Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update on Sister Elaine Poitras

A West Virginia newspaper is reporting on Catholic Schools Week activities taking place in its area.

Sister Elaine Poitras

This will be the first Catholic Schools Week in West Virginia for Sister Elaine Poitras, CSC, Ph.D., who was appointed superintendent in July. However, she has worked in or with Catholic schools since 1970, and she said she always looks forward to the celebration of Catholic Schools Week.

"I think it's important for people to remember that this is a national event," Poitras said. "It's typically a combination of prayer, spiritual experience, expositions in academics and the arts, and the fun of being family and a community."

Along with celebrating a special Mass and conducting open houses, many schools have incorporated service projects into the week's programs. beneficiaries range from local charities to schools and clinics in El Salvador.

"The Gospel itself calls us to be very attentive and take care of others," she said. "The service we do is grounded in discipleship and is really an ordinary and expected activity of the Catholic school community."

Sister Elaine was the Superintendent of the Monroe County Catholic School System up until just over one year ago. According to a January 6, 2008 D&C story she resigned "for personal reasons" a few days before Bishop Clark accepted the recommendation of his task force of "experts" to close 13 of our 24 Monroe County Catholic schools.

Sister Elaine seems to have been one of the few members of that hand-picked committee who truly understood the importance of Catholic education to the future of the diocese and thus did not view it in the strictly dollar-and-cents terms that was so apparent in the majority's recommendation to the bishop.

Sister Elaine generally had "no comment" when asked about the school closings. However, in a January 21, 2008 report Channel 10's Nikki Rudd quoted her as saying,

I don't think anybody should underestimate the magnitude of this decision.


Anonymous said...

I think resignation was the only statement she could make last year, under the circumstances.
I hope she has the support she needs in her new job to be more successful than she was here. I wouldn't want this to happen to more children.
I still cannot help but place some of the blame for our current situation on her, though, since she was the superintendent and she didn't see what a disaster that fair-share tuition plan was. She also ignored Noelle D'Amico and others who saw the coming disaster and offered to help.

Mike said...


I believe you are correct about Sr. Poitras ignoring offers of help, but wasn't it her predecessor, Sr. Elizabeth Meegan, who came up with that disastrous tuition plan?

Sr. Meegan was superintendent from 2001 through mid-2006 and that new plan went into effect for, I believe, the 2004-05 school year.

I do know that tuition skyrocketed some 40% while enrollment plummeted over 25% during her 5 years, which has to make her just about one of the worst Catholic schools superintendents in the history of the entire country.

How she ever got another job beats me.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

You have to remember that Bishop Matthew Clark runs the Diocese of Rochester with an iron fist. He makes the first and last decision.

Bishop Clark does not believe in Catholic schools and it is his intention to close them all. He has closed 50 schools in the last 29 years.

Shame on Bishop Clark for hurting so many children with the school closings. His sister and family must be proud of him.