Deacon Peter J. McCourt is a passionate ministry leader with experiences in Catholic parish and diocesan ministry, Catholic Healthcare, and higher education. He holds a master's degree in theology from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. and has completed post-graduate studies in theology and in leadership at the University of Notre Dame. Pete is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the College Theology Society and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Before coming to Cristo Rey Richmond, Pete served as Vice President of Mission for the Bon Secours Virginia Medical Group. He is active in pastoral ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and is an ordained Deacon for the Catholic Church. He has taught religious studies courses regularly at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has lectured on religion at the University of Oxford, UK and ministry leadership at Loyola University Chicago. His most important role, however, is as a husband and father to two children, Daniel and Erin.
Corey Taylor, Principal & Chief Academic Officer
Corey Taylor graduated with a BS in Physiological Science from UCLA and a Masters in Education and Administrative Credential from National University in Los Angeles. He began his career as an educator in the Inglewood Unified School District, in Inglewood, CA, where he was a middle school science teacher and MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) Advisor. Following his ten years of service, Corey began working in the charter school world for Bright Star Schools in Los Angeles, CA. He would spend two years as a middle school science teacher before transitioning into the role of Assistant Principal and later Principal of Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy, where he actively served underrepresented students in the Los Angeles area. After his move to Richmond with his wife, a fellow educator, and 3 young children, Corey is excited to be at Cristo Rey and meet the first class of students in 2019!
Amy McCracken, Director of Corporate Work Study
Amy McCracken graduated from Marywood University and began with a teaching position in an alternative education program located in Gilpin Court, Richmond's oldest housing project. It was there that she got to witness the challenges for youth affected by generational poverty--and to see firsthand the tenacity and potential of students when they were given academic support and structure. After the school closed, Amy spent fifteen years in Richmond nonprofits, eight of those as Executive Director of Richmond Animal League. Eager to get back to working with youth, she has spent the better part of the last year as Executive Director for Richmond Cycling Corps, a cycling and outreach program serving youth in the East End. Amy is so excited to be at
Cristo Rey and to see the impact we will make on our students!
Lynne Berkness, Director of Advancement
Lynne Berkness is a Richmond native graduating from Collegiate School then the University of Virginia with a degree in Environmental Sciences. She began her career at Virginia Power (now Dominion Energy) working as an Environmental Specialist in Air Regulations and Permits Section. In 1997, Lynne joined the Development Office at Collegiate School, her most recent position being Director of Planned Giving and Stewardship. In 2014, Lynne joined Northstar Academy as their Director of Development. Lynne served on the Advisory Council of Shalom House Retreat Center, and just ended her term as President of VAFRE (Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executives). Lynne is thrilled to be a part of the Cristo Rey Richmond Family.
Katie Yohe, Director of Recruitment and Admissions
Katie Yohe has been with Cristo Rey Richmond since the beginning. She served as Feasibility Study Coordinator before taking on the Director of Recruitment and Admissions role under President Pete McCourt. She holds a master's degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Education from Saint Mary's College. Katie began her teaching career in an elementary school in Ghana, West Africa. After spending a year abroad, she came back to Virginia to teach middle school at St. Catherine's School in Richmond. While getting her master's, Katie taught religion at Providence Cristo Rey in Indianapolis, Indiana through the Echo formation program at the University of Notre Dame's McGrath Institute for Church Life. This is where she fell in love with the Cristo Rey model. In her free time, she actively engages in the education ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at their mission school, Our Lady of Holy Cross, in Kasoa, Ghana. Katie is beyond excited to welcome the first class of students to Cristo Rey Richmond High School in the fall of 2019.
Tim Timmons, Enrollment Coordinator
Tim Timmons lives, breathes and roots for all things Richmond, Virginia. He is a graduate of Richmond Community High School and Howard University in Washington, DC. Tim spent time living in Los Angeles, California, and Clarksdale, Mississippi, before returning to Richmond to continue his career in education and advocacy. Tim is a current graduate student in urban curriculum and education at Virginia Union University. Along with his role at Cristo Rey, Tim is the youth minister and social justice co-chair at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, located in Richmond's historic Highland Park neighborhood. Tim looks forward to enrolling some of the brightest and most ambitious students Metro Richmond has to offer. In his spare time, Tim enjoys a range of activities, namely promoting local events that include interactive concepts to organizing an annual visual and performing art festival called the Breakthru. Tim’s personal and professional goal is to build equity and equality for all citizens, but especially the youth of Richmond.
Elvira De la Cruz, Enrollment Coordinator
Mrs. De la Cruz is a bilingual Spanish/English trained professional in the field of social justice. She has been working closely with Virginia's Hispanic community through various companies and has implemented a solid program to serve Spanish-speaking victims of domestic and sexual violence that served 200 immigrant families annually at The James House. During the past nine years, she has provided and supervised the delivery of crisis intervention, case management, court accompaniment, legal advocacy, hotline services, and community referrals. She has provided consultation services for the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation to help area companies develop effective plans to implement outreach in the Latino community in the Richmond and Tri-cities area. She holds a certification from the Supreme Court of Virginia to mediate cases for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts and is the only provider authorized by the Supreme Court of Virginia to provide Co-parenting classes in Spanish in the area. She is also accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA) to provide immigration legal services. She is experienced with writing grant proposals and has been invited as a grant peer reviewer for DCJS and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) due to her experience working and implementing services for the immigrant community. She has been recognized for her work within the immigrant community, most recently awarded the 2018 Unsung Hero Award by Virginia’s Attorney General.
Keller Craig, Communications Assistant
Keller Craig is a senior at Randolph-Macon College where she is studying Mass Media Communications and Journalism. She grew up in Richmond and attended Saint Gertrude High School right down the road. After interning at Cristo Rey Richmond this past summer, she is excited to now be a part of the team. She has a passion for both public relations and marketing and has held a number of positions at Randolph-Macon, including Vice President of Marketing for Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Vice President of Public Relations for the Panhellenic Council and Public Relations Chair for Students for Environmental Action Club. This year she takes on a larger role as Randolph-Macon's new Social Media and Graphics Intern and the Vice President of Rho Lambda Leadership Society. In her spare time, Keller enjoys traveling and recently studied abroad in Martinique, a small, french speaking island in the Caribbean.
Gabriel Obregon, Assistant to the President/Chief of Staff
Gabriel Obregon joins the Cristo Rey Richmond community with the ability to say something no other member of the staff can, “I know exactly what is going through the minds of our students.” Gabe has lived and breathed all things Cristo Rey since he was 14 years old when he enrolled at Cristo Rey New York High School. Following his four years of Corporate Work Study Program internships, tough algebra and physics classes, and countless memories with his Cristo Rey family, Gabe enrolled at the University of Richmond and graduated in 2018 with a BA in the Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) program. In his role as Assistant to the President/ Chief of Staff he will support President Pete McCourt and the rest of the staff with spreading the values and objectives of Cristo Rey Richmond High School with the greater Richmond community. His personal insights and knowledge of the Cristo Rey model, as well as his experiences as a student at the University of Richmond will allow him to create strong relationships with donors, local community leaders, parents, and most importantly students.