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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%.

Announcing Gesu School's 2018 Spirit Medalists!

Gesu School is honored to announce J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., Esq. and Steve Piltch, Ed.D. as our 2018 Gesu Spirit Medalists, Gesu’s highest honor. J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., and Steve Piltch will be recognized at the 2018 Gesu Gala on May 10, 2018, for their extraordinary dedication to Gesu School.

J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., Esq.
Partner, Morgan Lewis

As leader of Morgan Lewis’s litigation practice, J. Gordon Cooney, Jr. oversees the firm’s litigation operations across the globe. With a focus on defending class actions in state and federal court, Gordon has appeared in the courts of more than 35 states. He has argued before the United States Supreme Court and many federal circuit courts.

Gordon’s relationship with Gesu began in 1999, and he joined the Board in 2002. In 2010, Gordon was appointed Chairman of the Gesu School Board of Directors. During his six-year tenure as Board Chair, Gordon worked tirelessly to bring Gesu to a new age of financial health and growth. Gordon and his wife, Gretchen are strong champions for Gesu’s mission and its children. Together they have provided scholarship support annually and through a generous endowed gift. Since completing his tenure on the Board of Directors, Gordon remains involved with the school as the lead member of Gesu’s inaugural President's Advisory Council.


Steve Piltch, Ed.D.
Head of School, The Shipley School

Steve holds a Bachelor's degree from Williams College, two Master’s degrees in education, and a Doctorate in education from Harvard University. He has taught in public and independent schools and is currently an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Steve has been Head of School of The Shipley School since 1992. He has served on a number of boards, including The Gladwyne Montessori School, The Wyndcroft School, Girard College, ADVIS, and PAIS.

While Steve has been an outstanding leader of The Shipley School for 26 years, he often says that Gesu School is his "second favorite school." Steve joined the Gesu School Board of Directors in 2005. He has demonstrated his commitment to Gesu by opening his home to introduce new individuals to the school and serving multiple times as moderator for our Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education. Steve has been a staunch advocate for Gesu’s students and has embraced our alumni who have attended The Shipley School.

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.

Click for event information and Sponsor / Patron opportunities. Guest tickets will be available soon in March. 

Event Contact: Sarah Stirzel Cuzzolina, Director of Annual Giving, 215-763-9077 or