Bronco family defines both work and home for Joe Albers ’02, M.A. ’09 and Karen Dazols Albers ’04.
Alicia K. Gonzales ’09
01 Jul 2015
Bronco family defines both work and home for Joe Albers ’02, M.A. ’09 and Karen Dazols Albers ’04. Parents and daughter Alicia welcomed baby Lucas to their San Jose household in April 2014. Karen has since returned to teaching kindergarten in Sunnyvale, and Joe serves as founding principal at the new Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School.
As an undergrad at SCU, Joe directed the Santa Clara Community Action Program and led immersion trips to El Salvador and Mexico. He and Karen both worked in Santa Clara Campus Ministry; they built houses together in Tijuana and developed a special bond with one another. Following graduation, Joe returned to El Salvador to help former refugees in the rural village of Guarjila. Karen served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps assisting the children’s programs in a women’s shelter in Sitka, Alaska. “We started dating after he came home,” recalls Karen, “and never looked back, really.”
For the past 10 years Karen has taught at Bishop Elementary, a Title 1 school serving students of low socioeconomic status. “I make every effort to run my classroom as if it were one of my own children sitting in the seats,” she says.
As for the school where Joe is principal: Cristo Rey San José is part of a network of urban Catholic high schools following a paradigm that prepares students by offering an academic and spiritual education, daily health and wellness practices in line with the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care for the whole person), and a top-notch corporate work-study program. “To be able to start a Jesuit school serving the students I love working with here in San Jose is my dream job,” Joe says. Prior to Cristo Rey, Joe taught at Downtown College Prep and Overfelt High School, also in San Jose.
Among the Santa Clara kin who’ve helped launch the school are Peter Pabst, S.J., M.Div. ’86, M.A. ’89, president; Ed Alvarez ’60, J.D. ’65, board and executive committee member; and Diana Rodriguez ’02, director of admissions. Other SCU grads serve on the board. Completing the alumni and student connection: Tutors from SCU volunteer through the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Partnerships for Community-Based Learning.