Greensburg Central Catholic students, parents rally for principal
Parents of Greensburg Central Catholic students demanded answers on Friday for why their principal was put on administrative leave this week.
They were among about 150 adults and students who gathered for a prayer service in support of Principal Denise Myers.
Many of the students wore T-shirts with a cross, GCC and “Myers Strong” on them as they gathered along Armory Drive in Hempfield, near the schools.
“We're doing this because the diocese (of Greensburg) isn't giving us any answers,” said Lisa Astalos of Hempfield, the mother of a senior. “It seems we, the parents — who make the donations and pay the tuition — we're not getting any answers. It's upsetting.”
The diocese said Myers had been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation, in a statement released this week.
Myers did not respond to requests seeking comment.
In a statement released on Friday, Trent D. Bocan, superintendent of Catholic schools, said a team of administrators is supervising day-to-day operations.
“During this week, we have met personally with staff, student leaders, and parents and guardians,” it said. “I have been edified by the spirit of cooperation, collaboration and prayer taking place within our school walls. We are greatly appreciative of the work of our students, staff and administration, and we ask for our school community's continued patience and prayer as we attempt to bring resolution to these current, administrative matters. As our students have gathered in Mass and prayer this week, we recognize, above all, the importance of charity.”
He said a meeting will be held to resolve the undisclosed matter with Myers.
“At this time, I must inform you that the diocese has received a request from legal counsel, acting on behalf of the principal, to push back the date and extend the time for a meeting which will be an important factor toward further clarification of this serious situation. Honoring this request, and to reasonably ensure the rights of the principal, we have granted a one-week extension to this process,” Bocan said in the statement.
“The nature of this matter is serious; and, therefore, I ask our school community to respect the necessary legal process and the coinciding dimensions of confidentiality that are in place for legal and respectful purposes, and not, simply as silence or non-communication.”
The statement was released about two hours after the prayer session.
“I'm here to support Denise Myers,” said Karen Reese of Hempfield, whose son attends the high school. “I think she's a wonderful principal ... and has done a lot for our schools — academically, sports, in all areas.
“As parents, we haven't been given an explanation of what's going on,” she added.
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.
Several parents said Myers began the school year as principal of both the senior and junior high schools. Previously, another person helped to oversee the junior high school, they said.
“I want to see the old school back and let the principal do her job as she sees fit,” said Unity resident Jennifer Scalise, mother of a junior high student.
Many parents said they learned about Myers' status through a text message.
Several parents and students declined to comment.
Organizers passed out 3-by-5 cards on which participants could express their feelings.
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 the academic offerings.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 9 miles of roads to be paved in Hempfield
- Tenant charged in fire that destroyed Latrobe apartment house
- Vandals ruin Ligonier Township farmers’ garden
- Ligonier Township K-9 officer home to recover from deadly collision
- Ex-Delmont man found dead in Florida
- Southmoreland commencement scheduled for Friday evening
- Westmoreland County Transit Authority to consider raising bus fare rate for paratransit participants
- Pair of zoning requests denied by Unity board
- Hempfield hires finance director
- Westmoreland County Community College trustees approve $38M preliminary budget
- Unity resident again accused of burglary