by Pete Mazzaccaro
In January, faculty, staff and students at Our Mother of Consolation Church were told by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that they’d have to merge with Holy Cross in Mt. Airy. A blue-ribbon panel that had reviewed all of the Archdiocesan schools had recommended that the local schools merge under a new name at OMC’s site.
Both Father Bob Bazzoli of OMC and Father James Cox of Holy Cross vowed appeals.
Late last week both received the good news. Their parish schools were granted the appeals. They would remain open and independent.
“The success of our appeal was a team effort, which reflected the reality of our growth as a school over the past five years,” said Bazzoli in a letter to parishioners and student families. “From researching to praying, the members of our school and our parish community came together in support of our Parish School.”
Bazzoli thanked an “appeals team” that included Peter and Coleen Amuso, Amy Giddings, Mia and John Grogan, Mike Jones, Mark Jakubik, Eileen and Chris Kallmeyer, Suzanne Laurito and principal Bruce Hagy.
“We wowed them!” Bazzoli wrote. “Our research was top-notch, our facts irrefutable, our plans realistic, our goals obtainable.”
The Blue Ribbon Commission’s restructuring plan originally called for the consolidation of OMC and Holy Cross into a single school. According to figures in the commission’s report, Holy Cross’ enrollment is currently 145 students and OMC’s is 179. The report called for a new school with a target enrollment of 330 students.
The new school would have required teachers to reapply for their jobs, and the name of the new school would have been decided by a transition group composed of officials at both schools.