News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 4, 2013

John Paul II Catholic High School to remain open, says new school board

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

---- — TERRE HAUTE — John Paul II Catholic High School will remain open next year “and for years to come,” according to an announcement from the board of governors.

The “newly reconstituted board” rescinded a decision made last month to close the school for financial reasons.

“We feel it’s vitally important to do this for our children,” said Ron Eldred, school principal.

The board has developed a plan to raise more money and to reduce the cost of operation. Steps to increase operating funds include recruiting more students, conducting an aggressive campaign to raise funds from donors and increasing the number of fundraising activities.

Plans to decrease operational costs include finding additional qualified volunteer faculty members, such as retired teachers and local college professors who teach one or two courses of their specialty at no charge. School officials also hope to reduce building expenses in various ways.  

The announcement last month that the school would close “brought an immediate response from concerned parents, students, and teachers who felt that it was premature, and a concerted effort was made to reorganize the board and initiate a plan to rescind the decision,” according to the news release.

Susan Seitz is the new president of the board of governors. Former president Ryan Cummins has resigned.

Cummins said a group of parents disagreed with the decision to close and “they took on the responsibility for raising money and taking some other steps necessary to keep the school open.”

Cummins said he stepped down because he did not believe keeping the school open was the best course of action. “I still support the school. I wish them luck and hope they are successful,” he said. “It is a great school.”