Jesuit Father James R. Van Dyke has been named founding principal of the new Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, opening in fall 2014. Fr. Van Dyke, who currently teaches English and religion at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y., has worked in Jesuit secondary education for 24 years.
Cristo Rey Atlanta is a newly sponsored ministry of the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus. The 500-student school will be part of the Cristo Rey network, which provides low-income students with a rigorous college prep curriculum. Students also participate in a corporate work-study program, which defers tuition costs.
Fr. Van Dyke, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia; a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry); and a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.
After entering the Jesuits in 1981, Fr. Van Dyke was ordained in 1993 and professed final vows in 2004. Before teaching at Fordham Prep, he was a teacher and faculty chaplain at Xavier High, chaplain of Regis High School in New York City and an English teacher at Canisius High School in Buffalo and at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to his teaching duties, he has also served as student chaplain, retreat director, yearbook moderator and coach of swimming, crew and mock trial.
Fr. Van Dyke has volunteered extensively as a Sunday assistant at parishes, most recently at the Church of St. Thomas More in New York City, and served on the boards of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, Regis High School and Fordham Prep. [Xavier High School, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School]