Friday, November 13, 2009

Former students try to save Stella Maris

From the Queens Courier:

Stella Maris graduates are banding together in a last-ditch effort to save their school.

The alums have started a foundation aimed at keeping the 66-year-old all-girls Catholic school open and are considering several plans – including letting boys enroll.

“We were told it’s over,” said Theresa McCann, class of 1973, during a meeting on Saturday, November 7 at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. “My feeling is it’s not over until it's over.”

McCann is spearheading “Operation Save the Flipper,” named for the Rockaway Park school’s mascot. The grads plan to raise funds and network with philanthropic organizations, and have been in talks with educators and CEOs to develop a business plan for the school. McCann said she contacted the Sisters of St. Joseph, who own and operate Stella Maris, with a list of proposals to keep the school open.

The Sisters recently revealed the school has a $2.5 million deficit and will close in August. The news stunned parents, students and alums who say they were not forewarned of the financial problems.

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