Years Attended: Jennifer 1969 – 1979
Audrey – 1998 (Kindergarten) – 7th grade
Mary Grace – 1998 (3 years old) – 7th grade
Harrison – 1999 (2 years) – 7th Grade
When Kehoe-France (KF) alum Jennifer Gitz recalls the formative decade she spent at the Southshore location of the primary education school, one word surfaces again and again — family. She remembers walking into the Northshore location of Kehoe-France, and being greeted as though she had never left. “When my husband Ronnie and I went to Kehoe-France for a tour, the moment we walked in I was greeted warmly, by my name, with big hugs. They remembered me all these years later from so many years before. Who does that?” she wondered. “They did it, and when we walked out after that tour, my husband was convinced that this was the place for our children.”
As a young girl who attended from the age of two, Jennifer remembers wanting to go to school, seeing the France family who not only lived on campus, but who personally greeted each and every child, each and every day, and feeling as though the school she attended was like an extension of her very own family. “It always felt like an extension of home,” she remembers. “I learned to swim, read, ride horses — everyone knew each other. It was a place of belonging, nurturing, family.” Jennifer also recalls fondly the close-knit, lifelong friends she made as a child at KF and the fact that their own children are now friends and attended KFN together.
The intimate, family atmosphere that gave Jennifer such a safe, memorable and well-rounded educational foundation was also a place that emphasized the importance of life skills and academics to the same degree. “Everything was about manageability. They taught that from the first grade on and it followed through with us,” she remembers. “They forced us to excel, and when we had a hard time, they helped us through it.”
As her own children began their tenure at KFN, Jenifer noted that most things were indeed the same. “The sports offerings always blew me away,” she says. “My children were able to experience every sport from baseball, to swimming, to track”. And much like her educational foundation, her children were presented with high expectations at a very young age. “My children were more than capable of their own time management by the sixth grade,” she says. “They knew how to study, they were taught life skills, and they scheduled themselves.”
“I know that my children would not have gotten such a well-rounded and personalized education as they have at Kehoe-France from any other school. There are a few little things that are different, but their core values are staunchly in place,” she notes. “What they have always taught and are still teaching is: discipline, humanity and pride in oneself. It is so apparent by the students they are turning out.”
Jennifer’s own children continue to excel as young adults in their collegiate pursuits. Her eldest, Audrey, is a first-year law student at LSU, and is the Vice President of her law class. Mary Grace is pursuing a degree in accounting at LSU, and is currently working as an intern for a local accounting firm. Her youngest, Harrison, is a freshman at LSU and successfully completed his first semester on the Dean’s List.
“The opportunity to have shared this experience with my children has given us such a strong emotional connection. Ronnie is even a little envious of our shared experience,” she says. “He is thankful though, that their experience was everything that I experienced as a student at Kehoe-France. It was a struggle to do private school for us, but we felt that it was important. He felt that we got everything we paid for — educationally, mentally and emotionally.”