A Spirited Leader
After an exhaustive search, Holy Ghost Preparatory School has selected Greg Geruson to lead the school into the future
by Leigh Stuart

As an academic institution with a strong history and deep local roots, Holy Ghost Preparatory School did not have an easy task in finding the right person to lead the school—and its young men—into the future. After an exhaustive search through a pool of highly qualified professionals, the Spiritan Community and the school’s board of trustees were able to agree unanimously that they had found the right candidate in Greg Geruson.

“There were a lot of other people who were good educators or good motivators but didn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle that we needed,” says Tony Geonnotti, Jr., chairman of the school’s board of trustees. “He puts the whole package together. Greg has a big job, and he has broad shoulders to handle a lot different roles he plays in the school.”

Geruson, who started in his position on July 1, is the first lay head of school in the approximately 120-year history of Holy Ghost Preparatory School—or “Ghost,” as it’s known to friends of the school.

“Having a president who’s not a priest from the Spiritan religious congregation is a very historic event,” Geonnotti says. “Greg is somebody we absolutely felt was best for the school. … I think we all know how much schools change every day, to families to students to alums, and I think Greg will be an exceptional leader and a big motivator for the school.”

Geruson knows the school very well. He is an alumnus (Class of ’79), and during the 1990s he served the school as vice president of institutional advancement.

“In many respects, this position represents coming full circle—coming home,” Geruson says. “I think the Spiritans saw this as an opportunity to expand the way they look at education, to tap into broader skill sets that are relevant for Holy Ghost today and into the future.”

“Greg being one of us—he’s graduated from the school and stayed involved at the school and worked at the school previously—he’s probably the best candidate for carrying forth the mission of the school and knowing what that mission means,” Geonnotti says. “It was an easy decision once he came up as a candidate.”

Geruson’s résumé also includes more than five years with Andersen Consulting, Vice President for Development and Alumni for St. Joseph’s University, and most recently as vice president of the Healey Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting Catholic schools through help with development, enrollment management and board governance.

“Greg brings to the school a number of things,” Geonnotti notes. “No. 1, he is a Christian individual, so he brings the values the school holds firm. Also he is a very strong person when it comes to forward motion and keeping the school on the highest level of education it can provide for students.”

One of the most prominent roles Geruson will be fulfilling is that of leader of the school, academically and spiritually. The school’s mission is straightforward, Geruson says, and aims to uphold a number of pillars, including academic excellence, openness to the Holy Spirit, global vision and a commitment to the service of others, especially the poor.

“One of the goals is enabling students to develop and pursue their unique gifts and to do so in an atmosphere rich in service and committed to the Spiritan ideals,” he says, noting that students give back through various volunteer opportunities, including at nearby St. Francis Inn and at St. Mark the Evangelist School and its congregation in Harlem. Students also participate in trips to the Dominican Republic to help young people via a summer youth sports and arts and crafts camp. “The ability to give back both locally and internationally encourages a real sense of self, as you relate not only to where you are locally but where you are in the world.”

This service is just one factor contributing to Ghost’s mission to help young men develop into strong global citizens.

“There are other factors that make the school unique—first and foremost is what I call formation at Holy Ghost,” he continues. “Often a school will talk about education and training with a broad brush. I would argue that a great school talks about high expectations with more precision. At Holy Ghost Prep, it’s about shaping young men by leveraging the extraordinary combination of personal relationships, setting high expectations and producing an unmatched academic experience with outstanding teachers. What happens at Holy Ghost is more than education; it’s formation—the shaping and molding of a boy into a young man.”

One way this is accomplished, according to Geruson, is by offering information to students and then teaching them to see that information as knowledge for now and the future. By crafting classroom lessons with lectures, technology, alumni speakers and real-world experiences, students will do more than just gather facts. Instead they will learn to take what they know and apply into actions that lead them to success.

In addition, Geruson has a number of goals for the school itself.

“In a broad sense, I would like to engage the faculty, students, parents and alumni in conversation about what it means to be an exceptional school,” he says. “How can we be seen as the premier Catholic college preparatory school in the Delaware Valley? I think that’s our aspirational goal.”

He believes this pursuit is more about the journey than the destination, yet he has faith that such goals can be met. Geruson says he is optimistic about opportunities for increased engagement within the school community, as well as modest enrollment growth—the addition of 10 to 12 students per class for the next few years.

Capital expansion and physical improvements are also among his goals.

“I’m looking forward to making additional investments in the academic/curricular side of the school, whether it’s in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—or the liberal arts—history, English, as well as the fine arts,” he says. “We have extensive arts and music programs, and I’d love to see those expand.”

Geruson’s goals and aspirations for the future of Ghost have certainly not gone unnoticed.

“I think what we’ve seen of Greg, and the ideas he’s brought forth in his short period of time here, have been very good,” Geonnotti says. “I think we’re going to see some great things happening at Ghost, and Greg is the proper person to take the school where it’s destined to go.”

As Geruson says, “While I’m extremely excited about this opportunity, I’m humbled and honored by it. I see myself as being one piece in what is a beautiful mosaic of Holy Ghost Prep, and as that one piece that also has this key responsibility, I hope that I can make the mosaic come together in a more beautiful way and engage students, parents, alumni and faculty in a way that moves us forward and raises the bar.”

Holy Ghost Preparatory School
2429 Bristol Pike
Bensalem, PA 19020

Photography courtesy of Catalano Studio