In memoriam: Mr Denis Unsworth

Date Posted: Thursday 10 August 2023

To Parents, Staff and Friends of GES,

We are writing today to share the sad news that Mr Denis Unsworth, Headmaster of GES from 1972 to 2007 passed away last week. Mr Unsworth was a well loved and respected Headmaster who shaped GES into the wonderful, family oriented and academically successful school that it is now. He is still fondly remembered by staff and many families who had children at the school under his 35 years of stewardship.

Here is a selection of testimonials from previous employees, parents and students of the school, who knew him and wanted to pay their last respects to him.

Way back in 2001 I came to GES to meet with the Head as I had recently arrived in Geneva. I sent my CV and he invited me to come and meet with him and see the school. The Head was Denis Unsworth and I had no idea at that point that the most joyous time in my teaching career was about to begin. Denis walked me around the school, in and out of every classroom. He knew every child’s name and told me anecdotes about them as we walked away. Teachers were very used to him coming round as I soon learnt when I accepted the job and saw how he guided all prospective parents round and would share the history of both his beloved school and the beautiful old building.

Denis had a rare gift being able to teach Year 6 with a full commitment to high academic standards and being a full time head. He would then join us in the staff room for lunch. Every day we would share teaching ideas, discuss academic items in the TES and manage to talk about sport particularly football and his beloved Rugby. He had played professional rugby for Wasps. Denis was a kind and inspiring boss and we will all miss him. However when I drive past GES I always think of him.

Ex employee and parent

Denis’ legacy, both as my Headmaster and a dear family friend, will remain in our hearts for many years to come. I admired Denis’ integrity, kindness and passion for teaching: he laid the very foundations for the ethos of the School which he considered as a family. These fond and happy memories have been an integral part of my life as well as my children’s who, in turn, attended GES at both Primary and Secondary levels.

Ex pupil, employee and current parent

My fondest memory of GES as a former pupil has always been that of Denis Unsworth. I had the privilege of having him as my Year 6 teacher; his charisma and beautiful personality were an inspiration to all of us, pupils and staff alike. For the 35 years he was the Head of GES, and even beyond, he was and still remains, what truly made GES a wonderful place to be.

Ex pupil and employee

Although I was only 10/11 years old when he was our class 6 teacher and headmaster all the way back in 1972-1973, I remember Mr Unsworth so well. He had a wonderfully enthusiastic and charismatic personality. I remember him to be very personable and fun with good stories and anecdotes to tell. He was a breath of fresh air, a great teacher and a great headmaster. I send his family my deepest condolences.

Ex pupil

J’ai eu la chance d’être engagée par Mr Unsworth début 1994 et j’ai travaillé avec lui jusqu’à sa retraite en 2007. D’emblée il m’a fait confiance et sa confiance m’a vraiment permis de déployer mes ailes en tant qu’enseignante.
Mr Unsworth était un directeur et un enseignant respectueux des élèves, de leurs familles, et de son staff ; sous son aile nous donnions le meilleur de nous-mêmes car il aimait profondément son métier et son école. Il dirigeait son école comme le patriarche d’une grande famille, avec autorité, bienveillance et un soutien sans faille.
Il avait le talent de choisir des gens qui avaient envie de travailler ensemble pour le bien des enfants et j’ai forgé à GES des amitiés indéfectibles.
Mr Unsworth a été et restera une figure qui, par son charisme et son exemple, a énormément compté dans ma carrière et dans ma vie. Je n’oublierai jamais la joie que j’éprouvais chaque jour en arrivant à GES pour travailler sous son égide. Je pense souvent à lui. Merci infiniment Mr Unsworth.

Ex employee

If you would like to make a contribution, Mr Unsworth’s family have asked that, instead of flowers, donations can be given to Alzheimer Vaud, mentioning Mr Unsworth.

The IBAN for the charity is: CH57 0900 0000 1000 8983 1.