By Melanie Nathan, January 21, 2014.
The protests and the controversy surrounding Mr. Z of Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington firing has taken a new turn. The President of the school has finally resigned in the aftermath.
Sister Mary Tracy, who apparently lied about the firing of the popular gay vice principal and swim coach, Mark Zmuda, for marrying his same-sex partner, has resigned.
The news of Sister Mary’s resignation came in an email to parents and other members of the Eastside Catholic community, today.
“For Sister Mary it was a difficult, but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is moving forward on a positive path,” said the letter, reports my NorthWest’s site.
Students have staged a number of high profile and much publicized protests since the firing.
Sister Mary and a school spokesman issued conflicting statements about Zmuda, first claiming he had resigned, saying he had violated teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which he’d agreed to uphold when he began working at the school.
Zmuda however told press that he had been fired by Sister Mary.
His departure and the incredible support by students, who launched protests and petitions on his behalf, sparked worldwide attention and outrage. Students implored upon the Seattle Archdiocese to urge the school to reverse its decision and to change its stance on same-sex marriage.
Here is the email in its entirety:
Dear Eastside Catholic Community,After several years as Eastside Catholic’s President and Head of School, Sister Mary Tracy has submitted her resignation to the board of trustees. The board has accepted her resignation, which is effective immediately. We thank Sister Mary for her many contributions to Eastside Catholic.
Principal Polly Skinner and Interim Vice Principal Tom Lord will continue their leadership of the school supported by our outstanding faculty and staff as they carry forward with Eastside Catholic’s three Touchstones of Academic Excellence, Relationships and Servant Leadership.
Sister Mary came to this decision after much prayer and reflection. For Sister Mary it was a difficult, but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is moving forward on a positive path.
The board of trustees, along with a search committee, will immediately begin a search for Eastside Catholic School’s next President.
We realize that members of the Eastside Catholic community (students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends) may have questions. In that spirit, the board is in the process of setting up additional town hall meetings with the Eastside Catholic community. A school parents’ meeting is currently scheduled for Thursday, January 23. We will notify you as soon as additional meeting dates are scheduled. The board has also established an email address for questions and communication with the board: [email protected]
In closing, we want to once again thank Sr. Mary for her many contributions and to thank each of you in the broader EC community for your ongoing thoughts, prayers and support of the Eastside Catholic school.
Tom Padilla Brad Bastian Interim Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Eastside Catholic School