We added one more name to the list of alumni working at Priory this summer when Mr. Gabe Santa Cruz, '92, started his job as Technology Director. Mr. Santa Cruz, who dove right into to a multitude of projects at Priory, is no stranger to multitasking. "I enjoy working on complicated systems, whether it's a computer, a program or an entire company," he says.
Mr. Santa Cruz was born in Buenos Aires. He still has family there, and his wife is also Argentinan. They met while he was a student at Priory, spending his summer in Argentina.
When he was just 45 days old, he moved with his parents to Columbus so his father could finish his medical residency at The Ohio State University. They moved to St. Louis when he was 2 years old, and he spent the rest of his childhood here, attending grade school at Our Lady of the Pillar.
In 1986, he started the 7th grade at Priory. While a student here, he played soccer, rugby and track, coached the freshman soccer team as a senior, and participated in Mock Trial, The Record, Model U.N., and TEAM+S. Some of his favorite Priory memories are of the senior lounge, which at the time was a room at the end of the Science Wing. The seniors had a Super Nintendo and played a lot of video games, he recalls. He enjoyed the math and science classes he took.
Coming to work at Priory, he says the thing that's surprised him the most is the high level of parental involvement. "It's not something you really recognize as a student," he says.
After graduation, he moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He began working in customer relationship management consulting, first for CSC consulting and then for boutique firms on the east and west coasts. In 2012, he finished an MBA from Washington University here in St. Louis. "I decided I wanted to build things beyond computers," he says. "Creating companies is one of the most interesting things to me. I really enjoy making new things."
One of those new things is a advanced material for liners that reduces impact effects, with applications for athletes and soldiers. Mr. Santa Cruz is working with partners he met at Wash U. to market this product through a start up firm called Zymplr. "I'd like to be a serial entrepreneur someday," he says.
His role at Priory, though, is one where his background in IT and customer support are very useful. "Coming from outside of education, I bring a different perspective to the technology offerings here," he says. His goal is to bring a corporate-strength network to the school, with higher quality networking and technology and increased/improved educational results. "It's great to have the opportunity to give back to the current families and students," he says. "I like Priory, and I appreciate what it gave to me — lots of opportunities."
Outside of work, Mr. Santa Cruz has a young family to keep up with. He and his wife reconnected in New York after 9/11, and were married in 2004. They have a 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twin boys, who all attend St. Alban Roe School in Wildwood. His favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, although he says he "desperately misses" How I Met Your Mother.
||Candid shot from the '92 Yearbook