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Gesu Update blog posts

Gesu Gospel Choir to Perform Christmas Concert December 16, 2021 in the Church of the Gesu

A beloved Gesu tradition returns! Join us to hear the beautiful voices of the Gesu Gospel Choir and to share Christmas joy. As our gift to the community, Gesu School presents our annual Christmas concert in the Church of the Gesu on Thursday, December 16, 2021. All are welcome!

For our community’s safety, all guests will be required to show proof of vaccination (except under age 12). Masks will be required at all times in the Church of the Gesu. A recording will be available for those unable to attend in person.

To RSVP, contact Kimberly Brennan, Director of Annual Giving & Special Events, at 215-763-9077 x 226 or

We hope you can join us for this festive performance!

2021 Gesu Symposium is November 18 at 5pm. Register today!

You are invited to Gesu’s Virtual 24th Symposium: Working Together to Manage Pandemic Stress in Our School Communities. Speakers Marsha Richardson, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jabari Whitehead, Ed.D., Principal of Chatham Park Elementary School and Adjunct Professor at Saint Joseph’s University, will dialogue on this critical, timely topic. Participant Q&A will follow.

The educational landscape has shifted dramatically. Students and educators have returned to in-person classrooms and structured learning time after months of remote instruction and social and emotional upheaval. Join us for a virtual discussion with practical, actionable strategies on managing stress in school communities and strengthening our communities for the months ahead.

Alumni Return to Gesu as Professionals

Gesu alumni have returned to their alma mater's teaching team, administration, and counseling department to share their wisdom and experience. Our community is blessed to have these role models and advocates. Alumni on staff for the 2021-2022 academic year are:

Elnora Cutler ’07, 6th Grade Girls Teacher

Rakirah Fisher ’11, 5th Grade Girls Teacher

Bria Hawkins ’09, Art Teacher

Jonathan Jackson ’99, Lead Counselor

Dontae Leaf ’06, Dean of Students


(Below) Dean of Students Dontae Leaf '06 plans for the new academic year and his role on Gesu's administration collaborating with families, teachers, and students. Mr. Leaf volunteered at Gesu as a coach and on our maintenance team during his time in college at Drexel University. We welcome him to this leadership role. 

Back to School with Hope and Heart

Click to see photos from Gesu’s first days back to full in-person learning! Read media coverage of our back-to-school community event.

Gesu students and staff are brimming with hope for this new school year. The excitement was palpable as we welcomed our 430 students into our building.

Gesu Alumna Andre’a ’18 Selected as Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate

Read an interview with Andre’a ’18, a self-described Gesu “lifer.” Here, she details how Gesu inspired her writing and cultivated soft skills in motivation and grit. The new Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate reflects on her hopes for the future—for teens, for the city of Philadelphia, and for her own growth and professional success. See news coverage on Andre’a’s achievement as Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate.

On Gesu: Developing as a Writer and a Leader

Congratulations to the Gesu Class of 2021!

Gesu celebrated the graduation of 46 students on June 9 in North Philadelphia. Students earned more than $424,000 in scholarship and financial aid offers. The Class of 2021 will attend top high schools such as Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, Friends Select, La Salle College High School, and Malvern Preparatory School. See the full list and photos below.

6abc Action News highlighted Gesu students in this segment. Watch now!


Above photos courtesy of Twin Sister Docs

The 2021 Gesu Gala Auction Closes June 14!

The auction supports Gesu School's mission to provide innovative, holistic education for 450 students in North Philadelphia. Visit the 2021 Gesu Gala Auction to: sponsor educational opportunities like art supplies and technology; bid on original artwork created by Gesu students; and bid on exclusive items like vacation packages, tickets to sports and local events, and more. 

About the 2021 Gesu Gala 

Gesu Breaks Record for One Day Challenge!

Thanks to 620 donors nationwide, Gesu School exceeded our goals for the 2021 One Day Challenge! Our community is filled with gratitude for this support of our mission. Special thanks to The Z Foundation, Tim & Ellen Foster, Mary Kate Leonard, and an anonymous donor for supporting the One Day Challenge with matching gifts!

Gesu raised a record-setting $81,332.63!

Students donated $591.97 with “change for change.”

This year has been difficult for all, and we’re humbled by this outpouring of generosity. Your gift makes a difference, providing innovative education and critical resources for 450 children in North Philadelphia.

Thank you for supporting Gesu School!

Gesu Creates New Position: Vice President for Mission, Identity, and Inclusion

Gesu School welcomes Ed Beckett in this new role to foster community and integrate mission throughout policies, practices, and programs. Beckett brings deep institutional knowledge. He served as a Gesu Religion Teacher and leader of the Gesu parish youth group from 1989-92. A Gesu trustee since 1993, Beckett volunteered on the executive committee and as a founding member of the spirituality committee. 

March 11, 2021 is Gesu School’s One Day Giving Challenge!

Will you join Gesu to make a difference in children's lives? On March 11, Gesu School is striving to meet three challenges! You can help spread awareness and raise critical funds for 450 students in North Philadelphia. Click HERE to make your donation. 

Now, more than ever, Gesu relies on the annual support of donors. The pandemic has deeply impacted Gesu families. The One Day Challenge plays a vital role in raising the funds necessary to offer an innovative learning environment for in-person and virtual learners and to support our community's wellness during these challenging months. A gift of any size makes a difference!