Cody Yocom hired as founding principal for Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School
Published: June 18th, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY — Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School has hired its founding principal and is on track to open its doors in the Fall of 2018. Cody Yocom began his work this past week and, together with school President Renee Porter, is continuing preparations for the school’s first class of students.
Yocom said he is excited to be joining Cristo Rey OKC and what advocates contend is a transformative educational model that exclusively serves children in low-income families. The national network of Cristo Rey Catholic schools focuses on a combination of rigorous academics and “real world” work experience; all Cristo Rey students receive financial aid as part of a work-study program funded by local business partners.
“This is a special opportunity for my family and me,” said Yocom. “Cristo Rey OKC educates the whole student. It is more than an Education it’s about giving them a future. We are going to reveal possibilities and open doors to success these students have never even imagined. I can’t wait to see our first class of students walk through the door.”
Yocom already has an impressive track record of success when it comes to maximizing school performance. Under his leadership as Principal at Uplift Heights, an urban preparatory charter school in Dallas, the school led its district in math and reading score improvement for all grade levels last year and consistently exceeded growth targets on standardized testing benchmarks.
Before joining Uplift Heights, Yocom served as co-principal of the KIPP Renaissance High School in New Orleans. Once considered a troubled school, Yocom helped to lead a comeback, overhauling school culture, emphasizing higher expectations and increasing the percentage of students scoring “good” or “excellent” on state testing from 34 percent to 50 percent.
Yocom began his education career in 2006 as a social studies teacher before becoming interested in administrative and educational leadership work. He went on to complete the prestigious Ryan Fellowship, a three-year program which trains gifted teachers to become principals in urban charter schools.
Cristo Rey Oklahoma City President Renee Porter said Yocom was hired for his work ethic, his leadership and his vision.
“We didn’t just want an administrator, we wanted a visionary with a strong belief in Christian values and a proven record in obtaining outcomes,” said Porter. “We are building a new school, a new community and a new culture. Cody is committed to ensuring we deliver a world-class Catholic educational experience to our students and their families and maximizing our potential to change and improve lives. I couldn’t be more excited to start our first year with him as our principal.”
Yocom is pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University and earned a master’s degree from Roosevelt University. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas.
He and his wife and two children moved to Oklahoma City this month. Yocom says he is thankful for the tremendous hospitality shown to his family by his new Oklahoma neighbors.
About Cristo Rey: Opening in the fall of 2018, Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School will, according to a press release from school leaders, offer families with limited educational opportunities an affordable and transformative educational option.
The school will be a member of the Cristo Rey Network comprised of 32 Catholic, college preparatory high schools that serve more than 10,000 underserved youth across 21 states and the District of Columbia. The schools combine rigorous academics with real-world work experience, seeking to prepare their students for success in college and life.
As part of Cristo Rey’s unique Corporate Work Study Program, students work one day a week in professional settings, earning a majority of their own tuition. The school will be located in a leased space at OSU-OKC located at 900 N. Portland Avenue. Parents interested in enrolling their children at Cristo Rey should visit CristoReyOKC.org.