Rev. Ronald W. Sams, S.J.
Fr. Ron Sams died Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Buffalo, NY. He was 88 years old and a Jesuit for over 70 years. Fr. Sams taught at McQuaid Jesuit from 1954-56 when he was a Jesuit scholastic and was a member of the "original" McQuaid Jesuit faculty.
A wake for Fr. Sams will be held Thursday and Friday 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the Amigone Funeral Chapel, 1132 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. Fr. Sams will lie in state Saturday morning from 9 AM-10 AM at St. Michael's Church, 651 Washington St., Buffalo, where a Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 AM.
Fr. Sams is pictured with Fr. Fred Betti, former member of the McQuaid Jesuit faculty.
Throughout the summer, the offices at McQuaid Jesuit will be open during the following days and times: Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. - noon. Anyone wishing to visit the school should still call ahead to ensure someone is available to assist you.
More than forty years ago, two handbooks on effective practice for teachers and administrators were published for use in all the Jesuit High Schools of the United States. One section describing the qualities of a good teacher in the Jesuit School withstands the test of time. It states that the kind of teacher that a person becomes will depend on the kind of person one is. It identifies such a person as someone motivated by principle, balanced in judgment, governed by a profound sense of justice, possessing self-confidence, humility and humor, and demonstrating understanding, patience, and determination.
At this year's commencement, four members of McQuaid's community were honored for their contributions and dedication by which they embody the above qualities. Each received the school's Bene Merenti Award - the traditional honor for meritorious service presented to those who have given 20 years of dedication to students, faculty, staff, and parents.
Mrs. Pamela Stoffel
Mrs. Pamela Stoffel came to McQuaid Jesuit after heralded accomplishments and contributions in the areas of English, speech, and the performing and dramatic arts. Her extensive knowledge and experience have permeated all aspects of the English curriculum and theatre life at McQuaid Jesuit and in the local community, including her direction of nearly 50 theatrical productions. While more than half of those productions she has directed for McQuaid, Mrs. Stoffel’s creativity and expertise expounds far beyond the classrooms, stage and auditorium at 1800 South Clinton. Mrs. Stoffel spent summers doing professional summer stock theatre where she earned her Actors Equity card. She served as an assistant professor at Cazenovia College, where she taught Speech and Theatre, and developed a new major in the Performing Arts focused on Drama, Music and Dance. Currently, she serves as a member of Notre Dame University’s Graduate School Advisory Council. Simply, Mrs. Stoffel is regarded as an esteemed member of the theatre and educational community both in and outside of Rochester, where her generosity and vision continue today with each student, actor and actress whom she teaches and mentors.
Mrs. Stoffel remains a pillar of the English department at McQuaid, where throughout her years as both a middle school and high school teacher, she has been a source of insight, inspiration, and masterful creativity. Mrs. Stoffel has taught sophomore and senior English as well as created and taught drama courses across multiple grades. A published poet herself, Mrs. Stoffel was twice selected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to attend the Bearing Witness Institute Program for her poetic design and scholarly work regarding the Holocaust, anti-semitism, and contemporary issues. Notably, seventeen years ago Mrs. Stoffel re-introduced public speaking to the McQuaid curriculum and is responsible for creating the annual senior public speaking competition and funding the competition’s first place scholarship award. Whether helping students to learn the beauty of poetry, discern the contemplative themes and messages of literature, expand their horizons through theatrical performance, or formulate and present informed opinions with charisma and conviction, Mrs. Stoffel challenges and inspires her students.
Yet with all the accolades of such an illustrious career, Mrs. Stoffel will gladly tell you that the productions of which she is most proud are her three sons, two of whom are McQuaid Jesuit alumni.
Mrs. Marcella Nesbitt
Mrs. Marcella Nesbitt came to McQuaid Jesuit having spent several years of dedicated service at fellow Rochester area Catholic school Bishop Kearney. Having taught Theology, sociology, AP psychology, social studies, and life skills at Bishop Kearney, having provided pastoral counseling for students and faculty, and having developed, planned, coordinated and facilitated both their liturgical services and comprehensive retreat programs, Mrs. Nesbitt brought a wealth of knowledge and experience when she first graced our campus and community. From that day forward, Mrs. Nesbitt has been a living example of a devoted educator imbued in the Ignatian spirit and tradition.
A lifelong Rochesterian and Roman Catholic, Mrs. Nesbitt inspires in her students an interest in and an appreciation for the study and discussion of Theology, spirituality, and what it means to live a life of faith. Whether through her own collegial studies in Theology, sociology, Ignatian Spirituality, pastoral counseling and Ignatian Leadership, her involvement in the retreat programs at McQuaid Jesuit, her graceful and dynamic presence in the classroom, or simply her day-to-day acts of compassion and mentorship, Mrs. Nesbitt’s devotion to and care for her students is evident. A true Ignatian educator, Mrs. Nesbitt challenges her students not only to embrace their academic studies, but to truly seek to find God in all things and to hear where God may be calling them.
Among her colleagues, Mrs. Nesbitt is a dedicated and established presence at the numerous seminars, colloquiums, symposiums, and educational and leadership conferences offered by the Jesuit Schools Network, and her continued commitment to studies and training are an empowering presence in the school community and greater Rochester area as she looks to expand the awareness and presence of Ignatian Spirituality through her leadership, involvement in and direction of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Igantius of Loyola. Indeed Mrs. Nesbitt instills in her students and colleagues alike, a call to discover the graced insights that spark and direct our service to one another and our love and respect for God’s creation.
A loving wife of 33 years and proud mother of two, including a son who is an alumnus of McQuaid Jesuit, Mrs. Nesbitt is a woman of devotion, accomplishment, compassion, elegance, and conviction. A woman of great faith, Mrs. Nesbitt is a living example of the often quoted maxim: “Any crucifix demonstrates that being Christian isn’t about achieving; it’s about not quitting.” Mrs. Nesbitt is known and respected as a dedicated, focused, and reflective member of the McQuaid Jesuit community, and her day to day presence models for us all what it means to be open to growth and committed to justice. She is a devoted educator and trusted colleague.
Mr. Jack Ruppert
Mr. Jack Ruppert’s years at McQuaid Jesuit have included so much more than expert instruction of young men. For 20 years, Mr. Ruppert has been a model of the Jesuit tenets of being loving, religious, open to growth, intellectually competent and committed to justice. A member of the history department, Mr. Ruppert has taught Global I as well as U.S. History at both the middle and high school levels. However, while Mr. Ruppert has taught history to the 8th Grade for every one of his twenty years, his impact at McQuaid Jesuit has extended into all aspects of school life.
Mr. Ruppert has moderated the middle school Geography Bee, founded and moderated the middle school speech and debate club, chaperoned class trips to Toronto and Cleveland, provided mentorship and leadership for the school’s Loyola Scholars program, helped to lead multiple Emmaus and Kairos retreats in the high school as well as middle school retreats to Camp Koinonia, and been at the vanguard of the middle school’s Olweus anti-bullying student training. Mr. Ruppert is indeed part of the very fabric that makes McQuaid Jesuit.
With 20 years of coaching experience at both the high school and middle school levels, Mr. Ruppert has been a linchpin in the formation of hundreds of student-athletes, modeling for them what it means to pursue victory with honor and to put team before self to serve the greater good. The standard of excellence commanded by Coach Ruppert of his players has been evident throughout his years, as he has led and helped lead McQuaid Jesuit basketball teams to multiple league, sectional, regional and state finals and championships and repeated scholar-athlete recognitions. Coach Ruppert has been a living example of sportsmanship and dedication, and in doing so earned the respect and admiration of coaches, athletes, and officials alike.
A father of both a McQuaid Jesuit alumnus and a current McQuaid junior, and a devoted husband to his wife, history department colleague Dr. Kathy Ruppert, Mr. Ruppert truly has McQuaid Jesuit in so many aspects of his life. However, the reality is that, as such a stalwart and charismatic presence in the classroom, hallways, and gymnasium, McQuaid Jesuit has Mr. Ruppert in so many aspects of its life. He is the consummate gentleman, and a true Man for and with others.
Mr. Dan Gorton, '90
Mr. Daniel Gorton first came to McQuaid Jesuit as a freshman in the fall of 1986, eager to embrace the opportunities and challenges that the all-boy college preparatory school had to offer. As a proud member of the class of 1990, Mr. Gorton was an accomplished student-athlete, active in many facets of school life. His return to the beloved halls that he once walked was little different than his storied time as a student. Simply stated: Mr. Gorton immediately became a transformative presence in all aspects of student life.
As a member and the current chairman of the English department Mr. Gorton has been at the helm of a department inspiring the hearts and minds of students through an appreciation and understanding of what it means to think, read, write and speak critically and responsibly with a charism and conviction to champion what is right and just. His commitment to the Magis in all that he undertakes is evident, as he has been a mentor and inspiration for thousands of young gentlemen in the classroom, on the fields, and through student activities. Living by the Shakespearean maxim that “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves,”
Mr. Gorton has continually challenged the young men of McQuaid Jesuit to strive for more, believe in the impossible, welcome adversity as a test of your resolve, and have faith and belief in the power of oneself. These life lessons have been modeled and conveyed through Mr. Gorton’s omnipresence in McQuaid life. He has been the moderator of the Mock Trial team, as well as the senior and freshman class officers. He has helped lead student cultural immersion trips to Quebec. He has coached baseball and basketball at the middle and high school levels. He has represented the faculty community as a member of the McQuaid Jesuit Board of Trustees. He has devoted countless hours to the Jesuit Schools Network as a presenter at colloquiums, a leader for the Ignatian Leadership Seminars, an advisor to the Secondary Education Board for the Jesuit province, a participant in the Ignatian Leadership Academy, and a charter member of the Ignatian Coaching Committee. Additionally, Mr. Gorton has been a lead member of the Big Brother Program for McQuaid’s orientation, and of course, let it not be overlooked, that Mr. Gorton has been a scorekeeper, supervisor, and, at times over the years, the silky smooth and velvety voice of McQuaid Jesuit basketball, volleyball, hockey and football.
As the varsity golf coach, Mr. Gorton has led McQuaid to multiple league, sectional and state titles, and to this day remains an integral part of his student-athletes’ lives both past and present, including a current member of the PGA tour. All of these contributions are reflective of Mr. Gorton’s impact and indelible mark left upon the lives of his students and student-athletes. He bleeds black and gold, and appropriately he is part of the lifeblood of McQuaid Jesuit.
Rising seventh grader Jamie Kosten was a recipient of the Rochester Police Department's "Do The Right Thing" award for the month of June for the 2016-17 program year. Jamie was nominated by a 911 operator who took his call when Jamie's dad, Scott, was having a serious reaction to multiple bee stings. The family raises bees and Jamie was the only one home at the time. Scott started to pass out and Jamie calmly and quickly called 911 who helped him administer the epi pen and talked Jamie thru caring for Scott until an ambulance arrived.
Jamie, along with other recipients, was honored at an award ceremony June 8.
The "Do The Right Thing" program is designed to seek out the outstanding youth of the Rochester community who have distinguished themselves as a role model for their peers. They achieve this status by committing "random acts of kindness," or by simply "doing the right thing."
After finishing the regular season in second place, the Master Minds team, comprised of senior Kellen McGrath; juniors Dekovas Finley, Fred Rion, George Rogalskyj, Dan Schied and Chase Tyler; and sophomores Ben Buyer, Jason DeJesus, and Andrew Kinard, advanced to the Middle Rounds of the regional playoffs after defeating Red Jacket 260-105, Fairport 340-90 and Mercy 250-120 Monday. As the playoffs are a double elimination tournament, the team is two wins away from the regional championship. The Middle Rounds take place May 24 at St. John Fisher College.