Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Holy Angels Academy says it will move forward with plans to close the school at the end of next month. The board of trustees rejected a proposal to save the school.
"It's clear they put a lot of effort, enthusiasm and hard work," says Board of Trustees member Maureen Maguire. "Unfortunately, we did not believe we had the specifics or assurances to change course right now." Maguire says there were potential donors, but no specifics in terms of names or checks for the board or the Grey Nuns to feel confident enough to stay open.
The school says it will help students graduate and transition them to new schools. Juniors interested in being Holy Angels graduates would be able to do so through one of four programs. "One is Apex, an online opportunity, a second is a summer school program we would run, a third would be homeschooling, and a fourth would be a program from UB," says Maguire.
The news hit hard for a father of four daughters, all of whom attended Holy Angels. "It's a sad day," says Mike Hoodmaker, part of the Save Holy Angels Academy Committee. "A 152 year tradition doesn't go away easily, but it happens and we move forward."
Hoodmaker says the board of trustees told him the proposal was not viable short term. "They read the proposal thoroughly, so we accept the decision and we thank them for listening to our proposal."
Hoodmaker says raising the money proposed would have been difficult, but not impossible. "It would have taken a lot of hard work, but we had parents, friends, alumnae, even students doing what was necessary. Could we have done it? Unfortunately we'll never know, but I wouldn't rule it out," says Hoodmaker.
Hoodmaker has a sophomore daughter who will be looking for a new Catholic school to attend. "We're all in the process for a new school. The sister schools in the area have been gracious and inviting and it's going to be a tough decision for all of us because they are very good schools. But we have to weigh what's best for our daughters and move from there," notes Hoodmaker.