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President Bill Garrett Named Most Admired CEO in Education
  Posted: 9/2/2019

August 30, 2019 (Atlanta, GA) - Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit President, Deacon Bill Garrett, has been named a 2019 Most Admired CEO in Education by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. CEOs were selected for being leaders with a strong record of innovation in their field, outstanding financial performance, a commitment to quality, a strong vision, a commitment to diversity in the workplace, and contributions to the metro Atlanta community.


Deacon Garrett has served as the founding president of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School since 2013. He successfully built a college preparatory high school in the heart of downtown Atlanta that specifically serves students of limited economic means. Under his leadership, the school grew from 164 freshmen when its doors opened in 2014 to a full high school of over 500 students in four grades today with 100% college acceptance of its graduates.


“The honor that the Atlanta Business Chronicle has bestowed on Bill Garrett is richly deserved,” states Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, who was the Archbishop of Atlanta when the school was formed. “I have known Bill for nearly 15 years, and I have rarely met a person more devoted to the principles of justice and genuine concern for the poor. His energy and wisdom were the fuel that helped to establish Cristo Rey Atlanta and laid a solid foundation for its future.  He is more than an educator; he is an inspiration for young people.” 


Deacon Garrett has worked tirelessly to recruit corporate partners from Atlanta’s business community to employ students through the school’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program. Dave Sewell, EY Partner and Chairman of the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit Board of Trustees comments, “Bill recognizes the importance and value that the Corporate Work Study Program offers for both the student and the job partner. The opportunities open doors for the students while the companies gain from the tangible benefit of the students’ work and the impact they are having on building our future workforce.”


Through his passionate promotion of the school’s mission, Deacon Garrett helped drive the success of the school’s "Building Futures, Changing Lives" capital campaign which raised over $30M in 14 months. In addition, Deacon Garrett persuaded Atlanta developer and philanthropists, Jim and Janet Cumming, to donate the office building in which the school resides. To ensure the financial stability of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit, he has established a robust endowment.


Principal Dr. Diane Bush affirms Deacon Garrett’s belief that at-risk students are capable of academic and professional success when offered quality, affordable education. “Bill Garrett is a true believer in, and has an unwavering commitment to, developing a school that is unrivaled in helping underserved students achieve academically. His vision led to his becoming the founding president of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, a school that outperforms the nation on the ACT and SAT. In addition, his commitment to Jesuit ideals and Ignatian identity has brought about a school composed of 540 students from diverse backgrounds, all of whom are being educated to become men and women for others.”


Prior to his position at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit, Deacon Garrett served as the President of the Saint Joseph’s Mercy Foundation, Chief Mission Officer for Saint Joseph’s Health System, and various roles with the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, serving as Vice President-Campaign, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for Community Impact. Prior to that, he served as National Director of Development for UNICEF in the United States.


Deacon Garrett holds a Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Spring Hill College. He is an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church.


About Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School

Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means, of any faith or creed, to become men and women for and with others. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate prepared for college and life.


About the Cristo Rey Network

The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students. Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.


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