Skip To Main Content

Head of School

Head of School Posts

This post contains the full text of Head of School Jeff Bell's weekly message sent via email to all parents, students and educators.

Head of School Jeff Bell stands in front of the Mission Wall in the main lobby.

Mr. Jeff Bell begins his tenure as the first Head of School in the 110-year history of Cardinal Gibbons on July 1, 2020.

Over the last two months, Bell has been working with Interim Principal Nancy Barkan, the Board of Directors, diocesan leaders, and educators to make the leadership transition at Gibbons as smooth as possible.

Head of School Jeff Bell

This post contains the full text of Head of School Jeff Bell's weekly message sent via email to all parents, students and educators.

September 9, 2020

Dear Gibbons Community, 

I hope that you had a restful and relaxing long weekend. We were very excited to welcome students back to campus yesterday and see them engage in their courses and activities and to witness our off-campus students continue to plug into the life of the school from their homes. 

Now that we are a month into the school year, our students and our educators are easing into a rhythm, albeit a different one from years past. We are getting used to masks and social distancing and, although it is not our ideal state of being, we are adapting and finding the joy in being together.

One of the highlights of my day is when my 9th grade advisees rush into my office to grab a piece of candy as we begin our time together. It is the simple joy of presence and “in-personness” that is so inspirational to us at Gibbons.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus’ words fit our moment and serve as a reminder and an exemplar about how we, as a community, can find our way through this year, and, more importantly, find the grace, even in the difficulties and the inconveniences. 

I am happy to report that we have had no new cases of COVID-19 on campus since August 31. Your vigilance and care for our community in making this possible is incredible. We are grateful for each day we have without a new infection. We continue to pray for all those impacted by this virus. Please continue to follow all the safety protocols that we have put into place and keep your student at home if they have been exposed or if they are not feeling well. 

Additionally, I just want to thank all of you for the warm words of encouragement and support that you have sent along, either via email or in person, to our educators and to our administration. It is hard to encapsulate the impact that these kinds of messages have on us, especially this year. It is yet another example of the mutual care that the Gibbons family has for one another, and it is why we are able to weather any challenges that we encounter as a school. Thank you again!

I want to mention a quick reminder about an exciting upcoming Gibbons event that always builds community and connection. We will be hosting our annual Crusader Classic Golf Tournament, Monday, October 5, 2020, at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, NC. All are welcome to participate as golfers, sponsors, or donors.  For more information please visit

Hope to see you there!


Jeff Bell

Head of School

Board of Directors

The Cardinal Gibbons High School Board of Directors for 2019-2020

Rev. Bill John Acosta-Escobar
Rev. John Durbin
Mr. Jeff Gredvig
Mrs. Annette Jay
Mrs. Megan Mazzocchi - Vice Chair
Rev. Scott McCue
Mrs. Kathleen Olechovsky
Mrs. Pat Phillips
Mr. Blaine C. Short
Mr. Tim Throndson - Chair
Mr. Tyler Zimmerman '12

Staff to the Board:
Mrs. Nancy Barkan
Dr. John Pendergrass 

Cardinal Gibbons High School Liaison:
Mrs. Kendra Burns 

More from Gibbons