The Philadelphia Citizen: Meet the Problem Solver

Michael Gomez, Principal of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High, on the North Philly school’s innovative model

It wasn’t a (real life) teacher who originally inspired Michael Gomez to teach. Or a particular class. Or even his passion to help children learn.

It was Robin Williams—or at least John Keating, the character he plays in Dead Poets Society.

“In that movie, I saw that a teacher could bring language and literature to life,” says Gomez, who is now principal of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a Catholic school in North Philadelphia. “Keating taught with passion and exuberance and got his students to feel the same. I wanted to do just that.”

Cristo Rey Philadelphia serves low income students of all faiths with a unique model: Four days a week, students engage in a college-prep curriculum on campus. The fifth day, they work at local businesses to gain real-world experience. Four students share the duties of one full-time entry-level employee at companies such as Comcast, Independence Blue Cross and The Philadelphia Zoo. The wages earned cover approximately 60 percent of each student’s school tuition.

Read the Full Story at ThePhiladelphiaCitizen.com

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