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Service to support Greensburg Central Catholic principal placed on leave

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 12:15 a.m.

Students, parents and alumni are planning a prayer service on Friday afternoon in support of the Greensburg Central Catholic principal who has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Greensburg.

The 3 p.m. service is planned for outside the Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School campus along Armory Drive in Hempfield, according to parents and a Facebook page created in support of principal Denise Myers.

Joe Schwerha of Speers said the lack of transparency and accountability from the diocese is frustrating.

“The kids, they really care for this principal,” said Schwerha, who has two children attending the junior high. “We just don't know what's going on.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, the diocese said Myers “is being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.”

“As a personnel matter, the Diocese of Greensburg is respecting her rights by not disclosing information,” the emailed statement said.

Myers did not respond to a request seeking comment.

A petition on the website Change.org bears nearly 400 signatures and asks several leaders in the Catholic church to investigate the situation and leaders in the school and diocese.

Rhonda Wilson of Monroeville said she was shocked to hear about the move.

“She's always there for the kids,” Wilson said. “She adores them, and they adore her. She supports the students in their education, in their faith, in family values.”

Wilson's son is a junior at Greensburg Central. She described Myers as a great principal who supports students by attending extra-curricular functions.

“It's like sending your kids to a relative's house instead of to a school,” WIlson said. “She's not someone who could be replaced.”

Wilson said she hopes the administrative leave ends soon and Myers can return to work.

Schwerha said the diocese has not disclosed how long the suspension will last, what it is for or what plans are in place to lead the schools.

“It's very much a concern,” he said. “It just seems there's nobody at the helm.”

Myers has been working at Greensburg Central Catholic since 2001 and was named assistant principal in 2006. In 2011, she became principal as officials announced plans to renovate an existing building and add a junior high to Greensburg Central's academic offerings.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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