Gesu School is honored to announce Mrs. Elizabeth R. Moran and Rev. Neil Ver'Schneider as our 2014 Gesu Spirit Medalists. Mrs. Moran and Fr. Neil will be recognized at this year's 20th Anniversray Gala.
Every year, Gesu friend and advocate Mrs. Elizabeth R. Moran honors deserving individuals with the Jimmy Coin, an award established in memory of her late son, to encourage those who exemplify his qualities of resilience, loyalty, humility and empathy. Not long ago, the medal was awarded to six noteworthy Gesu School students and leaders. Each awardee gave a second medal to another Gesu community member, creating a powerful and inspirational ripple effect throughout the school.
Mrs. Moran has deserved to be on the receiving end of a medal for years, and this year we are thrilled to recognize her steadfast commitment to Gesu School and the same noble characteristics she honors in others.
For many students at Gesu, their time here doesn’t end when the last bell rings. Thanks to Mrs. Moran’s investment in Gesu’s After School Program, not only are students provided with structured extracurricular actives and classes, but they are kept safe from threatening environments outside of school walls. Mrs. Moran established two endowed scholarships that will see students through to their graduation for generations to come, and is an active participant in the Sponsor A Child program.
In 2011, Mrs. Moran received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for the significant philanthropic impact she has made throughout the region.
Rev. Neil Ver’Schneider, S.J. celebrates his own anniversary this year—25 years of service to the Gesu community. Fr. Neil arrived in North Philadelphia in 1989 to work with the African American community as assistant pastor of Gesu Parish. Today he is still hard at work in the neighborhood as assistant principal and chaplain of Gesu School.
Over the years, Fr. Neil has been a bedrock of Gesu’s North Philadelphia community. While he is best known for the loving discipline he doles out to students in Gesu School’s “time-out” room, Fr. Neil quietly assists families in crisis, helps young people find purpose, and offers spiritual guidance and friendship to any soul who appears at his door, from the littlest children to the neighborhood matrons.
He inspires those around him with his frugality (nobody dares throw anything out as long as Fr. Neil’s around—he’ll find a new home for it!), his humble demeanor, and his reputation as a jack-of-all -trades. Gesu is grateful to the New York Province of the Society of Jesus for sharing this treasure with us!
“When a child learns to share his or her gifts, there comes a strength and peace that helps them weather the ups and downs of life.” —Rev. Neil Ver’Schneider, S.J.
The Gesu Spirit Medal honors individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment to Gesu School through their loyal advocacy and actions, and who have made a significant contribution to Gesu School’s success as a model inner-city elementary school.