Bill Crittenberger, Headmaaster

Bill Crittenberger

Tenth Headmaster
of St. Anselm's Abbey School

M.A., Yale University
M.S.Ed., Johns Hopkins Univ.
B.A., George Washington Univ.


Headmaster's "100 Words" 

Starting this year, I will be sharing some of my thoughts, views, and opinions on school-related (or otherwise) topics in each installment of the St. Anselm’s weekly “Bulletin,” intentionally limiting my remarks to 100 words (or thereabouts) for the sake of economy and clarity and because brevity, while not necessarily the soul of wit in my case, will provide what is intended as a short-burst “hello, here’s a little something to know about or to nibble on from one busy and engaged member of this community to another.”  Please read, reflect upon, and enjoy.

God’s Peace,

Mr. Crittenberger


  • Middle States Accreditation Visit

    Posted March 13, 2017

    The four-person Middle States Accreditation Visiting Team (VT) arrived at St. Anselm’s this past Tuesday afternoon. They were given an hour tour of the campus/facilities and then went onto a Welcome Reception in the Commons attended by the School’s faculty/staff, Board of Trustees, and Parents Association leaders. This quartet of experienced independent school educators have since hunkered down, tending to the various elements of their assigned work. This meant, at heart, getting to know the school and its constituents as well and as dimensionally as possible over the next 72-hours. Today, these good people head back to their home locales—Baltimore, the Bronx, and for two of them, suburban Philadelphia—but only after the chairperson of the group delivers an executive summary of her team’s findings, commendations, and recommendations, and alludes to and speaks a bit toward the four overarching goals that the School has set for itself in moving forward, goals that I will be referencing and describing in detail in one of my not-distant 100 Words pieces. More to follow about this important and somewhat ongoing process in weeks to come, but for now we exhale, take a moment to celebrate this major chapter, a two-year endeavor, and take into account fully and appreciatively what an exemplary, thriving, productive, and happy school community this is, comprised of infinity-minus-one moving, devoted, and ever-interesting parts. A special thanks to Fr. Michael Hall, OSB and Mr. Tom Mehigan for having co-chaired this huge endeavor; the twenty or so employees of the school who were called on to chair the twenty or so committees; the members of the Planning Committee, who helped guide this particular ship of state into port these past several months; and to Mrs. Kay Kalhorn and Mrs. Kimberly Walhout for having headed up the hospitality and logistics portion of the VT’s visit.

  • The Admissions Process

    Posted February 24, 2017

    Today is a big day at St. Anselm’s, as admissions decisions are being sent out to student applicants and their families. I’m proud of the work that our two Admissions officers, director Peter Young and assistant Blake Hollinger, have put in, each fabulous in his own right and well-oiled and symbiotic in tandem, and I wish, within this 100 Words forum, to acknowledge and commend them on behalf of the school for their highly effective and always heart-felt efforts. Admissions is a school’s life blood, for without a continuously successful drawing in of new, well-fitting students each year a school would find itself, in short order, on the precipice of collapse. As both my wife and one of my sisters work in the world of independent school admissions (and magnificently and selflessly at that, I might add), I have a particular affinity for and insight into the myriad aspects of what makes a successful admissions officer tick. Among core personal traits that “that” person possesses: hospitality, dimensionality, high-energy, discretion, and a stratospheric others-centeredness. Admissions officers are the first point of contact for a prospective family; its seeing eye dog and coach throughout the admissions process; and the trusted and knowledgeable quarterback who, at the conclusion of everything, seamlessly hands over to the faculty and staff an inspired, excited, and typically nervous set of youngsters who are beginning a wonderful new phase in their lives. Given this bond of trust and comfort, is it any wonder, then, that many new families circle back around to ask questions of Peter and Blake about the school even as deep as a month or two into the school year? So, three cheers to admissions officers everywhere for the complex and essential work that they do in ensuring that right-fitting matches get made in order that young people can find their way comfortably and confidently into the next chapter of their educational journey and, more specifically, three cheers to Peter and Blake: job very well done, gentlemen!

Headmaster's Welcome

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the homepage of the top boys school in the metropolitan area, St. Anselm’s Abbey School, where students are known, respected, and cared for by faculty, staff, and peers; where exploring ideas and loving learning are cool; where happiness and challenge walk hand-in-hand; where leadership and extracurricular opportunities abound; and where the presence of the Benedictine monastic community stamps a profound and lasting influence on the educational experience of our young scholars.

At St. Anselm’s, a Roman Catholic, independent school for talented, motivated, and inquisitive young men in grades 6-12, each student is a valued and integral part of a joyful and inspiring campus, an enclave where he can find pitch-perfect harmony in serving others while walking, with utter confidence, alongside the beam of light God intends for him to discover, explore, and, ultimately, pursue.  An ever-inclusive community in the spirit of Saint Benedict, we welcome and respect students of all faiths, races,nationalities, and circumstances.

Centered in equal and complementary parts around a rigorous classical education (truly unparalleled city-wide) and the rich heritage of the 1,500-year-old Benedictine educational tradition, St. Anselm’s has been shepherding and shaping academically gifted boys who are eager to work to their capacity for over 70 years now. Coming of age as a member of the St. Anselm's student body means that each boy will be exposed to a superior academic program that encourages balance in mind, body, and spirit.

While the School’s track record of strong AP participation and results, high levels of National Merit recognition, and impressive college matriculation lists are all elements of the St. Anselm’s experience that we are rightly proud of, and in part known for, it is on the intangible or “unmeasureable” side of the ledger where our students shine all the more brilliantly.  Every St. Anselm's graduate, to a man, is thoughtful, kind, reflective, fun-loving, inventive, team-centered, humorous, generous, determined, and independent.

I encourage you to explore our website to find out more about our unique and wonderful school, and I invite you to pay us a visit or to give us a call.  I promise that you will not regret having done so!

Pax in Sapientia ("Peace in Understanding"),


Bill Crittenberger