Founding Leadership Team
Mr. Stephen Holte, founding President, Cristo Rey Orange County High School, has spent the past 15 years in Catholic education serving organizations committed to being engines of opportunity for students from under-resourced communities. Throughout his career, Mr. Holte has built a reputation as a mission-driven leader focused on providing educational access to students of limited means and empowering them to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
Mr. Holte began his career as a 4th grade teacher at St. Paul Catholic School in San Antonio, TX as a part of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Service Through Teaching Fellows Program. After ACE, Mr. Holte became the Director of Holy Cross Associates, a post-graduate service program which offers participants an opportunity to integrate their Catholic faith through Service, Community Living, Prayer, and a Simple Lifestyle.
In 2009, Mr. Holte joined Christ the King Jesuit College Prep’s advancement team in its first year of operations. He would spend nearly a decade with the 20th school in the Cristo Rey Network, rising from Development Officer to Vice President of Advancement. During his tenure at Christ the King, Mr. Holte raised over $50M in philanthropic support for operations, endowment, and capital needs, helping to grow the school from an abandoned Catholic elementary school to a 100,000 square foot, $30M campus. Working closely alongside the President, Principal, and Director of Corporate Work Study, Mr. Holte was a critical member of the school’s leadership team.
Most recently, Mr. Holte was the Assistant Dean for Advancement at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, the first-of-its-kind associate’s degree program offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse population at an affordable cost. During his three years as Assistant Dean, Mr. Holte collaborated to secure over $17M in support for the college and its alumni. He was a member of the Dean’s Leadership Group as well as Loyola University’s Advancement Division Leadership Team.
Mr. Holte sits on the Ignatian Spirituality Project’s Board of Directors and Christ the King Jesuit College Prep’s Advisory Board. He is also a member of ACE Advocates for Catholic Education. Mr. Holte holds a B.B.A in Finance and Business Economics and an M.Ed in Curriculum, both from the University of Notre Dame. He has also participated in multiple professional development programs including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management nonprofit management program.
Mr. Holte’s education as well as his work experience uniquely prepares him for leading Cristo Rey Orange County as the founding President.
Mrs. Karelyn Roberts is an accomplished and results-driven leader, with a proven background in developing and delivering differentiated and measurable high-quality professional learning, project management, leadership coaching and development, employee relations, systems design, and program evaluation. A Southern California native, she has spent fourteen years in Texas prior to joining Cristo Rey Orange County, serving as a principal in Castleberry Independent School District and a principal, assistant principal, and teacher Fort Worth ISD. Prior to her time in Texas, Mrs. Roberts worked as a teacher’s assistant and long-term substitute at Juvenile Court and Community Schools in San Diego, CA.
Mrs. Roberts graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science for Single-Subject Teaching and earned a California Teaching Credential. In continuing her education, she received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.
As Founding Principal, Mrs. Roberts looks forward to ensuring that not only will each student receive a high-quality education grounded in research-based instruction, but that every student is also anchored in a faith-filled and nurturing environment aligned with the best traditions of Catholic education.
Mrs. Roberts enjoys spending time with her husband, Anthony Roberts, and two children, Addisen and Joseph. They have a dog named Charlie who keeps the family very entertained. In her free time, Mrs. Roberts enjoys spending time playing soccer, being outdoors, traveling, and reading.
Founding Vice President, Corporate Work Study, Susan McKeever
Mrs. Susan McKeever, Founding Vice President, Corporate Work Study Program is a passionate and innovative leader who has over 20 years of Learning and Development experience partnering with organizations to build strong cultures and develop future leaders. In her new role she will continue to develop future leaders by using her experience to partner with Orange County corporations to secure meaningful jobs and learning opportunities for students.
Prior to joining Cristo Rey, Mrs. McKeever had her own consulting firm specializing in senior healthcare and housing serving clients including Silverado, MBK Senior Living, Geiss Med, Optum Health, and Clearwater Living. As part of her practice, she developed and facilitated programs and processes to align culture with business goals to develop, engage, and retain talent. She also developed sales training, an Executive Director in Training Program which increased internal promotions by 90%, as well as facilitated teambuilding workshops, and appeared as a guest speaker for client leadership retreats.
Mrs. McKeever has served in a variety of industries both domestic and international, including retail, engineering, construction, transportation, and healthcare. During her tenure at Fluor Corporation, she collaborated with a team to develop and facilitate an annual Global Leadership Forum, bringing leaders from around the world to focus on leadership and operational excellence. She also received highest recognition for developing and implementing a performance management system which was utilized globally to provide performance feedback and align associate and organizational goals.
Mrs. McKeever is an experienced facilitator, and leads programs such as DiSC, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, Productive Conflict, and EQ for Leaders. She holds a BS in Management and Human Resources from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She and her husband Marty live in Yorba Linda and are active parishioners at St. Martin De Porres. Together they have three children, all recipients of a Catholic high school education.
Founding Vice President of Advancement, Steffanie Early
Mrs. Steffanie Early is the founding Vice President of Advancement for Cristo Rey Orange County. She is responsible for garnering philanthropic support for Cristo Rey’s mission and for building partnerships with individuals, businesses, foundations, and community leaders to ensure a strong foundation and bright future for the school. As the beneficiary of a Catholic education, she is deeply committed to providing the life-changing Cristo Rey education that Orange County students deserve.
Prior to joining Cristo Rey, Mrs. Early served as Vice President of Advancement at Servite High School in Anaheim, CA and was the first woman to hold an executive position at the venerable all-boys school. In her role as VP of Advancement, she was responsible for the development, admissions, and communications departments. She has managed annual giving programs, major gift outreach, advancement services, corporate and foundation relations, fundraising events, planned giving, and prospect research.
Prior to her nearly 8-year tenure at Servite, Mrs. Early served as Director of Community Relations for Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF). Her work at IPSF included planning and executing all aspects of the annual campaign, coordinating with corporate, individual and municipal partners who had a shared interest in quality education, as well as managing communications and public relations.
Mrs. Early spent more than ten years honing her management skills in corporate human resources. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame and resides in Irvine with her husband and two children, Michael and Claire, who are both alumni of Catholic schools.