St. Anselm's Abbey School has enjoyed over 70 years of success since its founding in 1942. Along the way, many people have worked hard to maintain the School's careful balance of tradition and innovation.
The School is in the middle of a five-year Strategic Plan which articulates a precise framework for preserving this legacy. Called Building on the Past, Looking to the Future, the Strategic Planis designed to ensure that St. Anselm’s Abbey School will maintain its place as the premier school for intellectually gifted and academically motivated young men in the Washington Metropolitan area.
The Board of Trustees, in collaboration with the Headmaster and President of the School, began work on a new strategic plan in the fall of 2010. This was required by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools as part of the School’s re-accreditation process. To oversee the process, the Board established a Strategic Planning Committee composed of Trustees and School administrators.
In the Committee’s initial discussions with faculty, monks, parents, alumni and Trustees, three major strategic priorities emerged: a continued commitment to Academic Excellence, the School’s unique Benedictine Ethos, and the Financial Strength of our institution.
Through faculty and staff interviews, surveys of parents and alumni, and the work of myriad subcommittees, the Committee collected and analyzed relevant data from each constituency in the St. Anselm’s community. As part of this process they developed key goals and objectives for each of the three main areas, a summary of which appears in these pages.
The Strategic Planning Committee thanks the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and friends for their assistance in the development of this Strategic Plan. It is a testimony to our community’s commitment to the ongoing mission of the School. This plan provides a road map that will ensure the vitality and sustainability of St. Anselm’s Abbey School in the years to come.
"We wish to see in our student a Christian gentleman with a formed mind, one who possesses intellectual maturity in accordance with his age. Our teaching provides the academic background necessary for the higher education and professional training of those who are to become society’s spiritual and intellectual leaders.
Rev. Dom Hugh Monmonier, OSB, Third Headmaster
Since our founding in 1942, academic excellence has been one of the cornerstones of a St. Anselm’s Abbey School education. A key strategic priority over the next five years will be to maintain the School’s position as the premier school for intellectually gifted and academically motivated young men in the Washington metropolitan area.
Faculty & Staff
St. Anselm’s will continue to attract and retain the region’s best secondary school teachers and administrators. In addition to offering highly competitive salaries and benefits, we will explore ways to enhance the professional development opportunities available to our faculty and introduce a more effective teacher evaluation program. We will also examine alternative structures of administration and adjust our staffing as appropriate.
Maintaining high academic standards in the admissions process is vital to upholding the School’s mission of serving academically gifted students and strengthening our identity as an academically rigorous school. A major priority in the coming years will be to optimize enrollment while ensuring that entrance standards remain among the highest in the area.
St. Anselm’s is a college-preparatory school, and it is critical that our students have the support and guidance they need when navigating the college admissions process. Over the next five years, we will further enhance our college counseling program with expanded online resources and earlier and more frequent meetings with Upper School students and their parents.
"It is the conviction of the monks of St. Anselm’s that education must involve the whole person. Further, the monks operate their school on the assumption that unless the more intelligent members of society are able to subject themselves to a personal discipline, we will be unable as a nation to solve the serious, but by no means insoluble problems that confront society.
Rev. Dom John Main, OSB, Fifth Headmaster
St. Anselm’s is first and foremost a Benedictine school, and a central element of our mission is to guide our students “toward a balance in mind, body and spirit.” Over the next five years the School will work to strengthen its unique Catholic and Benedictine identity and strive to be the kind of “school for the Lord’s service” that Saint Benedict envisioned in his Rule.
The monks of St. Anselm’s Abbey serve as living examples of the spirit of Saint Benedict through their daily commitment to ora et labora, the 1,500-year-old Benedictine maxim of prayer and work. The Abbey and School are committed to maintaining and strengthening the monastic presence in daily school life as well as encouraging student involvement in the monastery’s liturgies and programs.
Chaplaincy & Religion Curriculum
A clear Benedictine ethos must be reinforced both inside and outside the classroom. This will be accomplished over the next five years through closer ties between the School’s religion department and campus ministry office and a focus on Benedictine principles in theology classes, service activities, retreats, and school-wide liturgies and assemblies.
Parents & Lay Faculty
A strong Benedictine identity demands the participation of the whole St. Anselm’s community. The School’s lay faculty should feel connected to our Benedictine heritage and take pride in imparting it to the students. Likewise, parent formation in Benedictine spirituality helps to expand the School’s community of learning and prayer. Over the next five years, the campus ministry office will introduce several programs and initiatives aimed at promoting a better understanding of Benedictine traditions and ideas among lay members of the faculty and interested parents.
"Not in buildings and equipment alone do schools, as such, flourish; but rather in the happy realization of the sound philosophy and definite purpose formulated and enunciated by their founders.
Rev. Dom Austin McNamee, OSB, First Headmaster
To effectively pursue our mission of Benedictine education, we must also ensure the School’s long-term financial vitality. We will achieve this over a five-year period by focusing on four key areas.
Accessibility & Affordability
St. Anselm’s has always striven to remain accessible to all qualified young men, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. The strategic plan reaffirms the School’s commitment to a robust financial aid program and to keeping tuition as low as possible in the face of escalating costs.
We must continue to be good stewards of the funding we receive through gifts and tuition. The strategic plan includes protocols to streamline our spending processes and develop efficiencies in the maintenance of our physical plant.
A stable and healthy enrollment is crucial to the financial strength of any educational institution. Over a five-year period, we will aim to increase enrollment to 270 students (from roughly 235 in 2010-2011) while keeping class sizes and student-teacher ratios among the lowest in the Washington area.
Fundraising & Endowment
To reduce the School’s dependency on tuition income and increase available funding for financial aid, we have set targets to increase gift income from the Annual Fund and foundation grants. Another key fundraising goal will be to raise an additional $4 million the School’s endowment, which would provide an important steady source of revenue for financial aid.
Strategic Planning Committee
Members of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Stephen B. Kinnaird, ’80, Committee Chair
Member, Board of Trustees, 2009 - present
Board Chairman, 2011 - present
Mr. Christopher E. Davitt
Member, Board of Trustees, 2009 - 2012
Mr. William A. Fennell, ’66
Member, Board of Trustees, 2008 - present
Board Chairman, 2009 - 2011
Mr. Terry A. Jacobs
Member, Board of Trustees, 2010 - 2012
Chairman, Board of Trustees Finance Committee, 2010 - 2012
Fr. Peter Weigand, OSB
President, St. Anselm’s Abbey School
Mr. Bill Crittenberger
Headmaster, St. Anselm’s Abbey School (2012-present)
Mr. Mark D. Commins
Director of Finance, St. Anselm’s Abbey and School
Mr. Lawrence Hamm, ’68
Director of Alumni Affairs, St. Anselm’s Abbey School