New Jersey Prep School Holds Second President’s Gala

Wendy Healy Friar News

NEWARK, N.J. — Christ the King Preparatory School, where Robert Sandoz, OFM, is president, recently honored Archbishop John Myers and attorney John J. Gibbons, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, at its President’s Gala.

Robert, who has worked at the school for 15 months, along with Gregory Gebbia, OFM, associate principal for student affairs, was featured on the cover of the Oct. 27 issue of The Catholic Advocate, the newspaper of the Newark Archdiocese, in a story about the Oct. 14 gala, co-chaired by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Archbishop Peter Gerety.
“This year’s gala was a wonderful opportunity to bring together both the religious and legal leaders of Newark,” said Bob. “The eloquent comments of Mayor Booker demonstrated the ‘complementarity’ between these two powerful energies.”
Christ the King honored two men who have been supportive of the high school since it opened in 2007. Christ the King is part of the Cristo Rey Network of 24 schools across the country revolutionizing urban education today. Christ the King is known in New Jersey educational circles as “the school that works.” It employs students in local businesses to incorporate real-life experiences with education.
The Two Honorees
Archbishop Myers, recipient of the Cristo Rey Award, was honored for his embodiment of the mission and vision of Cristo Rey, and as an example of faith in action. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the school.
“When Christ the King Preparatory School opened three years ago, the Archdiocese of Newark welcomed the opportunity to be part of a national network of schools offering young men and women a transformative, life-changing opportunity at a Catholic college-preparatory school with a corporate internship component,” he said. “This combination of faith, academic excellence, and work experience that is the core of Christ the King Prep provides young people with all they will need to make their mark on the world.”
Gibbons, who is shown above holding the President’s Award he received, is the founder of the law firm Gibbons, PC, headquartered in Newark, and directs its business and commercial litigation department. He was chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1970 to 1990, and is a board member of Christ the King. Gibbons, PC, employs students. “There’s a lot of talent among the youngsters in these below-poverty-line families that is currently going to waste. We cannot afford to waste this talent,” he said.
Bob welcomed the mayor and introduced the award recipients at the event that was held at the Newark Club. The evening included several students describing how the school has helped them, highlighting the value of their work experiences. In addition, the event, which attracted more than 250 people, was a fundraiser.
“Obviously, the President’s Gala contributes significantly to the institutional development of the school. Along with this, the President’s Gala fulfills the directive of Standard Three of the Cristo Rey Network that requires the Cristo Rey school to play ‘an active role in the local community,’” said Bob.
About Cristo Rey 
As part of the Cristo Rey network, Christ the King Prep, founded in 2007, provides opportunities for economically disadvantaged young people to succeed in the work place, attend and graduate from college, and develop values that will help them to become fully productive citizens. Its innovative and unique network boasts a 96 percent college acceptance rate nationally. The network has been lauded by the media, including the Wall Street Journalwhich described the Cristo Rey network in a May 20, 2010 article, “How About a Good Catholic Story?” which called it: “surely one of the most innovative ideas in a while in American education.”

gala-r1Georgetown University recently awarded 60 full-time scholarships to graduates of Cristo Rey schools. Christ the King, which was the first Catholic school to open in Newark in more than 50 years, partners with corporate sponsors in the community such as AT&T, Sanofi-Aventis, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Novartis, the Newark Museum, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New York Jets and dozens of others.

Christ the King Prep’s first class will graduate in June 2011.

— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer based in Connecticut, is a frequent contributor to this newsletter.