Is Utica Notre Dame Being Run Behind Closed Doors?
Some Utica Notre Dame parents say they feel the school is being run behind closed doors without involvement from the community.
About 25 to 30 of those parents held a meeting last night to discuss growing concerns over the transparency of the school board.
Parents say the issue that raised initial concerns was the resignation of the school's head football coach Byron Abraham.
Abraham was suspended earlier in the school year for not playing a few players that missed a week of practice. Shortly after the season ended, Abraham was allegedly given the choice to resign or be fired.
That change in personnel was done with little or no communication with parents at all.
Since Abraham's resignation, parents say they are concerned with how the school is being operated because they are uninformed as to who is even on the newly appointed school board, and have had very little contact with school administrators.
The parents in attendance were informed by School Board President Jim Joseph for the first time last night exactly who is on the board and why they were chosen. Parents were also told that there are actually 15 members of the school board, both are questions they say they had no idea of the answers to previously.
Joseph told the parents that the school is moving to become a private Catholic School, similar to Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, and the board has transformed the school into a corporation in order to provide financial stability for the future.
The parents were not too happy with that answer. The conversation quickly turned to a debate over the importance of the children's education vs. money.
Joseph says the money is needed to add new buildings and equipment, but the parents who pay tuition were left wondering where their money goes and why they were not consulted about the school's transition into a corporation.
The meeting was organized by parents Eric and Colleen Vernold and Tara Raux. All three say they have not been receiving answers to phone calls and e-mails from either Notre Dame Principal Sister Anna Mae Collins or Board President Joseph.