In 1971, the Dominican Sisters left after 62 years of service because a change in their mission required them to work with the indigent and for social justice. Replacements could not be found, forcing the school to close for one year. It reopened in 1972 under the administrative leadership of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio, with Sr. Mary Teresita Gresko, S.N.D. as principal.
During her time as principal (1972-1976) Sister Mary Teresita introduced “flexible modular scheduling, in which school time was divided into 15 or 20-minute units used to schedule classes in a variety of lengths. This allowed students and faculty to decide how to divide their time, with both pursuing classes and subjects that interested them most. She also allowed a series of “mini-courses” to be conducted on various topics that piqued students’ interest. These college-like seminars ranged from Russian Strategy to Group Dynamics and Journalism. It was during her tenure that the school bookstore was introduced and new sports teams, including girls’ volleyball and boys’ soccer were added – all remain fixtures at today’s Cardinal Gibbons.
By the 1975-76 school year, The Most Reverend F. Joseph Gossman was the fourth Bishop of Raleigh and Cardinal Gibbons High School was well positioned as a college preparatory school. At the same time, it experienced an increase in enrollment as families moved to the area to take advantage of jobs in the growing Research Triangle Park.
Through the end of the 1970s several faculty and staff members - who still serve the school today - joined the Cardinal Gibbons community. They are English teacher Toni Sutphin, Pam Heyl, current chairperson of the Social Studies Department and Annette Jay, school registrar. Mrs. Jay, who served in many support staff administrative positions over the years, received the Most Reverend Vincent S. Waters Award in 2007, a first in school history, for her three decades of dedicated service to Cardinal Gibbons.