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Board of Trustees announces Head of School appointment






On behalf of the Cardinal Gibbons High School Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, we are pleased to announce the unanimous selection of Jeff Bell as Head of School. Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama accepted the Board’s recommendation and has appointed Jeff to the position effective July 1, 2020.

The appointment is the culmination of an extensive and thorough search, reviewing candidates from schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. Out of 75 candidates considered, the Search Committee interviewed several highly qualified candidates for the role. We are grateful that we were able to attract such a high caliber group of individuals. This reflects the quality of the education, personnel, and programming at Cardinal Gibbons, as well as the community support for the school.

Jeff brings with him a wealth of leadership experience as a secondary school administrator and educator. He comes to Cardinal Gibbons from Beacon Academy, a co-ed high school in Evanston, Illinois, where he serves as the Founding Head of School. Jeff has devoted 18 years to serving as an educator, coach, dorm parent, department head, assistant academic dean, academic dean, and founding head of school.

Jeff also brings a progressive approach to education to Cardinal Gibbons. At Beacon Academy, Jeff created an innovative high school program, a positive culture for educators, students, and parents, as well as robust programs in enrollment and tuition assistance. He also led the school through a successful strategic planning process, its first accreditation, three capital campaigns, and the search for and design of two school locations.

Jeff is a visionary and charismatic leader, bringing a passion to his work that was evident to all who met him during his visit to Cardinal Gibbons. He is highly committed to the mission and values of our school, is a person of faith and high personal integrity, and is passionate about instilling in our students the joy of learning and an ambition for excellence.

Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Religious Studies from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in Religious Studies from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. He also did coursework for a doctorate in Theology, specializing in Health Care Ethics at Loyola University Chicago.

We welcome Jeff’s creative leadership, collaborative nature, and enthusiasm as he embraces our mission, “to form men and women of faith, service, and leadership in church and community.” We also look forward to Jeff leading Cardinal Gibbons to an ever-deeper embracing of our mission as well as the spirit of the school we hold so dear.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Jeff, his wife, Kim, and their daughters Charlotte (12) and Mia (10) to the Gibbons community.


Tim Throndson                                                           Peter Charland

Chair, Board of Trustees                                             Chair, Head of School Search Committee

Please visit to read Mr. Bell's letter to the Gibbons community.


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