eastsidecathlic_large.jpg
According to parents who were in attendance, the school's board of trustees stressed that Mark Zmuda, who was fired after marrying another man, will not get his job back despite protests from students and a petition with 20,000 signatures submitted to the Catholic Church on his behalf. (KIRO Radio Photo/File)

Eastside Catholic School will not rehire gay vice principal

Hundreds of parents gathered inside the gymnasium at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish Thursday evening to ask questions about the firing of a gay vice principal.

The parent-only meeting was closed to the press.

According to parents who were in attendance, the school's board of trustees stressed that Mark Zmuda, who was fired after marrying another man, will not get his job back despite protests from students and a petition with 20,000 signatures submitted to the Catholic Church on his behalf.

The school released a short statement following the meeting.

Tonight at a parent and faculty meeting, the Eastside Catholic Board of Trustees reaffirmed that the school will not be rehiring Mark Zmuda. The Board stated that Mr. Zmuda has acknowledged he was aware of Catholic doctrine and further knew he was not in full compliance with his employment agreement.

At tonight's parent and faculty meeting, the Board reiterated that the school is focused on a positive path forward guided by its three touchstones of Academic Excellence, Relationships and Servant Leadership. Eastside Catholic will remain a Catholic school and will support the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The meeting came just a few days after the school's president, Sister Mary Tracy, resigned amid backlash for her role in Zmuda's termination.

"Sister Mary came to this decision after much prayer and reflection. 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 moving forward on a positive path," the school wrote in a statement earlier this week.

At least one parent who attended Thursday's meeting questioned the school's ability to move on.

"I'm concerned about the search for a new head of school," said the parent, who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because she believed her comments could negatively impact her children. "What person would take this job? If the criteria is that you have to deny a man a livelihood because he marries the person he loves, I would question anyone who would be willing to work in such an institution."

The parent said that her children will not attend Eastside Catholic next year, and that she plans to take the $17,000 in annual tuition she pays per child elsewhere.

"They have to apply to other schools," she said. "We have to figure some things out."


Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
Top Stories

  • Threat: 10-30-14
    Extra police are on duty & students stay home over an Auburn high school shooting threat

  • Hot Seats
    With Seahawks home games 'sold out' the ticket price of this seat doesn't seem so bad

  • Winter Worries
    The massive Oso landslide poses new flood threat as winter approaches
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.