Sandusky Central Catholic sued

Lawsuit claims 20-year educator terminated due to age
Alissa Widman Neese
Jul 2, 2014

 

widman@sanduskyregister.com

A former Sandusky Central Catholic School teacher has filed a lawsuit against the school's education foundation, alleging officials terminated her employment because of her age.

Tracy Frederick, a 20-year employee, lost her job with the school in August 2013.

Frederick was a computer teacher for grades K-8, as well as a "lead teacher," according to a lawsuit filed June 18 in U.S. Northern District Court in Toledo. 

On Aug. 9, school officials told Frederick they eliminated her teaching position and said there were no vacant teaching positions left at the school.

At the time, however, there was one vacancy each in fourth and fifth grade, and she was qualified for those positions, according to the lawsuit. 

Instead of offering the positions to Frederick or allowing her to apply, Sandusky Central Catholic School hired two "substantially younger" teachers for the jobs, the suit alleges.

Frederick was born in 1969. 

The lawsuit claims the school and its education foundation violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

In addition, the lawsuit notes the decision's timing made Frederick unable to secure employment with another district for the 2013-14 school year. She has allegedly suffered adverse health effects, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of reputation and loss of self-esteem as a result.

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

Frederick is suing the Sandusky Central Catholic Education Foundation, doing business as Sandusky Central Catholic School, and is seeking compensation, punitive damages, liquidated damages, court costs and attorney fees.

Attorneys John D. Franklin, Kera L. Paoff and Marilyn L. Widman, based out of Toledo, will represent her.

Rev. Michael Roemmele, the school's newly appointed chancellor, and Sally Oberski, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, which includes Sandusky Central Catholic School, replied to two separate emails Tuesday, and both said they couldn't comment on the lawsuit's ongoing litigation.

Additionally, on Jan. 10, Frederick filed a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, alleging age discrimination at Sandusky Central Catholic School.

School still mum on pay scale

Frederick's allegations come shortly after Sandusky Central Catholic School implemented a new, controversial pay scale for its teachers, effective for the upcoming school year.

The scale slices some veteran employees' salaries by 12 to 20 percent, while awarding less experienced teachers modest pay increases, according to teachers affected.

Teachers who spoke with the Register in June said they wonder if the new pay structure was designed to drive out older, more experienced teachers.

The Register did not name the teachers, who feared consequences from their employers.

School officials unveiled the new pay scale May 29, and the school's chief financial officer, Tad Windau, has yet to return a phone call and email from the Register seeking comment.

Oberski replied to an email Tuesday and said the decision to implement the pay scale was a "local decision," and the Catholic Diocese of Toledo did not impose it.

Era of uncertainty at SCCS

In addition, Frederick's lawsuit comes at a time of administrative uncertainty for Sandusky Central Catholic School.

In less than a year, the school has lost its top two administrators, and speculation is circulating throughout the Catholic community regarding longtime athletic director Dennis Faber's employment status.

Earlier this year, school officials told Faber he would not receive a contract for the 2014-15 school year, according to school employees who spoke with the Register about the pay scale issue in June.

Faber, who typically presents an athletic award during graduation, was not present at the ceremony this year.

But on Tuesday, Roemmele said the upcoming school year's contracts have not yet been determined or awarded.

The school's officials and board of directors are meeting tonight, likely to discuss Faber's status, and the Catholic Diocese of Toledo is not aware of what they will decide, Oberski said.

"Some decisions are being made, but it's entirely local," she said.

The diocese took a similar stance on the forced resignation of Sandusky Central Catholic School's band director, Brian Panetta, who lost his job in January for becoming engaged to his boyfriend of five years.

The two top administrators who left the Sandusky Central Catholic School this year, shortly after Panetta's story attracted national attention:

•Melody Curtis, the school's president as of Aug. 1, 2013, who announced her resignation in April. She is now principal of Immaculate Conception School in Bellevue.

•Mike Savona, the school's five-year principal, who announced his retirement from education this year as well.

Sandusky Central Catholic School didn't replace either position, and instead appointed Roemmele as its chancellor. It planned to hire two new principals, one for grades P-5 and one for grades 6-12, by July 1.

In early June, school officials hired alumna and renowned local educator Paula Roth as the school's P-5 principal. They have yet to announce the hiring of an additional principal.

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

Comments

JACKEL

Hmmmm ?

corey510

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

Tsu Dho Nimh

This will be interesting.

WeThePeople1965

Pretty pathetic on SCCS' part.

EDIT: If a nearly 49 year old can still pound concrete in an acute care setting with no problem, then I don't see how a 45 year old can't teach.

HS Sports Fan

As a local high school sports fan and one who has followed St.Mary's athletic teams for years, I feel they did Dennis Faber a favor. He was athletic director for many great years of sports at the school. Walk away with you head up, you did an excellent job. Dennis you do not belong in this new regime anyway. There is no good that will come from this new league ect. This will only take athletics further down at St.Mary's and you do not what to be part of this. Forming a new league where St.Mary's will do the same to these teams that they claim was done to them, makes no sense to me. Congratulations with what ever you choose to do in your life from here. In my mind you are a true Panther legend.

DickTracey

Ohhh, say it ain't so! St. Mary's does not discriminate! They don't care what your age or sexuality is! Hahaha!

Where is the caring, loving, compassion and family unit that this school "PRIDEs" its self on?

WWJD? Don't ask anyone at St. Mary's, they obviously do not have a clue how to treat people.

Panther Pride! Hahaha, that place is a joke. I don't know how anyone can not feel absolute shame and embarrassment walking in and out of that place.

observer

Panther Pride? Lol...........more like Panther Pathetic!

underthebridge

Very sad to throw an experienced and devoted educator aside ...

sugar

It's not the children or the families who send their children there, it's a few on the board. They seem to have that attitude of "we rule, we are the special people". Shame, after the merger the school moved away from that, seems to have crept back in. The good families there need to speak out against the few.

Northstar

They are not listening to the families!...it is back to the chosen few only and teachers and how they want to run things. And for the record the kids loved her and she was effective. There are a few teachers who do need to go and before this school year starts or there will be a mass exit from the school of students.

Seen it All

Has it occurred to any one that perhaps she was an ineffective teacher? More experience doesn't always equal most qualified for job.

sugar

Than they should have followed a protocol with job performance reviews and or write ups on performance. They opened themselves up for a suit. Aren't there 2 lawyers on the board? Lol

Northstar

Agree Sugar! They did not and it was a slap in the face to her. Shame !

sugar

What we need is for the parishioners to VOTE for the board members.

albrooks

Parishioners do vote for board members.

Smcc Alum

I had Mrs. Fredrick and she was a good teacher. However, I heard a few individuals tell similar stories about why she was not asked for those positions. According to these un-named individuals, she was going to be asked back by the president directly after she was told that her position would no longer be available, but apparently she was very rude and aggressive to the President of Smcc. Therefore melody did not ask her back, and if that is the case, neither would I!

But nobody gets to hear that side of the story register...

DickTracey

Hey student, I see you changed your post! You talked about reading the teachers Facebook posts. Why did you take that out? Because you are a Facebook friend of hers and now you are throwing her under the bus?!

You blame the teacher for getting fired, it's her fault she was rude.

Smcc Alum

I accidentally deleted while editing my post. Throwing her under the bus? Dick, you are so full of hate towards this school, I don't think you are of any authority as to tell me I'm throwing someone under the bus. It is simply criticism, which is exactly what you do. Its a thread what do you expect? Now, as I said, she very well could have been unlawfully terminated because of age. However, I have been told throughout the school year otherwise. I was told she was rude, and judging by her facebook posts, I do not have trouble believing that.

If in fact she disrespected her employer, then clearly her not being awarded another contract has nothing to do with age.

On the contrary, I do believe some things were handled incorrectly. There was a member of the school that had to wait until two weeks before the school year to be told she would not be awarded the contract. If Mrs. F was waiting an extensive amount of time then I can understand where her frustration came from. However, that is no reason to be rude to her employer.

I have not put blame on anyone yet.. I was simply stating that I have heard another side of the story that the register has not reported yet.. I did not say that I even believe that story.. I was only offering it up for consideration because time after time again the register fails to do so. Instead, they cater to people like YOU, and tell YOU the story that YOU love to hear!

Not everyone is as gullible as you and immediately believes everything in the article. Most of us are smarter than that.

Edit: P.S. - We're not FB friends, I was shown a few posts from hers from someone else.

WeThePeople1965

I honestly don't think you're a student, you know a little too much and automatically appear when SMCC makes headlines. Sounds more like an advocate to cover up the arses of the board to justify rash decisions.

Smcc Alum

I was a student who asked a lot of questions. I think the administrators at smcc have more important things to do than comment on a silly little internet thread.

JACKEL

What is your problem Dick ! Are you a Catholic Hater and a Lib. You know 50 million of them voted for your Bozo !They support the abortion party and march in pro life parades, that is hypocritical I must say !

Northstar

SMCC Student....Not sure if you are an adult or not, but when you get out into the work force and work that many years and have a family and a school family or workplace family. And a few days before you are supposed to go back to work your are "eliminated" ...you will feel the same pain and be upset also. It is a natural reaction.

Smcc Alum

I get what you're saying. But she was not eliminated. Her position was. It would have been absurd for her not to be rehired. And from what they tell me, she was going to be immediately offered the position. But because she flipped and was disrespectful she wasn't offered it.

Once again this is just what I heard. Very well may not be the case.

Northstar

BTW...computer class is no longer on report cards. Yet they tell us they will sill have it..NOT!

corey510

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Smcc Alum

Register doing a great job at stirring up some uneducated commenters.

DickTracey

And now you blame the Register for all the bad publicity your school is getting!

Typical Catholic mentality, blame everybody else, it's always someone else's fault.

Smcc Alum

Look, its working!

sugar

If your a student than you should shut the he** up because you do not have the life experience to be commenting on how a person should act when they found out they would lose their livelihood. There is a lawsuit because she was dismissed improperly, they did it all wrong, now she controls the narrative as to why. You have a lot to learn because someone sits at the top of the food chain and can hire or fire does not make them infallible. Big mistakes are being made. It's NOT the families or the kids, it those making these stupid, uncaring, controlling decisions. Now they look like fools, do not defend them.

Smcc Alum

@ sugar

I'm from the outside looking in and I can from my own opinion. Her position was being eliminated but two more were being created from it. She was going to be asked back, but because She went off on melody she was asked not to return. I'm not saying the way smcc does things are perfect, timing could have been better, but there is no fault on smcc dismissing her. We will see how courts rule.

You must know something I don't. How did they do it all wrong? I'm curious to know.

sugar

You're a student but on the outside looking in? Sorry that is incongruent . I have no information, I just realize that a competent attorney would not file a lawsuit if there were no grounds to do so, hence my statement that it was done wrong. This particular teacher was not the only teacher this happened to in 2013, what about the pre school director? Please tell me that she "went off" too. You've gone beyond opinion, you do not know what happened between the teacher and admin unless you were present.
I do understand your need to defend your school, but this is not helpful, it just appears arrogant.

Smcc Alum

Sugar. Just because someone files a lawsuit does not mean you should immeadetly come to the conclusion that the school "did something wrong". If it was the only teacher that happened to in 2013 (idk if it was. And I don't know the story of pre-school director) then that just goes to show that this wasn't age discrimination, or else other older teachers would have also been asked not to come back. (Also how old is she? she doesn't seem very old). I would assume this was only because she did not show respect to the pres. At the time she came in. And just because this is my school does not mean I'm obligated to defend it. I side against the admin. More often than not, but this IMO is just ridiculous, if it is true she disrespected melody.

I understand you're an adult and you say that I don't have the "life experience". But you also are not at the apex of your knowledge, and just because you have this magical "adult insight" does not make your opinion any more relevant than mine!

sugar

Student, you are now officially out of your league. Lol. Have a great 4th.

Smcc Alum

Thanks haha, you to!

corey510

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sugar

She was offered an AIDE position. A position anyone off the street could have, it wouldn't have covered her insurance premiums. YOU get your facts straight , smart a**.

corey510

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sugar

Smart a ** is an adjective in this case not a noun. Lol

OSUAV8TER

Nothing makes DickTracey more happy then to come on the Register, find an article about SMCC, then negatively comment about the school. Spiteful man for sure! Dick, where does this rage come from? I'm curious to know.

mlbosque

Typical Catholic mentality? Where did that come from? Let me guess: you were raised Catholic, but come from a dysfunctional family, ergo, all Catholics are mentally sick. Got it.

JACKEL

I guess you are a hater !

JACKEL

I guess you were expelled ?

Wald

Careful, Smcc Student, or you're going to have "Informed" on here yelling about how all Smcc kids are promiscuous alcoholic hypocrites because that's what she "heard".

SamAdams

...or worse, thinkagain will show up and go on (at length) about how Catholics aren't real Christians! < shudder >

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Nice to know I’m living rent free in your head, Sammy! :)

Abbreviated version.

Going to church does not make you a Christian; nor does saying a prayer, going down an aisle, passing a catechism, having water sprinkled on your forehead, being submersed in water, telling yourself that you are, or trying to be a decent person. You can only be a Christian if Christ is in you.

Still too long for ya?

You can be a Catholic and not be a Christian.
You can be a Catholic and be a Christian.

JACKEL

But you can't be a Dumacrat !

The Answer Person

So where is the love?

PantherPride

Why doesn't it surprise me that people are trying to kick SMCC while we are down.

Gardenman

Hmmmmm your comment is sorta atuned to the police arresting a bank robber and then handcuffing him as they put him in the car. He then saying "yeah handcuff we while I am down."

SCC can in some cases do this and that without any ramifications but then and there comes items where they are just like anyother school, business, corporation, etc on the street. AND when you are wrong and do wrong things you get taken to court and have to answer for them and if you are found in violation of the law you pay the price. That is nothing about anyone trying to kick SMCC while they are down....its just demanding justice.

Smcc Alum

This is just an accusation. Nobody knows if she was discriminated against or not. We aren't guilty of anything until the court rules on it, so your little analogy of us being handcuffed is not relevant.

Gardenman

You are totally correct AND I concur and thus call your attention to the fact the robber is arrested does not mean they are guilty either as that will be decided in a court of law. So you see the analogy is quite relevant.

OSUAV8TER

That was a terrible analogy...

Northstar

Interesting you said "WE" as in "We the school administration or faculty???"..hmmm..

But I will give you some advice..if you are a student; per law you are not allowed to engage with Facebook friendships (any social media)or conversations with the faculty/staff/coaches at your school. There are known staff at the school who actually take time out of their day to stalk children on social media through other children. I have seen too many children crying this year from being publicly humiliated in front of their peers , and this was done by teachers/staff and coaches. You have all forgotten we are the parents of our kids..not you.

Melody had a cut list, I loved how everyone sucked up to her that was pretty much on it..we so wish she had gotten through it all before leaving. The school is not run, it is "controlled" by a small set of teachers. The entire thing is a mess there...and it starts from the Diocese, staff, coaches, teachers..even down to children at that school..the entitled with names or legacies.

Done with this now...Good Luck Ms. F..you deserved better.

sugar

I noticed that "we" also. If student is a part of this elite class than they're just not too bright are they?

Smcc Alum

I said "we" because it was the school I attended..

You're reading to far in to it. And not very bright? For the last four years I've had most of you commenters trying to figure out if i'm a student or a faculty member. Considering I was a student the entire time, I take that as a compliment.

Sugar, I'm shocked you say you're a fan of Rush. We were having a conversation on this topic and after a few back and forth of me dismantling your arguments your response is, "You're officially out of your league". From listening to Rush, let alone any conservative/Repub tv or radio show on earth, you would understand that your sudden closing statement in the middle of our conversation is nothing more than typical liberal walk-away "deflection".

Plead the Fifth!

I'm off this thread!

PantherPride

DickTracey
What is a catholic mentality? I'm very interested to know. As a practicing Catholic, I'm very shocked to find out by you that we have a mentality that people do not like.......

Dcfred20036

This school is destroying itself from within. Chaos reigns at SMCC!

OSUAV8TER

Ahhh the biggest hater in the Land. Dcfred20036! Nothing makes you more happy to see something you don't agree with go down in flames. Well aren't you a nice person.

sugar

BS, he just is far enough away and cognizant enough to see it.

Dcfred20036

Just stating the obvious. When this article follows a previous one (Pay Cuts For Teachers At St. Mary 6/18/2014) where you have the SR reporting that "After a heated discussion, one school official told distraught teachers to 'open their own school' if they thought they could manage one better", any reasonable person would have to conclude that the school is in complete disarray. Being in denial over the school's complete dysfunction is not going to help matters. When you have veteran teachers in open rebellion and speaking to the press, then is time to snap out of the denial trance.....

OSUAV8TER

How does that make the school dysfunctional? Have you seen Perkins and their levy!? What does that make them Dcfred? Internal disagreement is not an indication of the place falling apart.

sugar

If they had to pass a levy do you think it would happen? If the parishes were doing better and bringing in more people there wouldn't be a budget deficit. Catholic education had no tuition at one time it was supported through the parish.

OSUAV8TER

If the NAACP had to pass a levy, do you think that would happen?

sugar

Nonsensical, no correlation comment.

sim3000

I thought the Legal Age to have a Job was 18? and what Happened to America I once lived in a world where Suing and making a big deal was not always going on and always went about our own. Now its every one is worried about on another and making a Big deal. Yea what ever is going on In SCC should be interesting for follow up. idk just my thoughts

WhatTheHeck

practicing Catholic?

Contango

The price of education sure has gotten expensive since there are no longer largely altruistic nuns and priests who would essentially work for just room and board.

Kelly

Age discrimination? 45? Seriously?

Tsu Dho Nimh

New teachers earn a whole lot less than teachers with 20 years.

sugar

It's about pay, with 20+ yrs experience you can demand more pay. You kids have no idea what your talking about. Be quiet.

JT Adams St

Talk to somebody who is 45 or 50 years old and is trying to find a job, and ask them how it's going.

mls

Tracey was a good teacher and as far as her loosing her cool, I would have too. School was set to begin and she was now unemployed, with children to take care of....her own children.
I never heard of her flipping out in class, the kids loved her. We do however have teachers that are known for screaming at the kids and it's just kind of accepted by the administration. I won't name them, but I'll bet anyone who has a student there knows exactly who they are.

OSUAV8TER

Agreed, Tracey was a fine teacher.

corey510

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mls

Yes I do know what Tracy was going through. I honestly did not ever hear of it...being discussed or whatever in her class. Now, that doesn't mean it wasn't, it just means I hadn't heard about it.

corey510

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

sugar

You do realize this is slander? Be careful, she may be suing you next. You have a gossipy big mouth.

corey510

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sugar

You really need to stop making assumptions about other people.

pptrsha

my extremely bright, beautiful, and talented granddaughter was in an accelerated program there, until the teacher allowed other students to mistreat her. after numerous complaints her mother pulled her from the program. the principal found out and couldn't apologize enough. too late you just lost tuition from two more kids. don't worry smcc we wont sue. what a disappointment that school has become.

WeThePeople1965

Yeah, that school is full of stuck up disgraceful animals.

Smcc Alum

You're right, were going to be animals on the football field next year!

whattheBucks

On the bright side you should finish no less then
4th in your conference

Smcc Alum

Hahahaha

arod1112

I have said this before and I'll say it again, as a former board member, the SMCC Board was designed to create and implement policy which we did when the schools united. Since that time, as new members are elected BY THE PARISHIONERS to the board, they come on and immedately want to change all that had been done prior to their arrival. This continuously sets the school back and forward progress is delayed.
Keep a few things in mind when reading articles about SMCC. First, Mr. Savona signed on for 5 years. He served his 5 years at SMCC and left. No big adminstrative leave for Mr. Savona. All new when his time would run out. As for Ms. Curtis, I believe she couldn't handle the task at hand and is currently principal at Immaculate Conception in Bellevue. She made several decisions that were not liked by the Board (micromanaging her) and staff.
As for Mr. Faber, seriously this is part of this discussion? Mr. Faber was a super employee and devoted staff member. However, he was overdue to retire and the school may have forced his hand, but it was time. Sometimes a good person doesn't know when his job is done. I believe that was the case with Denny.
DC Fred I know you are an SMCC grad and enjoy ripping the school, you no longer support the school and that is your right. However, there are those out there that do still support and believe in a Catholic Education. I suggest you visit Sandusky and talk with those parents who send their kids to SCS and SMCC and listen to their thoughts and feelings before judging the school and them from your location. It isn't a perfect system and could use some assistance, but sometimes their hands are tied based on the diocese and Church itself. Just a thought.

Holding Court

Mrs. Curtis was not greeted with open arms as many would like the public to believe. When she tried to perform the job that she was hired to do, she was met with resistance. It would seem that she was doing a fine job, according to certain board members, until an issue arose with student honesty. Then the hammer fell.

Dcfred20036

Arod-- I read the SR and I comment on the stories that are important to me, just like you and everyone else does. Sure I tend to have a sardonic tone when commenting, but I think that any reasonable reader can conclude that all is not well at the school: the worst indictment of the school has come from the current veteran teachers who spoke to the SR and did not cast the school is a very good light. Many a person has privately commented to me with the same comment: The chickens have come home to roost.

OSUAV8TER

DcFred, you're making assumptions about the health of the school based on 3 articles from the Sandusky Register. Where do you live again? Not in Sandusky right? You have no clue what's going on, and if you think you have a solid idea of what is really going on based upon a few paper articles, you add no value to these discussions other than venom and hate.

corey510

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Holding Court

While it is true that the board of education is elected- ballots are distributed during mass. Not all votes are cast honestly as many ballots remain unmarked and left in the pews for anyone to pick up and cast more than one vote.

Take a good look at those running the school and you will find jobs that have been created and awarded their friends, regardless of their educational backgrounds. While the "house" is being cleaned, so to speak, maybe some of the unnessasary positions should be eliminated thus creating more funding for teacher salaries.

sugar

My bad about the board, guess I miss that Sunday, lol but Holding is correct, too many hotshots over there will be the death of the school. Bet their still behaving like they are on control, hubris.

corey510

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Holding Court

It is my understanding that the House Coordinator is a full time position. I cannot speak about the pay, or Ms. McClung's "official" job description. This was not the original position for which she was hired, but she now coordinates the houses. She is responsible for the house system in which
all students, elementary through high school, are grouped into Houses and complete, not only service-type of activities,but activities to promote unity and foster a family- like environment as well. IMO, many important life lessons are learned during these activities.

corey510

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k9unit

I agree 1000% Ive heard the board president elected herself by voting on unmarked ballots left by parishioners, and got her friend elected by the same method. This school is falling apart and the skeletons are falling out of the closets.

Holding Court

Both currently on the board, correct?

k9unit

Yes^

Sotiredofthiscrap

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

Smcc Alum

IMO if she was going to file a law suit this is the perfect time to do it. The register just released an article claiming older teachers are receiving a pay cut. Mrs. F can use that in court to demonstrate that age discrimination goes on at Smcc.

That would be how I would argue the case if I were in her position. But I am not, and if you read below you'll see that Smcc has things in place to reward older teachers, so age discrimination is definitely not the case.

There is another side of the story that has not yet been told about the pay cuts. I do not know why Smcc hasn't responded to the article, but from what I know there will be ways to reward veteran teachers for good performance. The only problem I have with this policy (The policy of which older teachers receive a pay deduction: But will be rewarded for good performance) is that the school, along with all the other catholic schools that do the same, are putting all older teachers under the generalization that they're not performing. I guess if they are performing well, then they have nothing to worry about. It seems like this is the best way to bring in new teachers, but from personal experience at Smcc, some of the older teachers are the best. On the contrary, some of the older teachers have not been held accountable for their actions by the administration! Some of them feel above the law!

Not all of them though!

Sotiredofthiscrap

The information you considered personal was public knowledge! Either by being in your paper or on her facebook page which now she has removed.

Big business owner

Having previously worked at the school and with this teacher I can tell you there were certainly many issues with her behavior and complaints from parents. Things change, her position was eliminated, just like mine was due to changing needs and education criteria. She acted out and proved the complaints true.

As for Mrs. Curtis, she was not loved by all including me but made many positive changes that were long overdue and left for many reasons I am told...she had a one year contract, took the blame for the band director dismissal even though it was made by the Diocese, and was tired of the behavior of several administrators and teachers who felt they were accountable to no one. Most who are brought in for major change don't stay long and move on, I can admit now that she had a monumental task and performed well.

As for Denny, he is a nice, kind, dedicated man who served that school for many years. That being said, he had been retired for years...both on duty and in pay. By that I mean he had been "double dipping" for years and he did only what he had to and turned many offers of donated equipment, funds, and other offers that cold have benefited the school away simply because he didn't want to do any extra work. He created this new Sandusky River League I am told with no approval from the school president or board with no long term plan or future and I know first hand that anyone who questioned him on why things were done a certain way were given the standard Denny line...."this is how we"ve done it for 30 years". Change is painful but needed and I have also realized this and moved on to bigger and better things. There is definitely more to this story but plainly stated, you cant cut back teachers and pay in a rapidly shrinking economy with some getting double the pay and doing less work, as well as too many administrators and not enough teachers. They already had 2 athletic directors.

arod1112

Holding Court, I'm not sure where you get your information. I don't know the circumstances of Ms. Curtis departure, however, I do know the Board went to an extreme length to find her and hire her. Maybe with the 'changing of the guard' last summer (old board members out and new members in) she couldn't get along with the new members. I haven't heard one way or the other how good she was or wasn't. Again, I think she bit off more than she could chew and the way the Board and school functioned wasn't in a way for her to work most efficiently.
As for the school eliminating positions and creating new ones. That has been done on and off for some time. What school doesn't do that at times? I can think of several other schools where questionable people were hired (meaning friends of friends). SCCS is still a school with the same problems, situations and concerns that other schools have. Is there an age discrimination problem? Likely not as their are other teachers older than Ms. F who are still employed at SCCS. If this woman was disrespectful to her employer, can you really blame the employer for not rehiring her for another position? She may have been going through a tough time, but it isn't fair to accuse the school of discrimination if she was plain disrespectful to them! This country is filled with people who feel they are ENTITLED to things because of how long they have been some place. Tenure doesn't reign supreme in a private Catholic school. It might in a public school system, but not in a private school. She isn't 'entitled' to be employed just because she had been there so long.....that's ludicrous thinking in a private school!!

Holding Court

Some of the same board members who hired Mrs. Curtis are currently on the board. When she made recommendations to streamline and restructure, they agreed until certain positions were tagged to be eliminated. Said positons were given to friends of a certain board member, who was extremely active and vocally in support with the hiring of Mrs. Curtis.
You are most correct with the practice of hiring friends. The issue at hand is the qualifications of those being hired - not to mention the lack of performance evaluations for all hired.
I fully support accountability- administrators and teachers as well- if a teacher is not conducting themselves professionally, or is not following the curriculum when instructing,they should absolutely be terminated. I have had numerous conversations with the administration concerning teachers with questionable classroom practices, and was met with excuses as to why these teachers were permitted to continue teaching at SCCS. Many of the teachers at SCCS are dedicated educators, who genuinely care about the students and the service of education that they are providing. Tenure in public education, is a thing of the past, and thankfully so! The current evaluation system is set up to eliminate those teachers that are not "doing their job". I did not state that I believed that the school discriminated against Mrs. Fredrick, nor am I in support of or have I ever been in support of tenure. Whatever she was going through in her personal life, should have been left at the door when she entered to educate her students. My comment was that there have been positions that have been created that could be eliminated.

MissySams

We were really considering pulling our kids from our current school district to send them to this school. Not sure we want to after hearing all this...

corey510

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arod1112

MissySams I suggest you talk with admissions and other parents. SCCS isn't a bad school, don't let this forum filled with highly opinionated and critical people be the reason for your decision. Go find out for yourself by visiting the school and talking with staff and parents of students.

holysee

Catholicschoolssuckandthat'stheabsolutetruth.

JellieRose

I was bullied in sandusky public schools so I transfered to smcc to get away from it all. So my freshman and sophomore years I spent at smcc. Why only two years? Most kids there have gone from k up so once new kids arrive friendships are already set. If your parents don't own a business you're looked down on by the other kids. They all buy top of the line pants and shoes to go with the standard shirt. So if you wear and thing not of high quality you get looked at different. I would say only half the teachers I had were okay the other half highly favored kids. One teacher would yell and scream and cuss at kids more than once a week while telling them not to tell on her. Even after all of that the smcc kids were more into sex and drugs than the kids at sandusky I did go to school with. Ultimately after two years of worst bulling that public school I went back to the lesser or two evils. My mom wasn't very happy that she wasted money on tuition there just for me to be treated the same way because I was a little different from the rest of the kids. Because her money went to me going to school and not the cloths I was wearing. A few years later my brother was sent there because of being bullied at sandusky public as well. She thought she'd try it again that there's different kids there maybe it will be better. He only stayed a year. If you start your kids there maybe it's a good school but any new kids don't have a chance.

Smcc Alum

In my class we had multiple new kids come from Sandusky, Huron, and Perkins throughout high school and all of them fit in just fine. They made a lot of friends.

Also, " if your parents don't own a business you're looked down on by the other kids. They all buy top of the line pants and shoes to go with the standard shirt".

This is a pretty uneducated and untrue opinion. Very few people's parents in my class own a business.. We all wear the same uniform, some have better brands, but no buddy gives a rats a** about what type of pants/shoes you wear...

Over 60% of the kids at our school are on tuition assistance. This perception of Smcc being a rich kids private school is wrong. We are a catholic school run on donations in downtown Sandusky.

MrGadfly

First, some background. I am a practicing Catholic. None of my children attended SMCC.

What I have gleaned from this article and previous articles is that SMCC in in financial duress. The major expense of any school is wages and benefits. Thus the reduction of teacher's wages is the confirmation of the problem.

But, what troubles me is that SMCC has eliminated their computer teacher. Has SMCC returned their school to a pre-technology era ? How can the school compete for students without this necessary instruction? Will this specific reduction in force speed up the demise?

I hope those in control have thought through this decision.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

It depends on what the curriculum contained. Most children nowadays have an understanding of computer fundamentals prior to entering High School. Was there an introduction to Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Access? Was there training in the basics of computer coding? If so, then these children will be less prepared for college.

Typical for the State of Ohio to be behind the times though. Reminds me of my high school education. Each year my parents moved between Ohio and Florida, buying and selling houses. I started 10th grade in FL and I was studying electronics. Mid-year we returned to OH, they didn’t offer electronics, so I had to take Shop class. To get credit, my class project was to build an oscilloscope from scratch, while my classmates built birdhouses and such.

wetsu

thinkagain-

Just for point of reference may I ask when you attended high school? Also, to what do you attribute Ohio's tendency to lag behind?

arod1112

SMCC eliminated a computer teacher at the elementary level, Not at the high school level. Jellie I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I sent my kids there and my husband and I did not own a business. My kids were also bullied to a certain extent at SMCC, but not enough to pull them. Kids are mean regardless of what school they attend. Bullying is everywhere!! not just in public schools. That being said, SCCS/SMCC kids wear uniforms not designer clothes. My kids didn't wear named brand shoes or shirts/pants/ties/socks to school. They bought what I could afford from where I could afford it. The students may have seemed like they were all into sex, alcohol and drugs more than public school kids and that's only because the enrollment numbers are smaller. All kids at public/private/charter/home school behave the same way. When I was a student at SMCC 30 years ago, kids did the same thing and our classes were much larger. No one said the students were above being typical kids that experiment with sex/drugs/alcohol, etc. as teens. Christian values are taught, but that doesn't mean kids can't/won't rebel against what they are taught.

whattheBucks

In a couple weeks she will be requesting a face to face sit down with the pope

Karma2u

Is Ms. Curtis named in the lawsuit? This sounds like something she proposed and as people have stated she was involved in discussion with this employee...the employee was upset with the situation and sounded off to Curtis... As Curtis has done in the past and continued to do here at SMCC ( Brian) she gets her way no matter what........should be interesing

Smcc Alum

None of it is fact yet. Also she was forced to fire Brian by Chris Knight and the Toledo diocese.

Alissa Widman Neese's picture
Alissa Widman Neese

No, Melody Curtis is not named in the lawsuit, Karma2U.

Also, the diocese's spokeswoman has said repeatedly that Brian Panetta's forced resignation was a "local" decision, Smcc Student. If you have a credible source of information that could tell me otherwise, I'm willing to listen.

Karma2u

SMCC I am sorry but it is fact. Another fact was that she was NOT forced by Diocese to fire Brian.

arod1112

If Ms. Curtis got her way, why isn't she still there?

Karma2u

Arod1112,

Melody Curtis has a pattern. She left because her power hungry actions caught up with her faster than usual, which usually takes a year. She was found out by administration and the Diocese, she left to become a principal of a small rural school lead by one of her posse. You are all better off as we are ....feeling very bad for Immaculate Conception families.....

Babo

I note that the school board consists of 12 people, eleven of whom are men. There are also ex officio members.

I understand that this is not a public school system but much larger public systems operate with 5 members on the board with the superintendent and treasurer of the school system advising the board.

Maybe part of the problem is a school board that is too big and out of touch with education (it is generally regarded as a female profession especially in elementary years). Looks like the board could use fewer self aggrandizing or aggressive male business owners, corporate types and professionals and more humble female nurturers with professional educational training.

Smcc Alum

1.The female is the president of the board.

2. You put all of the males on the board under the generalization that they are "self aggrandizing". Which is incorrect and stereotypical. Definition: The act or practice of enhancing or exaggerating one's own importance, power, or reputation.
Thefreedictionary.com

3. What does this have to do with gender? You sound like a feminazi.

Babo

Firstly, you ignored my major point...why does SCCS need 12 people on a private school board?

Secondly, I did not place all of the men on the board under the generalization "self aggrandizing". My statement used the word "fewer" not "all". Perhaps next time you will also look up the definitions for "incorrect" and "stereotypical" as you had to do for "self-aggrandizement" in order to use them properly.

Thirdly, you ask what this topic has to do with gender. A lawsuit was filed by a 45 year old female teacher against the Foundation for SCCS alleging age discrimination in hiring and firing. The defendant is overwhelmingly male dominated despite the fact that the teaching profession is overwhelmingly female. The lack of gender diversity of the board will become factors in the litigation.

Finally, the use of the term "feminazi" is a misogynistic slur and should not be used by a devout Catholic; especially one from a school that honors the Holy Mother. Pray the Rosary, son.

gramlamb

You are confusing the school board with the foundation board. Two separate entities. One thing in common is that they both have women (plural) as voting members.

Babo

The Foundation is the entity being sued but the School Board made the decisions that resulted in the lawsuit. The nature of the board composition and the foundation board composition will be factors in the lawsuit.

One or two females out of the school board (comprised of 11 members and 2 ex officio members) still is not representative of the SCCS community which probably has about 50% female students and a significant majority of female teachers.

Hey, I'm just suggesting some issues that the Institution might want to examine for legal as well as spiritual reasons. I read the lawsuit and IMO the termination of Mrs. Frederick could have been handled better.

sugar

Feminazi term coined by Rush Limbaugh, you are NO student. Love Rush by the way.

Smcc Alum

Freshman in college this fall! And I love him to, a bit extreme but great sense of humor.

arod1112

Babo, look again there is more than one woman on the SCCS school board. I believe she is a nurse by education. As required and suggested by the diocese, there is a representative from the diocese named to the board. He is not elected. He/she doesn't usually attend meetings unless necessary, but sees any minutes taken. Several women have served on the board in the past. It is hardly considered a male dominated board. There is someone from SMCC foundation who sits in on board meetings to monitor how funds are requested/spent. He has no voting power and isn't elected either.You may want to research board members before posting.

Babo

Thank you. I obtained my information from this story: http://www.sanduskyregister.com/.... I see Mary Murphy and maybe Dr. Lou is female? In any event, I'm suggesting that some of the problems may be due to the size of the Board and that it is not representative of the SCCS' community.

Also, the SCCS Foundation is being sued not the school board.

corey510

You people are something else.

DickTracey

Corey, firing Mr. Panetta because he was in love with a man, is unfair, unethical, immoral and should be illegal.

You are so worried what this lawsuit is doing to your children, and how this bad publicity is hurting the children.

YOUR CHILDREN LOVED MR. PANETTA, and you stood by and watched him get fired and condoned his firing, while the poor kids were left confused and lost with out their music teacher.

The firing of Brian Panetta was far more damaging to the children, than this lawsuit.

The board members have "done a fine job in their careers". Yes, in their real jobs they ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FIRE SOMEONE FOR WANTING TO MARRY THE SAME SEX. There are real rules, and real laws to follow outside the walls of the SCCS.

In the real world, you can't fire a woman who has taught for 20 years, just to hire someone younger and cheaper!

You are a perfect candidate for the Catholic faith, a true puppet on a string that doesn't question anything the board does. You admit in these comments that there are teachers that yell, scream and cuss. Why are you paying money to send your children to a school with teachers that are allowed to behave like that?

sugar

I hope Dr. Kaftan sees this, I'm sure he would love to have you speaking for what he believes. LMAO. Piece of work!

DickTracey

WOW! Corey changed her comment! Look Sugar, she saw our response and went in erased and wrote a knew comment!

I was right when I said she was a puppet on a string, a follower with no voice of her own!

A Sheople!

God Of Thunder

Looks like E Strub Rd might open tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God Of Thunder

I'm sure this all has something to do with the corrupt judges and attorneys of EEEEErie county.. This never would've happened if they would just do things the legal way...Along with that corrupt fool from Lorain County... Yep...That's who caused this whole thing... They are always changing the deeds illegally on peoples estates...

God Of Thunder

Oh....I forgot the crooked prosecutor too>>>>

k9unit

Lol...where are you, julie r?

Riseaboveit

First, she HAD a signed contract for the school year! Second, she is a good teacher and whoever student is.....you do not know the whole story only gossip. And gossip is a cancer.

corey510

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sugar

Corey it's that attitude that has gotten the school in trouble, you're part of the problem.
If someone is not a "good fit" than it should be handled appropriately through, performance reviews, write ups, probationary periods whatever the situation warrants.
That is 4 teachers who were mistreated in the 2013/2014 school year, Mrs. Dwight, Mrs. Fredrick, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Faber. A few others disappeared, now I wonder what really happened with them.
Most certainly the school will suffer and ultimately the kids, but that's what happens when you treat people poorly.

Northstar

It is what it is...unfortunately the kids are the ones who are hurt, the younger ones had 2-3 teachers ripped away from them they loved. Then we get new ones in some good some not. Then the old ones who need to go!

They are the screaming/swearing and inadequate teachers who need to go. Nobody at the school has listened to the parents at all and the complaints about them, they were part of the issue with Melody. A theology teacher to boot going to Ms. Curtis and calling her the devil woman and also saying the same thing to the students...really! That is when we threw our hands up to God to save the school and gave up. Younger grades are great; pre-school thru 4th. It is a mess hopefully this all can help force a cleanup.

We loved the school and love the families...but this last year and last few years is out of control. I hope they can fix it but they need to clean house of a few bad apples and put a solid plan in that they do not keep changing every year and mid year.

sugar

North Star , I'm not following. Did you support Melody Curtis? Who called who a devil?

corey510

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Common Sense

Is it just my connection or has anyone else not been able to look at the webpage and links for SCCS?

OSUAV8TER

They are doing a website upgrade. No it isn't a conspiracy theory.

arod1112

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

sugar

Were you Mrs . Dwight's boss? Are you in a position to critique her job performance, or anyone else's for that matter? It is people like you and Corey that need to GO, you're arrogant, judgmental, over bearing, adversarial, and a big part of why the school has lost support and will now be sued. I hope Mrs. Dwight joins the suit,finds out who you really are and names you as part of the suit.

sugar

Oh your post arod is full of lovely personal information, if I were you I would delete it pronto, it's ugly, and so are you.

arod1112

Why so hostile Sugar? You named names and the register didn't remove your post? I'm not judgmental or arrogant. I was part of that school and am a proud alum! It's who gets put on the board making the decisions that is the problem? Are they going to be tough when needed or are they going to be soft to keep everyone happy? Obviously you prefer soft. I'm all for increasing enrollment etc., but not running the school effectively, efficiently or with teachers who need to move on. Life is full of change. Firing teachers for their sexual preference should be across the board not based on engagements. You Sugar are probably much more of a problem than I. Why not run for a board seat and see how easy it is to run a school? Maybe then you can discuss things more reasonably.

corey510

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