Changes ahead for Sandusky Central Catholic board

Three new board members, new board president forthcoming after this weekend's elections
Alissa Widman Neese
Jul 25, 2014

 

widman@sanduskyregister.com

Members of Sandusky's three Catholic parishes will elect two new board members for Sandusky Central Catholic School this weekend.

During Masses on Saturday and Sunday, anyone in attendance can cast an anonymous vote at St. Mary's, Sts. Peter and Paul or Holy Angels parish.

Ballots will be at the end of church pews, and voters turn them in at the end of Mass.

The four individuals vying for three vacant seats: David Harrison, a current board member, and newcomers Christopher Kolar, Carla Pelz and Julie Youskievicz.

The two candidates with the most votes will receive seats, and parish pastors will appoint the third board member from the remaining two candidates.

Board members serve for three years and cannot be elected to more than two consecutive terms.

A committee comprised of current board members recommended all candidates for this weekend's ballots, said Emily Kasper, the school's new director of advancement and development.

A biography of each candidate, as well as a photo, is available in a PDF below.

In anticipation of Saturday's school board elections, the Register emailed school board president Tamara Humphrey a series of questions July 18 regarding the board's general makeup, policies and procedures.

Humphrey forwarded the Register's request to Kasper, who started her job July 1.

Kasper will now serve as the school's spokeswoman, while also working as a liaison between the board, the school's education foundation and its administrators, she said.

Through conversations with Kasper, the Register learned Humphrey will soon be replaced by a new board president, following the elections this weekend.

Kasper provided answers to all questions the Register asked, except whether school board has the authority to hire and fire Sandusky Central Catholic School employees.

The Register posed the following questions, based on inquiries from its readers:

Q: Who are the individuals on the school board, and how long has each been on the board?

A: The full list of board members will be posted on our new website, www.sanduskycc.org, after this weekend's elections. It's possible minutes from meetings will also be posted on the website, but that is ultimately the board's decision.

Q: How did Sandusky Central Catholic School determine who will be the candidates on this weekend's ballot?

A: The board appoints a nominating committee, which solicits nominations and establishes a slate of candidates. The candidates are presented for election to the general membership of each parish. Nominees are Catholic and committed to Catholic education.

Q: How do board members determine who will be president, and how long a term does a president serve?

A: The board's officers are chair (or president), vice chair and secretary, each appointed by the governance committee, which is comprised of board members. If approved by a majority of board members, its officers serve a one-year term, appointed by the bishop of Toledo.

The president develops agendas for board meetings with administrators, appoints all committee chairs and works with administrators to determine which staff members will serve on committees.

Q: What does the board do?

A: Its main duties and functions are to ensure quality programming for all students, including religious education, secular academic subjects and extracurricular activities. The board also reviews and approves the annual financial budget and monitors budget reports throughout the fiscal year. Its statutes are reviewed regularly, and the board's governance committee approves any changes. Board members do not receive compensation.

Q: How long has Sandusky Central Catholic School utilized a school board?

A: It has utilized a school board since Sandusky Central Catholic School formed from the consolidation of Sandusky's three Catholic elementary schools and one Catholic high school in 2002.

Q: Besides a school board, what other boards play a role in managing Sandusky Central Catholic School operations?

A: The two other boards that support the school are the SCCS Education Foundation, which manages endowment funds donated by benefactors, and the Central Catholic Athletic Boosters, which supports the efforts of the athletic department. All of these boards set their own meeting schedules and locations.

Q: What is Fr. Michael Roemmele's official title, "chancellor" or "vicar?" If his title was changed, why did this occur and does it alter his role as the school's leader in any capacity?

A: His official title is "vicar." This changed from "chancellor" at the request of the Diocese of Toledo. His responsibilities remain the same.

Sally Oberski, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, provided the following statement Friday regarding the change:

"In every curia (or diocese), a chancellor is to be appointed whose principal function, unless particular law establishes otherwise, is to take care that the acts (official diocesan documents) of the curia are gathered, arranged and safeguarded in the archive of the curia," according to the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law.

Simply put, the school's title of chancellor for Roemmele was incorrect and not canonically allowed, as there is only one chancellor for the Diocese of Toledo, Oberski said.

Comments

sugar

So is Kaspars position new or is she replacing someone else, isn't this what Mc Clung did?

Alissa Widman Neese's picture
Alissa Widman Neese

As I understand it, the school did not have someone in the role this past school year, but has in previous years. The position was vacant last year. I apologize if that was unclear.

sugar

No need to apologize, I appreciate you bringing these issues to light.

knowitall

Why do you ask? Are you writing a book? Leave that chapter out.

crazymom

How can a system that had to cut veteran teacher salaries afford to pay for a new administrative position? If you look at the non teaching positions at that school they are already overstaffed. I don't understand their fiscal irresponsibility.

ContraryAnn

After the PR debacle last year with the band director, one-year President, falling contributions.... the one position they NEEDED TO FILL was someone to 'put the face' back on and salvage contributions - not to mention deal with international media as the 'band director case' goes to the Vatican.

crazymom

I agree with you ContraryAnn, they needed someone to run interference. My point is if you have a tight budget you assign those duties to someone who already works there, staff have to be willing to wear multiple hats for the greater success of the organization. It just doesn't make any sense. On another note, good luck to whoever gets elected, you'll need it.

Another Day

The qualified staff there is already over tasked and it would be a conflict of interest for any of them to be a spokesperson for the school. Too much bad blood.

Pantherfan

Because the Foundation Endowment is nearing $8 Million, as I have been told.

They can afford it.

They aren't cutting teacher salaries because they are desperate for cash.

sugar

I wondered the same thing. This makes no sense to me. Catholic entities seem to do this kind of thing. I recall Providence Hospital making ridiculous decisions and maintaining the top heavy admin that did them in.

Holding Court

Please remember, one vote per person. It is dishonest to vote multiple times.

ContraryAnn

Why not do it the way of the early church and cast lots - thereby letting God choose? Put names of ALL interested in a drawstring bag and let a priest draw.

Sandumpy Proud

Tell that to the Democrats.

ContraryAnn

Tell us about Kasper. Background? Experience? Education? Similar placements? Practicing Catholic?

Alissa Widman Neese's picture
Alissa Widman Neese

She previously worked for the school's education foundation in a part-time capacity, so she is familiar with its operations.

If it's of value to our readers, I'll consider additional coverage of her role for a future story or small profile. At this time, I wanted this story to be more school board-focused, with the impending elections, but I appreciate your feedback.

knowitall

Is it any of your business? No tax dollars involved.

Alissa Widman Neese's picture
Alissa Widman Neese

I'm not sure if your statement is directed at me or ContraryAnn, but if it's directed at me...

If Emily is interested and is willing to provide some information, I believe it would be of interest to Sandusky's Catholic community, whose members are spending their money to send their children to the school. It sounds like she will be taking on a significant role this year, and she's been open to answering questions and improving communication between us and the school.

I don't understand why something shouldn't be published just because "no tax dollars are involved" if it concerns a large portion of our community. We profile new hires at schools often, including SCCS, either in the "school notes" section of my schools page or through traditional stories.

sugar

Most likely it's at me, he's been following me around for days harassing me because I am vehemently against raising the city income tax.

Another Day

She is a perfect fit for this, and the school needs a "go to" like her to communicate not be silent. If anyone needs to know about her just google her name and all the charity work she has done and the starting of Teen Leadership Corp. She has a Master in BA I believe. She has children at the school and has worked in the school for many years in different positions. Great move SCCS! You have restored some hope.

sugar

She may be perfect for the position, I don't know but she is a buddy to the insiders there. Her ex Was or is still is on the board. Sounds recycled.

Dcfred20036

I hope that the Sandusky Catholic community takes this election seriously: the survival of the school is at stake. Elect a board that truly represents the collective wisdom of the community, as people are worried about the school's direction and viability. A good board will make wise decisions. There has not been anything wise about the last year at Sandusky Central Catholic. I would encourage more transparency, accountability and dialogue. Yes, dialogue: reasonable people can respectfully disagree on matters relating to the school. I really do hope that this election marks a new beginning for the school.

knowitall

You are right Fred.

Tyrion

Don't expect too much in the way of change. As stated in the article, the board appointed the nominating committee that decided the candidates. Do you really think they would nominate anyone who would give the slightest bit of pushback to the powers that be?

Dcfred20036

I hear what you say Tyrion, just trying to be an optimist.

knowitall

That is a concern Tyrion.

gramlamb

The board does not appoint the committee members. A board member is the chair of each committee, the committee members are comprised of SCCS teachers and members of the Catholic community who ask to be on the committee.

Tyrion

Then it seems as though Ms. Kasper was misinformed about the selection process.

sugar

Well, it's a new year, let's see what evolves. Last year was horrifying.