Community Post

Decision not to rehire St. Therese principal draws criticism

We finally saw resolution on one Madrona school’s principal controversy when Farah Thaxton was officially named to replace Kaaren Andrews last month at Madrona K-8. But a new one is brewing a few blocks down at St. Therese Catholic School, as parents are challenging the Seattle Archdiocese’s decision not to renew principal Eileen Gray’s contract.

Our news partners at the Seattle Times reported on the rally by parents, students and community members in front of the Archdiocese’s headquarters yesterday.

They allege the decision was part of a plan by the Seattle Archdiocese to disperse the African-American students at St. Therese School, which is predominantly black, to other Catholic schools.

Le Roi Brashears, a parent, said he believes the archdiocese thinks St. Therese parishioners send their children to other schools because a high percentage of the school’s students are minorities, as is Gray, an African American.

Not renewing her contract, he said, could discourage black families from sending their kids to the school.

The Archdiocese disputes that race is the issue, but hasn’t given details or a reason for not renewing Gray’s contract. Her supporters are calling for her contract to be renewed for two more years, after which she could retire.

Gray has been the principal for 20 years, so for many Madrona residents and St. Therese students and former students, she’s an institution. It will be interesting to see if the Archdiocese or the school yields to pressure and decides to renew Gray’s contract, or at least make a statement with more explanation for the move.

0 thoughts on “Decision not to rehire St. Therese principal draws criticism

  1. You might want to look at the principal diversity of all Archdiocesan schools. As of next year, I don’t believe they have any non-white principals.

  2. It doesn’t sound like the archdiocese wants these kids! Its time for a change. They should send their kids to Zion Prep Academy! Same tuition, better quality education and a more diverse faculty and staff!

  3. Many kids OF ALL RACES left St Therese, due to a lack of effective leadership.
    As a former school parent, the only thing wrong with this whole thing is that it took TOO long to happen.

  4. St. Therese is a wonderful inter city school which has always and always will welcome everyone no matter what their race, religion, sexuality or any other issue. We are a community of extremely caring individuals and the idea of race being at issue is insulting. St. Therese has always been a deverse school and I for one have been proud to be part of it.

  5. Well, it looks like the gravy train is over for the citizens who use the Catholic school system for a free education based on skin color instead of hard work. And, color had nothing to do with the decision to let at least one of the two principals go free. See the coverup being orchestrated by the Archdiocese of Seattle regarding whistleblowing and corporate donations. Google those words and see the truth unfold.
    Now it looks like parents of ALL colors will have to cough up the one color the Archdiocese really is concerned about…GREEN.

  6. Mr Tom Smith,

    I have had two african american children at St Therese and have paid full tuition. I am also a single mom and a graduate of Seattle University . I have been raised as a Cathlic and have a Jesuit education. I am proud of the sucess that St Therese has had with parent of all incomes. When we took the children to Washington DC for a 8th grade trip we kicked in and worked hard so all the children could have the same education gift. As a St Therese parent I am proud of Eileen Gray for she has followed the Jesuit path of helping all children. She is loving and has been a spiritual guide to them as they grew up into young men and women.

    Mr Tom Smith Jesus never told anyone that he helped that they were receiving a free ride. Maybe you could meet Eileen Gray and she could help you on your faith based journey as she has helped the children of St Therese.