CURRENT NEWS & EVENTS
St. Bart’s Welcomes New Principal, Kevin Giblin
August 28, 2023; written by K. Grant for the Our Parish Times newspaper
There are a few names in the Archdiocese of Washington that make an immediate impact when spoken – individuals who have had a tremendous influence on the lives of students and
families, who have helped shape schools and programs in our area. Without question, Kevin
Giblin is one of those names – a seasoned administrator, an esteemed educator and a
St. Bartholomew School is thrilled to welcome Giblin as the school’s newest principal for the
2023-24 school year. Giblin is stepping into the role following the retirement of Frank English,
the school’s beloved principal for the past 6 years. Giblin comes to St. Bart’s by way of Mount
St. Mary’s, where he most recently worked in the University’s Advancement and Development
Office while also serving as Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator for their men’s lacrosse team. With his neat-as-a-pin office decorated with lacrosse helmets on the shelves, it’s clear that the sport has been a common thread throughout Giblin’s adulthood – not only as a coach at Georgetown Prep and Bishop O’Connell, but as a sideline fan cheering on his four children, Liam, Colin, Dempsey and Cormac.
Giblin truly transformed Georgetown Prep into a powerhouse program, and to honor his legacy, was inducted into the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame last winter. Giblin’s longest tenure was at Mater Dei School in Bethesda, where between 1987-2015, he taught Algebra and 8 th Grade Theology and served as Assistant Headmaster. Middle School was a great fit for Giblin, as he felt that was a great opportunity make a lasting impact on the boys and to set them up for success in the future.
Perhaps this was an added draw for Giblin to St. Bart’s. Giblin’s wife of 33 years, Karen, has
been an adored Kindergarten teacher at the school for 5 years, but Giblin admittedly hadn’t
spent much time on campus until last Spring when the principal opportunity arose. When he
saw the school’s beautiful 11 acre campus, met with the incredible faculty and staff, and got to
know the students, he felt what he described was “a calling” and saw an opportunity to build
something truly great. Needless to say, the feeling was mutual and St. Bart’s was very lucky to
lock Giblin in as it’s next leader.
Giblin joins St. Bart’s with great energy, exciting vision and a true passion for helping children
realize their potential. Ever the coach, Giblin is bringing action-oriented leadership and a true
growth mindset to the school. “As a coach, it is my job to put a player in a position to be
successful. It’s the same with students. At St. Bart’s, the bones here are good – the people, the students, and the campus—and it’s all about enhancing what’s in place.”
Getting to know Fr. Alex, St. Bartholomew’s new Parochial Vicar
August 28, 2023
St. Bartholomew’s welcomed its new parochial vicar, Fr. Alex Wyvill, in July. “Fr. Alex” as he is referred to, grew up in Saint Mary's County, way in the countryside. His parents grew up in farming families, so he learned to be pretty handy thanks to them.
Fr. Alex tried a bunch of different schools growing up, settling on Father Andrew White in Leonardtown; and for high school, he attended St. Mary's Ryken where he participated in musical theater, the sailing and ice hockey teams.
Interestingly, Fr. Alex did not always want to become a priest. At one point, he even rejected his faith until a special teacher at Ryken really listened to his questions and doubts and helped him to reclaim the faith his parents first gave him. In particular, this teacher helped Fr. Alex see that the truth about our lives is not an idea, but rather a relationship—and he proposed that a relationship with Christ was the ultimate relationship. A young Alex was fired up and decided to start meeting with a priest periodically to discuss his relationship with Jesus.
This eventually led him to Vanderbilt University, where he really grew in his faith, thanks to the incredible campus ministry, good friends, and the presence of excellent FOCUS missionaries.
Mainly, however, like many freshmen Fr. Alex wanted to have a good time and eventually become a lawyer. However, God had other plans for this young man. He felt a strong calling and after a period of discernment, he decided to apply to St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington, DC. After that, he went to the North American College in Rome for five years, where he completed a master's-level degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Ordained just a year ago, St. Bart's is his first full-time parish assignment, and he’s so excited to get started.
As a parochial vicar, his job is to support the pastor in caring for the people of this parish. Practically, that means celebrating the sacraments, offering formation, and generally being present in the community. In particular, however, his assignment is focused on serving the Spanish community, which is an amazing and vibrant group here within the parish.
Shortly after his start, he quickly discovered St. Bartholomew's families are proud of their history! He’s impressed by the amount of folks who give their "St. Bart's resume" when they meet him: "My kids are in the school, I went to St. Bart's my whole life, my parents were married here," et cetera. There is a strong "rootedness" in this community which is striking to Fr. Alex, especially as a newcomer to Bethesda!
As an only child Fr. Alex developed many hobbies and interests. He is a true outdoorsman who enjoys camping, fly fishing, and skiing but rock climbing tops his list. He once climbed the face of El Capitan before coming to seminary (it's the big wall from Free Solo, if you saw that movie). Since it's a multi-day climb, Fr. Alex and friends had to sleep on the wall in a hanging cot! He also has a creative side! He’s an avid musician and has played piano, guitar and drums for most of his life and also enjoys photography, design, and calligraphy.
One thing he would like to share with the youth is this: get interested in life! Your life is a gift, but it's up to you to take it out of the wrapper. Don't settle for mediocrity, which is boring—have faith in God (and yourself) and let Him motivate you to be excellent!