Eastside Catholic High School students display signs during a rally in support of the school's former vice principal, Mark Zmuda, outside the Archdiocese of Seattle chancery building Dec. 20. (CNS photo/David Ryder, Reuters)
After a month of protests
from students, parents, and alumni over the firing of an administrator who married
his male partner last summer, the president of a Seattle-area Catholic high
school has resigned.
Sister Mary Tracy, a member of the Sisters of the Holy
Names of Jesus and Mary, submitted her resignation to the board of Eastside
Catholic School earlier this week. Her school became embroiled in controversy
after the departure of Vice President Mark Zmuda in December; Zmuda, who
married a man before the start of the Fall 2013 semester, was let go because
entering into the same-sex marriage violated the terms of his contract with the
the Seattle Times:
Mary came to this decision after much prayer and reflection,” said a statement
emailed Tuesday to the Eastside Catholic community. “For Sister Mary it was a
difficult but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to
ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is on a positive path forward.”
school says it plans to start a search for Tracy’s replacement right away and
that Principal Polly Skinner and interim Vice Principal Tom Lord will lead the
school in the interim.
did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
co-chairmen of Eastside’s board were not immediately available for comment.
63, had more than 30 years of leadership experience with the Seattle
Archdiocese and at area Catholic schools before 2010, when she joined Eastside
as president and CEO.
dismissal of Zmuda triggered a sit-in protest by Eastside students that spread
to another local Catholic school, led to rallies in front of the Seattle
Archdiocese’s offices and launched a global campaign whose supporters hope to
nudge the school and the church on issues of sexuality.
past month, Eastside has been criticized for the lack of clarity on the Zmuda
decision, with its attorney insisting the vice principal resigned, while Tracy
said he was terminated.
On-going protests from students and alumni have
kept Eastside Catholic in the news the last several weeks, as has the school’s
renew the contract
of a music coach who recently announced her engagement
to her girlfriend. Stephanie Merrow said that her contract was renewedand that
she even received a small raisewithout any stipulations regarding Church
teaching, apparently because she is an independent contractor and not subject
to the same employment requirements as regular employees.