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Gesu Update blog posts

2017 Gesu Spirit Medalists Announced!

Gesu School is honored to announce James F. Higgins ’45 and H. Chase Lenfest as our 2017 Gesu Spirit Medalists, Gesu’s highest honor. James F. Higgins ’45 and H. Chase Lenfest will be recognized at the 2017 Gesu Gala on May 11, 2017, for their extraordinary dedication to Gesu School.

James F. Higgins ’45  

Anti-Defamation League Presents Gesu School with 4th Consecutive “No Place for Hate” Designation

Gesu is a place where all are welcome and respected and where character formation is central. On September 15, the Anti-Defamation League presented Gesu School with our 2016 No Place for Hate designation and banner.

Gesu Gospel Choir to Perform at Annual Christmas Concert on December 15, 2016

Gesu School presents its annual Christmas Concert at 7:00 p.m. in the Church of the Gesu on Thursday, December 15, 2016. All are welcome to hear the angelic voices of the choir warm your hearts and spread joy for the Christmas season! This is our gift to the community.

6:00 p.m. Pre-concert reception with light refreshments

7:00 p.m. Christmas concert begins

We hope you can join us for this festive performance!

To RSVP, click here. Or, contact Sarah Stirzel Cuzzolina at 215-763-9077 or

Church of the Gesu
N. 18th & W. Stiles Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19121

Gesu Academic Summer Camp: Curbing Summer Learning Loss

Under the leadership of Eighth Grade Teacher, Laura Weatherly, Gesu School’s summer curriculum balances academics with fun to help curb summer learning loss. Ms. Weatherly has been actively involved in Gesu’s Academic Summer Camp for over 15 years, as a Teacher and as Director.

The 2016 camp provided programming for 60 students, ranging from those who have completed Pre-K through rising 8th graders. The camp is open to not only Gesu School students, but also students from the surrounding community.

Ms. Weatherly describes the camp’s overarching objective: “The main goal is to keep children academically challenged, so they don’t have the ‘summer slide.’ We’re able to combat that for five weeks—half of the summer.” In addition to classroom instruction, the camp also provides books and materials for students’ use at home. 

A Synopsis of the 19th Annual Gesu Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education

On November 4, 2016, Gesu School held its 19th Annual Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education. As a national model for inner-city education, Gesu School remains at the forefront of identifying new ways to better serve our students and sharing these key learnings with others. The symposium has been a time-honored tradition for that purpose.

Gesu Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education is 11/4/16. Register today!

Join us for the 19th Annual Symposium—Cultural Responsiveness in the Urban Classroom with Keynote Speaker, Christopher Emdin, Ph.D.

Friday November 4, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Networking reception to follow

The 2016 Symposium will examine how the teacher-student relationship should be framed in cultural awareness. At a time when many urban educators are teaching students with cultural backgrounds and experiences that vary from their own, dialogue on educating to the student’s life narrative is key. This symposium will discuss ways to challenge the current pedagogy of engaging students in an urban area, redefining what an urban education can look like.

Rev. Neil Ver’Schneider, S.J., a True “Man for Others,” Celebrates 50 Years Ordained.

Rev. Neil Ver’Schneider, S.J. has served at the Gesu parish and Gesu School since 1989 as Assistant Pastor, Chaplain, and Assistant Principal. On June 9, 2016, Fr. Neil commemorated his 50th Jubilee of ordination. Gesu School students, staff, and board members joined together for a joyful mass in The Church of the Gesu followed by a special tribute planned by students and faculty.

On what he treasures most about his ministry at Gesu, Fr. Neil states, “Seeing the students grow, become more responsible, try new things, not give up amidst challenges, and become more thoughtful and caring as they go through Gesu, high school, and beyond. The generosity and dedication of faculty and staff who make Gesu work are daily gifts.”

Gesu Students Engage in Community Service as “Young Men and Women for Others.”

As a Jesuit and IHM school, community service is ingrained in Gesu’s culture. In 2015-16, students participated in service projects during Catholic Schools Week, through the GEM (Gesu Extra Mile) Community Service Club, and several new initiatives.

Catholic Schools Week

During Catholic Schools Week, all Gesu students wrote notes to the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Camilla Hall nursing home to thank the Sisters for their service and to share what they enjoy learning at Gesu.

Congratulations to the Gesu School Class of 2016!

Gesu School is proud of our 41 eighth graders, who graduated on June 15, 2016, at The Church of the Gesu. The Class of 2016 will attend outstanding high schools, and we look forward to learning of their many future achievements!

A Tribute to Sr. Pat McGrenra, IHM on Her Retirement from Gesu School

The Gesu community celebrated “Sr. Pat Day” on June 1, 2016 to commemorate her retirement and honor her service to Gesu School since 1994 as a Teacher, Counselor, and Assistant Principal. Students visited Sr. Pat’s office throughout the day to share songs, poems, and handmade cards. Faculty and staff came together for a celebratory dinner and tribute.

Sr. Pat came to Gesu School in 1994 as a Grade 7 Teacher. She hails from Philadelphia’s Most Blessed Sacrament Parish and West Catholic Girls High School. Prior to arriving at Gesu, Sr. Pat taught in Archdiocesan schools for 34 years.