Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


This is a case study of Cristo Rey St. Martin High School, member of the Cristo Rey Network. Cristo Rey St. Martin has been able to make gains in closing the gap with regard to student entrance into college for low-income minority students, making it a unique and appropriate case to study. The purpose of this research was to study the formation of the leadership at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Preparatory High School.

The case study consisted of interviews, observations, shadowing of the principal, and document analysis.

Major finding include mission creation explicit to student achievement, a student centric culture, close adherence to a set of standards designed specifically to ensure academic achievement for all students, and close adherence to the Jesuit leadership philosophy known as transformational leadership. It was noted that the Jesuit tradition believes in attending to the most marginalized persons in our society, and that in order for all Jesuit schools to be able to create access, Jesuit high school should look for alternate funding methods such as the work-study program used by Cristo Rey St. Martin.

Implications for schools include the creation of a mission that inspires all stakeholders, creation of a strong student-centered culture, adherence to a set of standards and benchmarks that support the mission, embedding the Jesuit leadership philosophy into daily practice. Implications for Catholic schools include finding alternate funding resources for low-resource students such as the work-study program.

Future research suggestions include the effects of mission and culture building focused on increasing equity and how embedding Jesuit leadership principles affect student achievement.