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Brooke Rayford

CHICAGO (April 28, 2023) - Today, the Cristo Rey Network announced that at the organization’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Board Chair John O’Shea presented The Spirit of Cristo Rey Award to Elizabeth Goettl, President and CEO of the Cristo Rey Network.  This award, conferred on ten individuals since its inception in 2008, was presented to Ms. Goettl as she nears the conclusion of 14 years of extraordinary service to the Cristo Rey movement. 

"Cristo Rey offers more light, more love, more hope - to our students and to all of us who are privileged to contribute to the effort. It has been my honor to serve in this leadership capacity,” said Elizabeth Goettl, CEO and President of the Cristo Rey Network.

An experienced educational leader, Elizabeth joined the Cristo Rey mission in 2006 as President of Tucson’s San Miguel High School, one of the Network’s first ten schools. In 2009, she brought her educational systems expertise to Chicago to join the national office as the Network’s first Chief Academic Officer. For the next five years, Elizabeth dedicated her efforts to the critical goal of elevating academic rigor and college readiness across the Network. In close collaboration with Cristo Rey school principals, Ms. Goettl established a framework and school support system in areas of curriculum and assessment, teacher effectiveness, and principal leadership to better ensure that every Cristo Rey student graduates from high school prepared for success in college. 

In 2017, the Cristo Rey Network Board of Directors appointed Elizabeth to assume her current role as President and CEO. Her prodigious work ethic, uncompromising professional standards, proven commitment to data-based decision-making, eye for superior talent, team-building expertise, and bedrock belief in the moral imperative of the Network’s audacious mission have fueled and advanced the collective work. 

“In every role she has held in the Cristo Rey movement, Elizabeth has led with purpose, impact, faith, and humility. Her indomitable spirit is indelibly etched in the history and legacy of the Cristo Rey Network,” remarked John O’Shea, Cristo Rey Network Board Chair. “I am honored to work alongside my inspirational friend, mentor, and colleague.”

Recognized this month by the National Catholic Education Association for the  President’s Award, Elizabeth leaves a capable national office team and a solid foundation for the future of the Cristo Rey Network. Four-year student retention at an all-time high, newly developed systematic infrastructure and resources supporting schools’ leadership efforts, 40 Cristo Rey schools in operation by 2024, and a new and ambitious Strategic Plan 2026 position the organization for its next level of work.

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