St. Joseph The Worker School

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Mr. CJ Kruska, M.A. Ed. » Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

The St. Joseph parish and school are where I started my career in Catholic Education. The community holds a very special place in my heart because of the strong Catholic identity and warm family atmosphere. While teaching at St. Joseph the Worker, I celebrated my wedding with the SJW family. My 3rd grade class joined our wedding celebration as our choir and Sr. Barbara celebrated with us as a lector. My wife and I even named our son Joseph after the patron saint and I chose St. Joseph as my confirmation saint because of his strong fatherly example. This would feel like I am coming "back home".

After moving from St. Joseph the Worker School to Bishop Alemany High School, I served the Alemany Community as the Director of Alumni and Public Relations and was a founding member of a very successful Marketing and Outreach Team. This success in marketing and development team led me to serve as principal of St. Catherine of Siena School and to lead a community in need of a substantial renovation to increase enrollment. On July 9, 2008, there were only 52 students enrolled for the following school year. Through Together in Mission, a new grass courtyard was installed in the middle of the school buildings along with a new athletic field. I created a “Dad’s Club” that helped build a new outdoor stage and the Hannon Foundation financed the updating of the school bathrooms. With the help from a very dynamic Catholic community and Bishop Wilkerson’s office, the Preschool and Kindergarten were filled with a wait-list and the school had an enrollment of more than 200 students. We went from 52 students to more than 200 students in 18 months. I am extremely proud of our accomplishments at St. Catherine of Siena School.

In December of 2007, I completed my California Teaching Credential and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University. This postgraduate achievement has helped to increase my passion as a Catholic educator and leader who believes that academic excellence is achieved more effectively when it is accompanied by faith, athletics and other extracurricular activities. As Catholic educators, I am a proponent of incorporating our faith into all aspects of our students’ learning so that we develop students who will serve others as Jesus Christ taught us to serve.

Not only have I taught and coached in Catholic schools for almost 2 decades, but I also enjoy planning school wide activities that empower our community -- and especially our parents and faculty along with local businesses and parishioners. I strongly encourage an environment that is faith-filled and fun while developing enthusiasm, whether it is for academics, faith formation, athletics or other campus activities.

A community is what makes a Catholic school thrive! In 2007, while at Bishop Alemany High School, I designed and coordinated a new annual community-building event we call “Family Fun Night.” During this evening, different Alemany departments and campus groups enjoy great food, music, and activities for the whole family. This has become an annual event that is similar to a parish festival/carnival. It is the biggest and most successful community-building activity at our school. I was also invited to speak in March of 2009 on the use of a “SWOT Analysis,” “Earned Media” and “Community-Building Activities” to boost marketing success for local Catholic primary schools.

It is important to me that I find ways to improve the communication between all members of our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and the community at large. After collaborating with Educational Networks, I was able to implement a comprehensive and user-friendly website for our school www.alemany.org which I updated on a daily basis. A monthly newsletter was recreated by me to help with the communication between the many Alemany communities.

My faith is very important to me, and with many years of involvement in teaching, coaching, and ministry (i.e. Youth Ministry, Confirmation, and RCIA at St. Bernardine of Siena Parish), I have guided several young people to academic and athletic success. But more importantly, I have helped young people to hold a love of our faith in God and Church and of life-long learning.  My family and I are regular attendees at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim (including Youth Day). I am passionate about the challenge of enhancing the faith of young people. 

I am very excited about coming "back home" to lead our St. Joseph the Worker School Community into its next 60 Years!