This story was published by the Xavier E-News in 2013.
Fr. James R. Van Dyke, S.J., former teacher and faculty chaplain at Xavier, was named founding principal of the new Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, that school's president, Deacon Bill Garret, announced.
Upon learning of Fr. Van Dyke’s appointment, Jack Raslowsky, Xavier’s president, commented: “I could not be happier for Jim or for Cristo Rey Atlanta. Jim is an outstanding teacher. He is engaging, learned and creative. He will bring all those skills and a great pastoral presence to his leadership of Cristo Rey. The Society has long considered founding a school in Atlanta. Fr. Van Dyke will be laying the foundation for a work that will be of great service to the community and will give glory to God in the tradition of all Jesuit schools.”
Cristo Rey Atlanta High School will be the newest of the Cristo Rey network of schools, which use an innovative method that combines work study programs with rigorous academics to provide real-world professional experience for students.
Fr. Van Dyke, a native of Buffalo, NY, entered the Jesuits in 1981, was ordained in 1993 and professed his final vows in 2004. Prior to serving Xavier, he served as chaplain of Regis High School, later going on to teach English at Canisius High School and McQuaid Jesuit High School. His intelligence, wit and charisma have served him well during all of his endeavors; he was a beloved addition to the Xavier staff during his time on 16th Street.
Fr. Ken Boller, S.J. has worked with Fr. Van Dyke at both Xavier and Fordham Prep. “Jim is eminently qualified to serve as the founding principal at Cristo Rey Atlanta," Fr. Boller said. "Having worked in five of our province schools as teacher, campus minister, faculty chaplain and director of Ignatian Identity, he has a clear sense of contemporary Jesuit education. His internship in administration has given him a system-wide perspective on the needs of our schools. Starting from scratch is indeed a challenge but Jim is the right man for the task."