- About GSE
- Admissions & Financial Aid
- Faculty & Research
- Our Students
- Alumni & Giving
To join these donors in making a difference, please contact:
Robert Vosburgh, JD
When Bill Reynolds came to GSE in 1965 to pursue an Ed.D. in school administration, he expected to spend two years taking classes and then return to high school teaching while he completed his dissertation. As it turned out, Bill’s talents and enthusiasm led him to opportunities he hadn’t even thought of.
“The courses under Drs. Castetter, Pillard, and Attorney Lee Garber were invigorating, and the opportunity as part of a fellowship to work as an assistant with Drs. Oliver and Hammock in the student teaching and graduate teacher intern programs was richly rewarding.”
At the end of his two years, Bill was recruited by Dean Morris Viteles to stay on as a lecturer in the Teacher Education Program and to work with Dr. Edward B. Shils of the Wharton School on a management study of Philadelphia public schools. Bill excelled in both roles, and when Dean Viteles retired, incoming Dean Neal Gross appointed Bill Director of GSE’s Teacher Education Program and Assistant Dean.
Bill enjoyed and succeeded in his work at GSE, staying on for seven years. “Penn had developed my leadership skills and opened career possibilities far beyond anything I had imagined. It freed me from conventional career track thinking.”
Since leaving Penn GSE, Bill has been a school principal, a mayor, founder and president of a management consulting firm, director of a university innovation center, and a dean.
“I have had a rich, varied and fulfilling career. I owe this attitude and the successes I have enjoyed largely to Penn GSE. That is why I have become a member of the William B. Castetter Circle.”
Bill’s legacy will help future generations of students benefit from a GSE education.
“I wanted to do something that would carry on the Della Rezza name,” commented Dorothy Della Rezza, wife of Penn Alumnus Anthony Della Rezza, ED’37, GED’38. A dedicated language teacher in the Lower Merion School District, Mr. Della Rezza had a rich history of language, teaching Italian, French and Spanish for over 35 years. “He loved language,” recalls Dorothy. “He taught his students that language was not dead… it was a living thing.” Having traveled all over the world and to just about every corner of the United States, Mr. Della Rezza had many opportunities to perfect his language skills.
“We had a wonderful life together and I know he would be happy knowing that I made a gift in his name to Penn.”
Anthony Della Rezza thought the world of Penn GSE, and now his wife Dorothy has made it possible for future generations of GSE students to think the world of him. Dorothy chose to honor her husband’s memory with a permanently endowed scholarship funded with a gift from her estate. The Anthony Della Rezza Scholarship will support aspiring teachers at Penn GSE.
Sheila Bell discovered her passion for children’s literature thanks to Penn GSE professors Wesley Schneyer, Helen Huus and Morton Botel. “My courses at Penn validated what I realized I believed about the teaching of reading,” she says.
A graduate of Swarthmore College, Sheila came to Penn GSE having taught in Montgomery County, MD and Delaware County, PA. At GSE, she earned both her master’s degree in reading and her teaching certification. She received financial assistance throughout her time at Penn.
Sheila raised a family and then started working full time in the Upper Darby School District in Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching, she served as a reading specialist from 1973 to 1982 and a reading supervisor from 1982 to 2002. She was a Fellow in the inaugural class of The Pennsylvania Writing Project (in West Chester) and in the late 1970s returned to GSE to earn her supervisory certificate.
Having retired in 2002 from a career dedicated to helping children read, today Sheila belongs to the Delaware County Reading Council and enjoys reading with her grandchildren. She is also active with Swarthmore, where she chaired her last reunion and regularly volunteers in the Scott Arboretum.
Sheila chose to include Penn GSE in her estate plans, because she wants to make sure others have the same opportunities she did, to make a difference as a teacher. She says,
“I feel strongly about educational institutions. The need for well-prepared teachers is more dire than ever today.”
Thanks to Sheila’s generosity, future generations of aspiring teachers will be able to pursue their dreams at Penn GSE.
Michael O’Reilly came to Penn GSE to receive the best possible training as a secondary school science teacher. He accomplished this goal, and then some, teaching science to middle and high school students for 35 years.
A native of upstate New York, Michael attended SUNY College Cortland and taught outside Syracuse for five years before deciding to return to graduate school. Michael was a promising young teacher and was awarded a full scholarship to Penn GSE in the fall of 1963. He recalls receiving an “excellent education” at Penn, learning about the latest scientific advances alongside full-time researchers in state-of-the art laboratories.
His time at GSE was busy and challenging, but thoroughly rewarding. He remarked, “Penn required a thesis, a comprehensive exam and an oral examination!” After receiving his GSE degree, Michael went on to teach for 30 years in Spring Valley, New York, north of New York City.
With a lifelong love for learning, today Michael is a world traveler and voracious reader, as well as an amateur watercolor painter. He included Penn GSE in his estate plans, because,
“I couldn’t think of a better place to make a difference.”
He hopes that future generations of aspiring teachers will benefit from the same quality of education that he received at the School. Thanks to Michael’s support, they will.