Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Los Angeles Times Highlights Success of Jesuits’ Verbum Dei High

Verbum Dei Class of 2013After the Jesuits took over Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles in 2000, the school began accepting only low-income students and doubling up on core classes. Evidence shows that their Cristo Rey Network model is working: all 60 graduating students of the class of 2013 announced they would be going to college at the school’s commitment day ceremony this year.

The all-male high school in the Watts neighborhood of the city was the subject of a recent feature story in the Los Angeles Times’ Column One section. For the sixth straight year, the college acceptance rate was 100 percent for its almost entirely Latino and African-American students.

This celebration of the school’s success highlights the dramatic changes made in Verbum Dei’s recovery from financial problems. In 2000, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which long kept the school afloat, announced that Verbum Dei was on the verge of closing. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony asked the Jesuits to take over, and they linked the school with the Cristo Rey Network of Catholic schools in 2002, which provides a college preparatory experience for disadvantaged urban teenagers.

By 2009, Verbum Dei was fully operating under the new program. The school, once an athletic powerhouse, directed its focus toward new achievements. “You might not see any more championship athletic banners in the gym,” said Paul Hosch, vice president for mission advancement at Verbum Dei. “But what you will see is five to six college acceptance letters per student.”

Students’ days at Verbum Dei are highly structured, the schedule designed to bring underachieving students to grade level. “Every student here has obstacles or challenges, and we accept that,” Principal Dan O’Connell said. “But that cannot be an excuse. The real world is not going to allow them to use that as excuses.”

The school condenses six years of learning into four, with double sessions of core classes such as English and math. In addition to schoolwork, students work one day during the school week as part of a corporate work-study internship that pays half of their tuition. Parents are asked to pitch in what they can afford, and the remainder of the tuition is made up through grants and fundraising.

School officials said the work at law firms, banks and engineering companies inspires the teens. Ricardo Placensia, who will be attending the University of California, Riverside in the fall, interned at Locke Lord law firm. “I see I made [my mother] proud,” said Placensia. “That’s the one thing I’ve wanted to do.” [Los Angeles Times]

Dr. Thomas Bausch, a Leader in Jesuit Education, Passes Away

Dr. Thomas BauschDr. Thomas Bausch, who led a life committed to his family, Catholic faith, community and the Jesuit mission, passed away on July 17 at age 75. A graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland (B.S. 1960) and Indiana University (Ph.D. 1969), he had a distinguished career centered on working with Jesuit universities and the Society of Jesus throughout the world.

Bausch, a proponent of Catholic social teaching in business and management, held positions at John Carroll University and Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., prior to becoming dean of the Business School at Marquette University in Milwaukee from 1978 to 1993. He continued to teach at Marquette until 2010.

Bausch was particularly interested in the connection between Ignatian spirituality and business leadership. He was co-founder of the International Association of Jesuit Schools of Business and served as its executive director for 10 years.

His global commitment to the Jesuit mission included working with universities and organizations throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Throughout his career Bausch held many leadership positions, which included serving as president of the World Union of Jesuit Alumni, national president of Christian Life Community and president of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. He also served as dean of business at the Jesuits’ Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya.

Bausch is survived by his wife of 50 years, Bernadine, and their eight children and 17 grandchildren.

Canisius High School Appoints Jesuit Father Joseph Costantino as President

Fr. Joseph Costantino Canisius HighJesuit Father Joseph Costantino has been appointed as the new president of Canisius High School, in Buffalo, N.Y., beginning July 1. Fr. Costantino is returning to the site of his first assignment as a Jesuit novice in 1978.

His appointment also marks a return to a Jesuit president for the 143-year-old school. He succeeds  John Knight, the first lay president in the school’s history. Knight left Canisius in 2012 to lead St. Ignatius Preparatory School in San Francisco. In the interim, P. Joseph Koessler served as president while the Canisius High board searched for a permanent replacement.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to have a Jesuit back at the helm of Canisius. That was one of our key objectives we were seeking to fulfill,” said the chair of the school’s board of trustees David Kersten.

Fr. Costantino has been the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City since September 2006.. A Brooklyn native, Fr. Costantino entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained in 1987. Fr. Costantino is also a member of the board of trustees at Canisius College, where he spent three years teaching philosophy. He holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and both a Master of Divinity and Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. (now the Boston College School of Theology).

He was executive director of St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, N.Y., for seven years, and is a former board member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, which provides service opportunities for retirees with the poor. Fr. Costantino also served as director of vocations for the New York and Maryland Province Jesuits.

“Living in community with the Jesuits who served at the high school and working alongside a group of seasoned Canisius lay faculty members in the Higher Achievement Program, I experienced the joys of teaching and learned about the magnificent work of this special Jesuit apostolate in Buffalo,” said Fr. Costantino, recalling his time at Canisius High as a Jesuit novice. [Buffalo News, Business First]

Loyola High School in Detroit announces new president

Loyola High School in Detroit and the board of trustees have announced the election of their fifth president, Jesuit Father Mark Luedtke, effective July 1, 2012.  Fr. Luedtke will succeed Jesuit Father David Mastrangelo, who has served at Loyola for 19 years as teacher, principal, and president.

Fr. Luedtke is a native of Chicago and a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and Georgetown University. After working in retail sales and marketing after college, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1999. He taught and worked in campus ministry during his three-year regency at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago. Upon completion of his studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, he was ordained to the priesthood in 2010. For the past three semesters, he has been interning at Jesuit high schools in Sacramento, San Francisco, and New York City. In January, he will move to Detroit and begin immersing himself in the Loyola community.

As a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, Fr. Luedtke is very familiar with the school and is fully committed to its unique mission that has been fostered so carefully by Fr. Mastrangelo and Loyola’s staff.

To read the full announcement from Fr. Mastrangelo and other news in Loyola High School’s “Landmark” magazine, click here.

To view a video featuring Fr. Luedtke reflecting on his Jesuit vocation, click here.

Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education

The Jesuit Conference is pleased to announce that it now features Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education on Jesuit.org’s Press and Publications page.

The goal of the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education and its publication of Conversations is to strengthen the Jesuit identity of our 28 colleges and universities. Each issue is written to stimulate the campus dialogue – through departmental discussions or faculty symposiums – on the pursuit of various ideals.

The following articles are excerpts from the current issue of Conversations magazine. An archive of past issues may be found here.

Dear Faculty, Ask for More
Experiencing The Spirit
How We Got Here
Seeking Work-Family Balance: Perils and Possibilities
So You Want to Be A President?
The Importance of Good Coffee

The opinions stated in the articles herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Jesuit Conference of the United States.

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