More than 300 Bishop McCort students, alumni, parents and supporters came out in support of suspended Principal Ken Salem and to push for information about his removal.
“I think everybody that is here feels the same: Bishop McCort needs Ken Salem,” Richard M. DelSignore said, adding that the meeting was a good way to get organized.
The grass-roots effort was launched Friday as word spread that McCort’s board of trustees had placed Salem on leave. Although the trustees’ announcement gave no reason, Salem’s attorney noted Bishop McCort has recently been involved in a scandal involving Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker.
Organizers Timothy Burns and Bob McGowan said McCort supporters are organizing as a nonprofit to support the school. But the first order of business is to approach trustees for answers, they said.
“We don’t know,” Burns said. “We want to work together with the trustees. We encourage people to support the school. We just want some openness.”
Burns said the rally organizers don’t know, for instance, how trustees are selected.
Those attending the rally at Richland Township Fire Department on Scalp Avenue were asked to submit written questions and to sign up as members of the proposed organization, Friends and Family of Bishop McCort. Burns said he will serve as legal counsel to incorporate the nonprofit.
“This is not the night for us to come up and ask those questions,” Burns said. “We, as an organization, don’t have those answers.”
The new organization will work with trustees to open dialogue, McGowan said.
“We are really trying to minimize the rumors,” McGowan said. “We want to try to deal with facts. We are trying to provide a venue in which everybody in this room can be heard.”
Gap Barbin and Ryan Eckenrod represented current McCort students.
“We need to remember the power of prayer,” Barbin said. “Two things I have learned: There is power in numbers; and there is power in a person from Bishop McCort. This strength will guide us to the answers we seek.”
The focus will be on support for the school, Burns stressed.
“To be frank, we want Mr. Salem back,” Burns said. “But at the same time, we realize there is a bigger picture here. And that is the future of Bishop McCort.”
Group being formed to seek answers
- Local News
Windber lab rededicated in memory of scientist
The heart of Windber Research Institute’s laboratory was rededicated Friday in memory of the man credited with putting the institute on the cancer research world’s map.
Charges filed in crash site incident
A Mineral Point man has been charged with running down a fire police official Monday at the scene of a crash on William Penn Avenue in Jackson Township that killed a motorcyclist.
‘Homegrown postmaster’: Hudak retiring after 21 years at the helm
A person would have to go back nearly 175 years to find a Johnstown postmaster who has had more tenure than Michael Hudak Jr.
IRS wants pawn shop owner to give up silver, cash
The Internal Revenue Service wants a federal judge to force a Portage businessman now serving time in federal prison to forfeit 67 silver bars and thousands of dollars in cash found in his home in January.
Basketball league aims to Stop the Violence
Stop the Violence, an adult summer basketball league in Johnstown that is designed to fight crime, held its championship game Friday night at the Prospect Community Center.
About 80 residents lined the sides of the courts and sat under a pavilion to watch the team from Prospect take on Winner’s Circle. Winner’s Circle won, 81-62.
- Tribune Treasure!
Festival will serve music with ribs, wings
Ribs, wings and music will combine for a tasty weekend.
The fifth annual Rib & Wing Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, 777 Waterwheel Drive, Seven Springs.
- Local briefs 7/26/2014
Theater interest develops into sideline in puppetry
At 36, Ryan Skiles of Ebensburg is the oldest graduate student in his class, but he doesn’t want this opportunity to pass him by. A music teacher at Cambria Heights High School until three or four years ago, Skiles is working on getting his MFA in acting and directing, with a side order of puppet making.
Man charged with running down fire official at accident scene
A Mineral Point man has been charged with running down a fire police official at Monday’s fatal crash scene on William Avenue in Jackson Township.
- More Local News Headlines
- Windber lab rededicated in memory of scientist