Cristo Rey Tampa Class of 2023 Staircase

Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School celebrated its fourth graduating class at its Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, June 3, in the Mary Help of Christians Gymnasium.

The Class of 2023 is comprised of forty-four students, and 100% were accepted to colleges and universities across the United States. 84% of this class are first-generation college-bound students who applied to over 200 colleges and universities in the United States. As a result, they earned 450 college acceptances and more than $5 million in scholarships.

Graduates are going to Catholic University, Georgetown University, New York University, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, and the University of South Florida, to name a few.

The Mary Help of Christians Gymnasium was filled with family, friends, Corporate Work Study Partners, and Cristo Rey Tampa supporters for this memorable occasion. Keynote speaker, Andy Hirsch, Vice President at BAIRD and a Corporate Work Study Partner, shared his lessons of the  4 Cs – connect, communicate, be conspicuous, and care – for a successful and fulfilling future. He reminded the students that “all of your hard work brought you to this special moment, and the lessons you’ve learned at Cristo Rey Tampa will serve you throughout life.”

The Cristo Rey® model is set apart from other schools by its Corporate Work Study Program. Our Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) Partners invest their time in our students and introduce them to the workplace. CWSP supervisors brought greetings and shared sentiments about the students to announce the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. They play an integral role in a student’s high school journey; not only do they introduce them to work life, but they serve as role models, teachers, and mentors and are part of the Cristo Rey Tampa family.

The Valedictorian is Jose Bello Sanchez (4.47 GPA), attending New York University to study film and television. The Salutatorian is Christian Achecar (4.27 GPA), who received his Associate’s degree from HCC earlier in the month and is attending the University of South Florida to study Biology (Pre-Dental).

The 4th Annual Commencement Ceremony closed with a prayer and blessing from Fr. Franco and the ceremonial singing of the Don Bosco song. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2023, and thank you to those cheerleaders – teachers and staff, Corporate Work Study Partners, parents, and friends- who supported the students during their high school years.

Join us in welcoming the Class of 2023 as our newest Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School alumni. Remember, once a Panther, always a Panther!

Photos: Joe Photo Tampa