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Spellman and Hayes high schools go indie

Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal Hayes high schools will be beginning with a fresh start in September 2009 as they become independent of the Archdiocese of New York.

After months of planning and discussion, it has been decided that the two schools, and a total of 10 throughout the state, will be developing their own board of directors to control primary operations of the school.

“The school will make its own tuition, pay is own bills, hire its own teachers under a new contract, and things like that,” said principal Neil McCarthy, of Cardinal Spellman, located One Cardinal Spellman Place. “The president and principal of the school will requests people from the community and alumni to be on the new board.”

According to Father Joseph Tierney, 5th year president of Hayes, located 650 Grand Concourse, the Archdiocese will continue to own the school grounds and create guidelines for the school to follow, making sure this new system will continue to encourage the schools’ great traditions.

“The history has been the Archdiocese has been overall controlling the schools, and their decision to let us go independent will change nothing in terms of education for the students,” said Tierney. “What will change is the governance of each school. In my mind that opens the door to a whole bunch of possibilities we didn’t have before.”

As for the student body’s, both schools’ administrators are confident the independence will only make things better. The curriculum and extracurricular activities will remain the same, if not improve, under the new board that will be able to cater to the individual needs of each school.

“It is anticipated that there will be no dramatic change in the tuition or what the school is meant for,” said McCarthy. “We feel here at Spellman that this is a very positive thing and that we can move forward with the support of the Archdiocese.”

Both schools have very active alumni, and already have people interested helping the schools in the new direction.

“The Archdiocese will provide a timeline and guideline so we can have this up and in place by September,” said Tierney. “It’s a big endeavor and they want to make sure everyone is going to have the support they need and that the proper channels are being followed.”

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