About 350 parents, teachers and some students at St. Mary's schools in Annapolis packed a Senate hearing room last night to protest changes that they said are abrupt, unjustified and will harm the schools and their 1,500 students.
Opponents said a restructuring recommended by a Schools Committee Report was harsh and unnecessary to solve a simple communication problem between the high school and elementary school.
"I don't believe the recommendations in the report were supported by the facts in the report," said Joseph Devlin, an alumnus who has three children in the elementary school. "Both schools seem to be working very well."
Until now, each school had a principal and a school board with a dozen voting members. The high school also had a president, Jim Moorhead, who functioned as a type of headmaster. The parish priest, the Rev. Thomas Siconolfi, had ultimate authority over both schools.
Under a new setup, a director, not yet hired, will have authority over both principals and will answer to a board of trustees. The NTC seven trustees, chosen by Siconolfi, will answer to him.
Siconolfi defended his plan last night as a solution to the failure of the two existing boards to work together. He said that in the past he would meet with Tim Lynch, the elementary school principal and Moorhead, the high school president, but nothing ever got done. Moorhead's position is being eliminated.
"We would say, 'Yes, yes, we are going to do this,' and then we would meet again and one would say he thought the other one was going to do it, and who can I listen to when one says one thing and the other says something else?" Siconolfi said.
Pub Date: 5/14/98