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Denny Faber returns

Alissa Widman Neese • Jan 8, 2015 at 8:29 PM


Sandusky Central Catholic School has reversed course on the controversial firing of its longtime athletic director.

Denny Faber, a 31-year employee, has regained his job for the 2014-15 school year, according to a statement school spokeswoman Emily Kasper emailed the Register on Monday.

His one-year contract is effective Aug. 1 to June 30, 2015.

He will serve alongside new hire Ryan Wikel as co-athletic director and will retire in 2015, after training Wikel as his successor, according to the statement.

"The school is grateful to Mr. Faber for his willingness to provide training for his successor and grateful to the benefactors who have made this possible," according to the statement, which Kasper said is from the school's vicar, the Rev. Michael Roemmele. 

The arrangement echoes Faber's hopes for the position, which he told the Register earlier this month.

In January, Sandusky Central Catholic School first explained this plan to Faber, according to the school's Monday statement. But months later, projections of a "meaningful budgetary shortfall" kept school officials from offering him a one-year contract for the upcoming school year.  

Since then, a "small group of generous benefactors" contributed funds to assist with Faber's return, Kasper said Tuesday.

School board president Tamara Humphrey told the Register earlier this month the board doesn't comment on any decisions involving personnel, but Kasper's responses Monday provided some insight.

In April, school board members learned subsidies from Sandusky's three Catholic parishes are projected to decline, Kasper said.

Although funds from the school's education foundation are projected to increase, it didn't appear they'd offset the deficit, requiring changes to the school budget.

After discussing their options with administrators, school board members decided in May to not renew Faber's one-year contract for another year, among other cost-saving measures, she said.

Sandusky Central Catholic School awards all its employees one-year contracts each year.

"It became necessary to take steps to ensure that the school could operate within its budgetary constraints now and into the future," Kasper said. "Based on the budgetary realities, it was determined that it was necessary to accelerate the planned transition and eliminate the athletic director position."

The statement Kasper provided did not include specific dollar amounts.

Monday's unanticipated statement comes just a day after members of Sandusky's three Catholic parishes elected two new school board members and a pastor appointed a third member. Board members will soon choose new officers, including president.

Additionally, it's been three weeks since Faber, a 1967 St. Mary's High School graduate, first spoke with the Register about losing his job. 

Faber contended the decision, which the school called a "non-renewal," was an unjust firing prompted by ill-intentioned school board members. He also attributed the school board to other controversial decisions occurring this past school year.

He spoke out because he was fearful for his alma mater's future, and he cares deeply about the school, he said July 8.

When contacted Tuesday, Faber said he's pleased to return for his final year at Sandusky Central Catholic School, and kept conversation brief.

He'll likely return to the office Monday, and he has a lot of catching up to do, he said.

"This is all I wanted to do, and it's the way we originally set it up," Faber said. "I'm very thankful for the people who supported me. I certainly look forward to getting back at it."

Note: Because Sandusky Central Catholic School is a private school and not funded by tax dollars, it is not required to release any documents or financial information to the Register.

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