St. Saviour

Principal Flanagan Addresses Parents & Parishioners

In 1 on June 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm


St. Saviour School
June 17, 2009,
Dear Parents,
As most of you are aware, Fr. Murphy has refused to renew my contract for next year. I am constrained from providing detailed information on this issue, as this matter is in mediation. With the school year coming to a close, however, I wanted to thank you for your support & provide you some information about the situation.
Fr. Murphy’s informing me on April 3, 2009 that he would not be renewing my contract came as a complete shock. Last April he told me that we had had the best year yet working together. My contract required five formal meetings to discuss my performance and major school issues. No meetings occurred. This is why when I appealed the non-renewal, the Office of the Superintendent ruled in my favor. The ruling in my favor, however, did not overturn Father’s decision. This is why on May 13, 2009 I requested Diocesan mediation.
Fr. Murphy has stated that I am not the type of principal who can implement the changes called for in the Preserving the Vision Process. In its review of the four schools of our cluster, the Preserving the Vision Committee commended St. Saviour for its strength and urged it to keep growing stronger.
I have taken part extensively in the meetings of the Park Slope Advisory Board for the four schools of our cluster. The Board developed the marketing campaign for the cluster that resulted in ads for our schools on the sides of 15 Park Slope buses.
Over the last several years, I have instituted the program where several of our eighth grade students study French I at St. Saviour High School; worked with the Friends of St. Saviour to guide the library renovation (which begins Monday, June 22nd); hosted two very successful Art Fairs and several seasonal concerts; restarted the concept of a Science Fair & oversaw the installation & implementation of Smart Board technology & LCD/Laptop instruction. Not bad for a person supposedly opposed to change.
Father Murphy’s major criticism of me concerns Tuition. He wanted at one point to charge the actual per pupil cost as tuition. This would have meant families of two would be paying $10,000 in tuition next year. I stressed to Fr. Murphy and the School Finance Committee that such an approach would seriously hurt our enrollment. Ultimately the Tuition was raised $300 per child. Through fundraising & donations, we were able to raise sufficient funds to bridge the gap between actual tuition & per pupil cost without financial assistance from the parish. Father Murphy considered my advocacy on behalf of the school as my being insubordinate.
Your phenomenal support has kept me going during this very difficult time. I have been truly blessed to have served as principal at St. Saviour’s for 25 years. I look forward to returning as your principal in September. I thank God for you and your wonderful children & our faculty.

Jim Flanagan

  1. Great letter, Jim Flanagan! It has spread even more light on the seriousness of this situation with Fr. Murphy. Your letter has enerigized us even more to fight the fight.

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