Tonawanda News —
Am I angry? Can’t you tell? I graduated from Ascension as we lived in North Tonawanda. Our children attended St. Francis because we lived in the city. Bussing was not even considered nor necessary.
This is a senseless and poorly thought out plan. Shame on the diocese, Bishop Malone, Sister Cimino, superintendent of Catholic schools, and Carol Kostyniak, secretary for Catholic education, for this unbelievable and totally wrong decision.
Many of the children at St. Francis just went through this agonizing decision just three years ago when NT Catholic closed. Now these children will be forced to move again, start over, become acclimated to a new place, once again feeling like outsiders.
I challenge Sister Cimino and Ms. Kostyniak to show me another Catholic school in the diocese that has such a committed pastor, who likes the school, makes daily class visits, teaches the 24 eighth-graders a religion class and plans game nights for the middle school students at the rectory. He knows every student by name and they all know and love him.
St. Francis School also has a building that can house 200 more students because of the adjacent Broad Street school.
As an aside, one of the Pre-K mothers called St. Christopher’s School about its preschool and was told the school is full and has a waiting list. So, too bad for that St. Francis mother.
And please, don’t give me that “demographic” and “data-driven” excuse, not when every school district that adjoins the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda is able to bus children to St. Francis.
* Don Swartz emailed (in part): “The survey (of parishioners and school personnel) was written in such a way as to illicit the exact responses (the diocese) was looking for. ... Why not make these surveys available so we can view the results ourselves?