.




Faculty Feature

Mrs. Angela Piñeiro Baumann is one of the first faculty members to join Cristo Rey – she started teaching in 2014, the same year the school moved into the beautiful Town St. location. A native of Columbus, Mrs. Baumann earned both her B.A. and her Master of Education at The Ohio State University. She teaches freshman Biology and senior AP Biology, she is the faculty advisor for the Science Club, and has been instrumental in implementing the Freshman Student Success Grant awarded to the school from the Cristo Rey Network. We sat down with Mrs. Baumann to learn more about her experience at Cristo Rey, the importance of teaching science in a world with expanding STEM career opportunities, and how the Freshman Student Success Grant is impacting the class of 2025:

Q: As a faculty member who has been here since the beginning, what is special for you about Cristo Rey?

A: My first year working at Cristo Rey, faculty wore hard hats during summer meetings because they were still having construction crews work on the building. We were planning the school year one week at a time. We had few established traditions. Cristo Rey was more dream than school. Eight years later, we are still nurturing the community that exists here. I am proud that many of the traditions we have established came from the heads and hearts of our faculty and students.

Everyone who is part of the Cristo Rey community WANTS to be here. Adults and students work hard and contribute ideas and listen to one another about how to improve to make things better.

What is special to me? I witnessed a community form where one didn’t previously exist.

This is my dream school. We do work I love. It can be hard work – but it is important work.

Q: There is increasing opportunity for careers in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). How does that lend itself to your curriculum, and are you seeing students take more of an interest in the sciences?

A: Cristo Rey has always had a large number of students interested in the sciences – it is quite impressive. The fact that we are able to support so many senior science electives – Anatomy, Engineering, AP Biology, AP Computer Science, and College Credit Physics – is because multiple students double up on science classes and take more than the high school requirement. We also have a higher girl to boy ratio in AP Science courses compared to other schools, so we are definitely

encouraging women in science. Educating students about science careers has always been important to me because there are so many career options in STEM and many of them are not well known. I mention some of these as part of my curriculum – specific studies done by ecologists or geneticists – but the diversity of STEM career opportunities is better expressed through involvement in Science Club, where students take multiple trips to OSU to meet professors and learn about their research. We have visited the Byrd Polar Research facility, learned about meat science, wetlands research, veterinary medicine, the physics behind baseball bat construction, and the dairy industry.

Q: You teach primarily freshmen, who are experiencing Cristo Rey’s tough academics for the first time. The school was awarded the Freshman Student Success Grant from the Cristo Rey Network which provides unique resources to teach first-year students executive function skills and social emotional learning. Tell us more about this grant and how you and your colleagues are implementing it for the benefit of the students.

A: Our focus with the Freshmen Student Success Grant so far has been on organization. The grant provided every student with a folder and spiral notebook for each subject area class, and these are color coded by subject. For example, my Biology students use a green folder to store their materials for my class, a black folder for their Theology class, a purple folder for their electives, etc. Students have been keeping track of handouts and turning in homework at a higher rate than any previous freshmen class, and this is reflected in their grades. They also take notes consistently in their class notebook, so accessing their notes to study is easy, and this organization system also helps teachers keep students accountable during class – if a student is using the wrong notebook or folder, then that is not the correct work they should be doing. It is easier to monitor this from across a room with the color coding system.

Students have also been using their planners to record their homework daily in each class, and advisory teachers do bi-weekly planner checks to ensure students are keeping on top of their assignments. By organizing what they have to do each day, students are turning homework in and preparing for tests in a timely manner.

Our work has also focused on student social and emotional well-being, and we have given students a quarterly survey to see how students feel about their school community, peers, teachers, and classes. We have responded to their feedback by implementing Thursday outside time during advisory to give students a chance to socialize with one another. The freshman counselor, Ms. Brittany Rogers, has also been visiting advisories for activities focusing on a variety of topics, including goal setting, conflict resolution, and mental health.

Q: When the freshmen finish the school year, what do you hope they will have gained from the implementation of the Freshman Student Success Grant?

A: I hope they take the study skills, organization skills, and goal setting skills that we worked on this year and continue to use them to be successful as sophomores. I also hope that they make lasting friendships with their peers this year so that their high school experience is enjoyable.  I wish for them to make connections with adults in the building so they have a lasting support network for the rest of their years at Cristo Rey.

Alumni Appreciation

Our students continue to inspire us even after they graduate from Cristo Rey, and Jamia, Class of 2018, is no exception! Jamia is studying social work at Xavier University, and after taking a class in American Sign Language, she is also pursuing a certificate in Deaf Studies. Jamia’s college experience, like so many others, has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped her from getting involved. She mentors younger students on campus, participates in the TRIO Program which is a Federal outreach program designed to provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and she took classes at Cincinnati State over the summer to complete sign language classes that aren’t offered at Xavier. She is particularly excited to have earned her “sign name” – a special sign in deaf culture that uniquely identifies a person. A sign name can only be given by someone who is deaf and was awarded to Jamia by her professor and mentor who she meets with regularly outside of class. We are excited to keep in touch with Jamia as she continues to build her future!

End of Year Contributions

It’s not too late to make a donation for 2021.

A donation to Cristo Rey is an investment in students.

If you have any questions regarding your end-of-year giving, please contact Linda Silva at or at 614-638-1457

Did you know that CRC has a podcast that is hosted and edited by students?

With 57 episodes and counting, take a listen by visiting the CRC YouTube page!