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DIOCESAN SCHOOLS St. Brendan's in final year



Published: Sat, February 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The diocese says an official announcement will be released Monday.

YOUNGSTOWN -- St. Brendan's School, a center for Catholic education on the city's West Side for 80 years, will close at the end of the school year, pupils and teachers were told Friday.

Jeff Shaughnessy, whose two children attend the school, said the Rev. James Daprile visited classrooms Friday morning, telling pupils the news.

Rumors of the closing started circulating about four months ago after a parish council meeting, Shaughnessy said. He said he tried to get the priest to schedule a meeting with parents to either confirm or dispel those fears, but that never happened.

Nancy Yuhasz, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Youngstown, said the diocese plans an announcement Monday, believing that parishioners need to be the first to hear news of school closings.

Father Daprile couldn't be reached to comment.

Shaughnessy, who is the school's seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball coach, said 119 pupils in kindergarten through eighth grade attend the school. Enrollment has dwindled in recent years.

His children, John, 12, a sixth-grader, and Maggie, 10, who's in fourth grade, are "terribly upset," he said.

Shaughnessy says he's not sure where he'll send his kids to school next year, but many parents have talked about Immaculate Heart of Mary in Austintown.

"It's just devastating," he said. "There's great tradition at that school."

He said he wanted to organize a fund-raiser to help the school stay open but said alumni weren't given that opportunity.

"This was handled poorly," he said.




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