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Over 90% of our graduates complete high school within four years, in a city with an on-time high school graduation rate that hovers around 65%.

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. 

Beckett’s extensive professional experience includes teaching, spiritual formation, student activities, and educational leadership. Most recently, he  served as Principal of Gloucester Catholic High School, where he managed 55 staff and a $4.5 million budget, while increasing student diversity and developing retreat and reflection programs rooted in Catholic social teaching and to foster the school's Catholic identity. 

Beckett has deep ties to Jesuit institutions, including roles as Vice Principal for Spiritual Formation at Boston College High School, Adjunct Professor at Saint Joseph’s University, and Religion Teacher and Forensics Coach at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. His educational background includes:

  • B.A. History and Minors, Psychology and Sociology, Rutgers University
  • M.A. Philosophy, St. Louis University; M.Div. Weston Jesuit School of Theology; M.A. Philosophy (Peace Studies), Trinity University College, Dublin, Ireland, and M.A. Educational Administration, Seton Hall University

Beckett’s immediate goals include spearheading anti-racism discussions and a resource bank aligned with Jesuit spirituality. He is researching a paradigm for equity audits to harness diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and collaborating with Marquette University to administer research surveys on the pandemic’s impact on Gesu students.

Beckett reflects on this new opportunity and Gesu’s core values:
"Gesu’s mission is grounded in the Gospel’s call for each of us to protect, promote, and respect human dignity. We educate the whole person: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and academically. The interreligious, ecumenical identity of the school as a jointly sponsored independent Catholic School by the IHM Sisters and Jesuits provides a vital tradition and rich legacy of education for empowerment that is over 100 years old. Our mission to empower our students here in North Philadelphia is rooted in a collaborative, innovative approach to student learning centered on character formation, lifelong learning, and successful outcomes. We are a nationally recognized leader in urban education. Gesu School is rooted in the belief that we are all family in the sight of God and that at the heart of the family, all are welcome.”

The role of Vice President for Mission, Identity, and Inclusion focuses on mission integration aligned with faith-based identity to promote holistic education and justice.

  • The Vice President advances programs sponsored by the Jesuit Schools Network and IHM networks, notably in professional development and spiritual formation.
  • The role supervises Gesu’s Mission and Ministry Team and Director of Graduate Support, while developing robust programs, such as service learning, in these departments.

A critical objective for the Vice President is to drive DEI efforts. These include:

  • Assisting administration in design, delivery, and assessment of a multicultural curriculum focused on nurturing positive racial identity, informed by trauma-based practice, and inclusive of social-emotional learning. These goals are embedded in Gesu’s pursuit of educational equity and academic excellence.
  • Creating opportunities for dialogue to deepen understanding and enable faculty and staff to prepare students to thrive.

The Vice President role entails community engagement and capacity building.

  • As neighborhood demographics shift, the Vice President will strengthen community partnerships with organizations such as the Philadelphia Housing Authority, local churches, and day-care centers.