Viatorians were on hand Tuesday for the announcement of a new president of Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep in Las Vegas, and it was a name they knew well. Lisa Cano-Burkhead succeeds the school’s founding president, Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, as only its second president.
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial, made the announcement in his role as the chairman of the Board of Governors of CRSV. Cano-Burkhead was selected for the role on the recommendation of a search committee and the school’s board of trustees.
Cano-Burkhead brings a strong background as a teacher and administrator to the role, but she also is familiar with the Viatorians and their education-driven mission. She served on the board of Cristor Rey St. Viator, from its opening in 2019 to 2021, when she was appointed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to serve as Lieutenant Governor. She also sent her two children to St. Viator Parish School.
As President, Cano-Burkhead will be responsible for leading and upholding academic and ethical standards of the school while supporting the school’s mission to educate young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service.
Additionally, Cano-Burkhead will help build partnerships and engage with southern Nevada businesses and organizations that can offer entry-level, paying jobs to Cristo Rey St. Viator students. Her efforts will help expand the school’s Corporate Work Study program, led by Associate Deborah Perez, and amplify opportunities for students as they gain valuable professional experience while earning their school tuition.
“As a first-generation Latina and college student, being named President at Cristo Rey St. Viator means so much because I have the privilege to lead a school that serves other first-generation college students,” Cano-Burkhead said. “I have dedicated my life’s work to removing barriers for students and parents, and I look forward to continuing that work for the students and families at Cristo Rey St. Viator.”
Fr. Francis and Fr. von Behren both said they looking forward to working with Cano-Burkhead in the future. They value her work with the school, including when she served as a consultant, helping to develop the academic leadership team through coaching and mentoring, and working to establish long-term goals with administration.
“I am delighted with the appointment of Lisa Cano-Burkhead as the new President of Cristo Rey St Viator College Preparatory High School,” Fr. Francis said. “Lisa comes with a wealth of experience as a leader in education and public service. She is also a person of faith, with a deep commitment to the gospel and the values that flow from Catholic social teaching.”
“She will be building on the foundation begun by Fr. Tom von Behren, to offer educational opportunities to young people who would not ordinarily be able to receive a quality education preparing them for college,” he added. “The Viatorian Community pledges its prayerful support to Lisa as she begins this important role as President of Cristo Rey St. Viator.”.