“ My experience at Gesu was more than learning in
the classroom. Gesu gave me the opportunity to learn amongst children who looked and grew up just like me. This institution instilled one of life’s most powerful lessons: we all have the power to choose who we want to be in this life, and with effort, perseverance, and faith, our potential is limitless. I will forever be grateful to the many teachers and coaches who helped a young, insecure boy believe that he could be something greater.
Senior Accountant, Drexel University Formerly with Philadelphia Orchestra Association Saint Joseph’s University ’11, B.S. Finance and Accounting John Cabot University ’11, B.S. International Finance, Rome, Italy PricewaterhouseCoopers National Student Leader, Habitat for Humanity Service Leader, Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity St. Joseph’s Preparatory School ‘07
I hope that you and your loved ones are well. Thank you for supporting our 2020 Gesu Gala. While our original plans have changed, the Gala’s spirit and purpose endure. The Gala celebrates our Gesu community: students and families, teachers and staff, and loyal friends. We are delighted to honor Spirit Medalists Rosemary Español, CFM and Saint Joseph’s University for their decades of dedication and service. We recognize Imani Briscoe ’09, recipient of the inaugural James F. Higgins ’45 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Gala raises funds that are critical to fulfilling Gesu’s mission of providing an innovative education that enables students to transcend all forms of poverty. Now, more than ever, our 450 students are experiencing the deep-rooted challenges that accompany poverty. This year, the Gala offers an online auction, including direct impact opportunities. Your support helps Gesu to continue current operations, from remote learning to paying salaries, while planning for our future. We thank our 2020 Gala Committee and Co-Chairs Craig & Jean Burns, Jenn & Phil Flynn, and Mike & Joyce Hagan for their commitment to Gesu and this event. Of course, Gesu appreciates YOU and your investment in our students’ education, especially during this challenging time. Enjoy this tribute program! Please click through to experience Gesu from your own home. With gratitude,
Bryan Carter | President and CEO We hope you enjoy this special celebration!
Azriel welcomes you to the Gesu Gala!
Gospel Choir Video
Listen the Gesu School Gospel Choir! “I Pray” by Mariah Carey
The Gesu Spirit Medal honors individuals and institutions who have shown extraordinary commitment to Gesu School through their loyal advocacy and actions, and who have made a significant contribution to Gesu Schoolâ€™s success as a model inner-city elementary school.
Winston J. Churchill, 2019 J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., 2018 Steve Piltch, 2018 James F. Higgins ’45, 2017 H. Chase Lenfest, 2017 Peter G. Gould, Ph.D., 2016 Rev. Stephen D. Thorne, 2016 Keith M. Pension, 2015 Tad Decker, 2015 Elizabeth R. Moran, 2014 Rev. Neil Ver’Schneider, S.J., 2014 Rev. William J. Byron, S.J., 2013 Vivienne Lambert Ehret, 2013 Robert M. McAlaine, 2012 Christine S. Beck, 2011 Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., 2011 John J. DiIulio, Jr., Ph.D., 2010 Aline & Al Martinelli, 2009 Susan & Bill Shea, 2009 Ralph S. Saul, 2008 John J.F. “Jay” Sherrerd, posthumously, 2008 Mark Solomon, 2006
Rosemary Español, CFM, is the President and Founder of IEI Group, an architecture, interior design, and project management firm in Philadelphia. Her expertise in design, facilities management, and business operations has resulted in IEI’s ranking as a top 200 interior design firm by Interior Design Magazine. Rosemary manages projects in excess of $50 million and has been recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a “Woman of Distinction.” Other honors include the Philadelphia SmartCEO’s Brava Award and the FDU Pinnacle Society Award. She has taught at Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University. She serves as a trustee at Fairleigh Dickinson University and on the advisory councils of Fulton Bank and the College of Architecture & the Built Environment at Jefferson University. Rosemary shared her entrepreneurial skills to help Gesu achieve significant expansion in the Building for Tomorrow campaign, which added an elevator, gym, and two new floors. These spaces increased Gesu’s accessibility and student learning opportunities with a science lab, art studio, music room, advanced writing space, and after-school program facilities. Rosemary has been a dedicated trustee since 2000, leading the physical plant and technology committee and offering critical expertise and consultation for Gesu’s ongoing facilities initiatives. Her knowledge has directly impacted Gesu’s growth.
It is such an honor to receive the Spirit Medal from Gesu School. Being associated with Gesu has been an extremely rewarding experience for me. From the first day I entered the school, I was impressed by the children, their manners, their engagement with their teachers, and their involvement in the learning process. I knew then that I wanted to be involved with the children and the school and continue to help any way I could to make a small difference in the Gesu experience. Throughout the past 20 years, I have seen Gesu change. But change is good. Gesu continues to remain a very special place with very special children. My commitment to education and Gesu is still there after 20 years. Anyone who has not been to the school should make it a priority to visit. See for yourself why it is so special. I believe the commitment of the teachers, staff, and trustees supporting these amazing children is what sets Gesu apart from other inner-city schools. Gesu continues to be an enclave in the middle of a blight area in Philadelphia that fosters a quality educational experience. Sister Ellen, Bryan, and the faculty have an outstanding commitment to these students to be successful, not only in their education, but also in their lives. Gesu is an incredible environment that fosters learning for the whole student. Their experience attending Gesu helps students to continue their education and follows them through all stages of their lives. Thank you again for this honor. I am so proud to be a part of the Gesu community.
As Philadelphia’s Jesuit Catholic University, Saint Joseph’s provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. Saint Joseph’s prepares students for personal excellence, professional success, and engaged citizenship. Striving to be an inclusive and diverse community that educates and cares for the whole person, Saint Joseph’s encourages and models lifelong commitment to thinking critically, making ethical decisions, pursuing social justice, and finding God in all things. Because of the schools’ shared Jesuit tradition and intertwining histories, the relationship between Saint Joseph’s University and Gesu School has thrived for over a century. From 1889-1921, the University’s campus existed where Gesu now stands. Since that time, Saint Joseph’s has remained a stalwart supporter of Gesu’s faculty and students. The two institutions partner via the Alliance for Catholic Education at Saint Joseph’s University (ACESJU), a volunteer teaching corps. For nearly twenty years, Saint Joseph’s University has offered graduate education courses to Gesu School faculty members. Numerous Gesu alumni have attended the University, many through its Ignatian College Connection and Lenfest Scholars programs, which support academically successful students from low-income backgrounds.
I am honored to accept the Gesu Spirit Medal on behalf of Saint Joseph’s University. We are so proud to be recognized for our commitment to student success and our partnership with an institution whose mission aligns with our own. As partners who share Jesuit roots and deep appreciation for the value of Catholic education in our region, we are stronger together. We value having Gesu alumni and faculty enroll at our University and bring their experiences and insights to our classrooms. In turn, we also value the hands-on field experience our current students receive through their work in Gesu classrooms. Our graduate and undergraduate students report positively on their student teaching experiences and the opportunity to participate in after-school programs and enriching events like Math & Science Alive Night for the Gesu community. Our Catholic Alliance for Education program is bolstered by the Gesu School and our student-teachers often remain after they graduate. Our partnership doesn’t end with our students. SJU faculty enjoy hosting in-service programs for Gesu teachers and have benefitted from publishing research based on their work with the Gesu student body. The valuable resources Gesu brings to the students of Philadelphia make it an irreplaceable asset to our community. Saint Joseph’s will always be proud to partner with you. Thank you so much for this humbling honor.
Gesu School is thrilled to introduce the inaugural James F. Higgins ’45 Distinguished Alumni Award. We take great pride in our alumni and their impressive accomplishments. Nothing fills the hearts of Gesu’s teachers, leaders, and supporters more than seeing past students and learning how their lives are unfolding. Fortunately, at Gesu, alumni visits happen regularly. To recognize Gesu alumni achievements, we are establishing the James F. Higgins ’45 Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is named for alumnus and 2017 Spirit Medalist James F. Higgins ’45. After Jim’s tenure at Gesu, he attended St. Joseph’s Prep and Saint Joseph’s University and launched a career in accounting while still remaining intimately connected to Gesu. When he learned that Founding President Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., needed support to transition Gesu into an independent school, Jim reached out to assist. In 1993, he joined the new school’s board as its first treasurer. Today, Jim still serves as one of Gesu’s longest-tenured trustees and remains among our most loyal supporters. We look forward to honoring many alumni who embody Jim’s legacy through their success, heart, Gesu pride, and dedication.
What a privilege it is to honor a member of the Gesu Class of 2009 as the first recipient of the James F. Higgins â€™45 Distinguished Alumni Award. Our recipient is a young woman whom I remember as:
Always being cheerful and pleasant
Always able to stand up for herself
Always able to achieve academic success
Always willing to be of service, no matter what Gesu asked
Always a leader
This young woman came to school every day prepared to learn, to lead, and to serve. She left a longstanding impression on all of us at Gesu. She graduated from West Catholic High School. She graduated from Saint Josephâ€™s University and now works for the University influencing and uplifting other young students like herself! She is now an active member of the Gesu Junior Board. It is my privilege to present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Imani Briscoe '09.
Gesu School is grateful to the Mothers’ Club of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School for their endless support of Gesu students. In addition to other acts of service, each year the Mothers’ Club coordinates a massive Christmas present project to support Gesu families with financial need and help our students have a happy and special holiday season. Gesu School is proud to recognize and honor our 65-year relationship with the Mothers’ Club, and we thank them for their philanthropy and service.
Craig & Jean Burns Mike & Joyce Hagan Susan Martinelli Shea
The Flynn Family: Jennifer, Philip, & Charlotte Jami McKeon & John Hollway Tom & Kathleen Leonard
Anonymous James F. Higgins '45 & Donna M. Higgins PoGo Foundation Saint Joseph's University
Olutayo & Adetokunbo Ibikunle
John Ryan & Mary Gregg and the Ryan Family Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation
Bernadette C. Wheeler, MD & Larry Wells, MD
Bob & Anne McAlaine
Jackie & Aram Jerrehian
Catherine C. Moulton Allan & Pat Murphy Keith M. Pension
1919 Investment Counsel
Gordon & Gretchen Cooney
Steve Piltch & Sunny Greenberg
John & Jennifer Curry
Kathleen & Frank Seidman
The Shipley School The Ver’Schneider & Hayes Families
James & Diane Brecker Ellen & Win Churchill Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School Rard & Judy Davies Jack & Tammy Dodds Kate Hovde & Ken Kulak
Charles W. Heuisler Andy Anderson
David Hilton III
Christine & Leif Beck
Leo M. Janas
James M. Becker
The Lubert Family Foundation
Christina & Joe Cathcart
Constance B. Clery
Mr. and Mrs. Michael P. Moran
Karen & Philip Earley
Steve & Kathy Paul
Skip & Jill Persick
Laurence & Maryann Genuardi
Kevin & Susie Rassas
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jackson
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Edward & Marilyn Trainer Victor Tuma Mel & Gail Weinstein Jacqueline J. Wiggins
Carol & Chuck Walsh
Charles J. Becker and Brothers Inc. Joseph S. Blancuzzi III Philip Boyer Susan & Stephen D. Brown Edward H. Caterson Susan & Adam Corson-Finnerty Ed & Sharon Gaffney Elizabeth H. Gemmill Mary T. Gill GMW Tax Consultant
Charise N. Wilson/Diva's Cleaning Services LLC
Craig & Jean Burns Jenn & Phil Flynn Mike & Joyce Hagan
John & Jennifer Curry Rard & Judy Davies Peter G. Gould & Robin M. Potter James F. Higgins ‘45 & Donna M. Higgins Kim Murphy Kay & Jerry O’Grady Keith M. Pension Eilise & Bill Rouse Susan Stavish Jeanne Wood
We proudly continue our support of the Gesu School. Congratulations to Rosemary Español and to St. Joseph’s University.
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Creating a better world
THROUGH EDUCATION. Saint Josephâ€™s University joins the Gesu School in empowering Philadelphiaâ€™s youth through forward-thinking academic programming, community engagement and global citizenship.
THE POGO FAMILY FOUNDATION PROUDLY SUPPORTS GESU SCHOOL. You, too, can transform a child’s life through Gesu’s Sponsor a Child program. Help children in need receive a top-notch education.
Peter Gould – Robin Potter – Alexandra Gould
THANK YOU ROSEMARY ESPAÑOL AND SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY FOR YOUR UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO THE CHILDREN OF GESU SCHOOL.
A SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO IMANI BRISCOE WHO “DANCED INTO MY HEART” 15 YEARS AGO AS A MEMBER OF THE VERY FIRST CLASS OF DANCING WITH THE STUDENTS! Susan Martinelli Shea
WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPORT THE CHILDREN OF GESU SCHOOL AND THE 2020 GALA
Craig and Jean Burns
DEO GRATIAS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GESU SPIRIT MEDAL RECIPIENTS ROSEMARY ESPAÑOL & SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY The Higgins Family applauds your commitment and contribution to Gesu School through your loyal advocacy and actions. St. Joseph’s University has been associated with Gesu and The Prep since 1873.
Prep '80 SJU '84
Gesu '45 Prep '49 SJU '53
Prep '82 SJU '86
Fairfield University '89
St. Louis University '95
Fordham University '01
MIKE AND JOYCE HAGAN WANT TO CONGRATULATE ON A GOOD YEAR IN 5TH GRADE. GREAT JOB ON ALL YOUR HARD WORK, AND WE HOPE NEXT YEAR IS ANOTHER GOOD YEAR! Mike and Joyce Hagan
WE ARE P ROUD TO SUP PORT
Gala THE GESU SCHOOL
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Congratulations t� R�semary! IEI Group proudly suppo�ts Gesu School
Architecture | Interior Design
The agency where ideas take off. Vault is proud to support and be a partner of Gesu School, where the hopes and dreams of children take off and the sky is the limit.
610.455.2755 DIGITAL DESIGN PR MARKETING
HAPPY TO SUPPORT THE GESU FAMILY OF TEACHERS AND CHILDREN. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2020! Carol & Chuck Walsh
TO THE ENTIRE GESU FAMILY - STUDENTS, TEACHERS, STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK THIS YEAR. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW! Stay safe, The Curry Family
WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPORT GESU SCHOOL AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THE DEDICATED TEACHERS AND LEADERSHIP. DURING THIS CHALLENGING TIME, GESU CONTINUES TO FORGE AHEAD WITH INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE LEARNING! Jami McKeon & John Holloway
BEST WISHES TO GESU SCHOOL FOR THE GREAT WORK YOU DO! Jim & Diane Brecker
THOUGH THE GALA MAY BE VIRTUAL, GESU’S IMPACT IS REAL! Steve Piltch & Sunny Greenberg
INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS
Rosemary Español and Saint Joseph’s University Independence Blue Cross is proud to support the 2020 Gesu Gala, and recognizes the honorees for their commitment to making a difference in the community. Independence Blue Cross shares this commitment. We embrace a bold, innovative vision to help improve the lives and health of people in our region and across the nation.
ATTITUDE IS A LITTLE THING THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE. THAT’S WHY GESU WORKS! THANK YOU TO ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS COMMITMENT. Ellen and Win Churchill
CRISTO REY PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH THE GESU SCHOOL, HAVING GRADUATED 18 GESU ALUMNI SINCE 2012.
Making an impact that matters At Deloitte, driving meaningful social impact where we live and work is core to our culture and powers our people. We are proud to support The Gesu School for the critical work done with today’s youth.
#impactthatmatters Copyright © 2020 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.
At Shipley, you can: play baseball and the trumpet. “GRIEF AND RESILIENCE LIVE TOGETHER.” - MICHELLE
Kate Hovde and Kenneth Kulak
Lead with Courage. Act with Grace. Discover your passions. At Shipley, you can.
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ST. JOE’S UNIVERSITY, FOR ALL YOU DO FOR GESU SCHOOL AND ITS STUDENTS. Fondly, The Murphys
GESU’S TEACHERS ARE HEROES AND HEROINES. IT’S JUST THAT SIMPLE.
SHARE-THE-JOY SPONSOR-A-CHILD YOU CAN CHANGE A LIFE! Bob & Anne McAlaine
THE JERREHIANS CONGRATULATE HAVON AND SANAA FOR ALL THEIR HARD WORK IN THE 2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR Aram and Jackie Jerrehian
IN MEMORY OF: CAROLYN, BILL, & JEANNIE VER’SCHNEIDER CLAIRE, JIM, & SR. ANN MARIE HAYES PATRICK ROWE The Ver’Schneider & Hayes Families
DURING THESE TRYING TIMES, GESU'S STAFF AND FACULTY HAVE STEPPED UP TO MAKE SURE OUR STUDENTS ARE LEARNING IN A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT AND CAN CONTINUE TO SUCCEED TO BECOME TOMORROW'S LEADERS. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION. YOU MAKE GESU WORK!
Gratefully, The Gesu School Leadership Team
BOARD OF DIRECTORS John J. Curry, Chair Katherine H. Hovde, Vice Chair Steven S. Piltch, Ed.D., Vice Chair Keith M. Pension, Secretary Gerard J. Davies, Treasurer Bryan H. Carter, President and CEO Winston J. Churchill, Esq. (Chairman Emeritus) Edward F. Beckett Honorary Donna Bullock Rev. George W. Bur, S.J. Joseph J. Cathcart, CPCU Ellen Churchill Sherri Darden Thomas A. Decker, Esq. John J. DiIulio, Jr., Ph.D., Advisory Board Member Rosemary Español, CFM Tamika Evans '92 Christopher C. Fallon, Esq. Peter G. Gould, Ph.D. Frances Gray James F. Higgins ’45 David Hilton II Rev. Daniel R.J. Joyce, S.J. Karen Lucey
Nyree S. Lyons, RN ’95 Robert M. McAlaine Byron A. McCook, Ed.D. Marie T. McCormick, Ph.D. Allan C. Murphy Kay O’Grady Louis R. Pichini, Esq. Greg Rigdon Sr. Stephen Anne Roderiguez, IHM Eilise Rouse Angela Schwartz Susan Martinelli Shea Daryl J. Shore ’94 Mark Solomon Toby Strogatz Sr. Mary Ellen Tennity, IHM Rev. Stephen D. Thorne
MANAGEMENT TEAM Bryan H. Carter, President and CEO Sr. Ellen Convey, IHM, Principal Alana D. Lee, Vice Principal Rev. Raymond J. Donaldson, S.J., Chaplain Carolynn Thompson, Director of Finance Robert S. Weinstein, Vice President of Development Tammi Crummy, Dean of Students Jose Gonzalez, Director of Graduate Support Mark Smith, Director of Facilities
Gospel Choir Video
Listen the Gesu School Gospel Choir! "Great Things" by Preashea Hilliard
Inspired by the Jesuit and IHM traditions of social justice, faith, creative hope, and love, Gesu School helps students to transcend all forms of poverty by providing a comprehensive, innovative education. We empower our students to develop their strengths, overcome challenges, and become positive, engaged members of the community and the world.
1700 West Thompson Street Philadelphia, PA 19121 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gesuschool.org â€¢ 215-763-9077 www.facebook.com/gesuschool @TheGesuSchool #GesuGala