Tampa's Academy of Holy Names replaces trustees with nuns

TAMPA — The founders of the Academy of Holy Names dismissed the school's board of trustees Wednesday.

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, based in Oregon, has named an interim board that consists solely of nuns of the Roman Catholic religious order.

Among those ousted from the board for the 128-year-old Bayshore Boulevard school: academy graduate and Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita, former Tampa City Council member Bob Buckhorn, lawyer Scott McLaren and financial adviser Ray Ifert.

Ifert, a board member for the past year, said he was notified Wednesday by e-mail of the change and wasn't given a reason for the dismissal.

McLaren, a board member for four years, said he also was informed of his ouster by e-mail.

"It's obvious that the member board, which is made up of the Sisters of the Holy Names, decided to move in a different direction," he said. "Ultimately, it's all about the students."

The academy is currently searching for a president to replace Jacqueline Landry, who left at the end of this academic year to take a position at a private school in California after four years at the helm.

"We have a transition in leadership," said Sister Jo'Ann DeQuattro, a member of the leadership team for the sisters in the United States and Ontario and an interim board member. "We saw this as an opportunity to do some restructuring."

The former board members, she said, did nothing wrong.

The 800-student academy currently has a two-tiered board, with a national corporate board overseeing appointment of local trustees, who set policy and hire its president.

DeQuattro said new people from the Tampa community will be invited to serve on the board of trustees within the next year.

The focus should not be on the board but on the students, she said. The overriding concern is fulfilling the school's mission in developing students' spiritual, academic, personal, and physical growth.

Harry V. Purpur will begin as interim campus president on July 13. He previously led Catholic schools in Seattle and Orlando.

Tampa's Academy of Holy Names replaces trustees with nuns 07/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 7:45pm]

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