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Billings Catholic Schools look to replace retired president

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Posted at 8:53 AM, Feb 12, 2022

The Billings Catholic school system called a special meeting Friday to discuss the hiring of new president.

This happened after some teachers raised some concern about a lack of leadership.

But the diocese says there has been no break in leadership and a president has been in place leading the way up until the end of January.

In a letter, 21 teachers stated they want answers or an explanation of the plan.

The superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Angel Turoski, said the board talked about the transition at the meeting.

Since this is a private school system, the meeting was not open to the general public or the media.

The superintendent said Shaun Harrington has served as president for six and a half years and retired Jan. 31.

And a search last year did not result in hiring a replacement.

"Billings Catholic schools has an amazing tradition of excellence," said Levi Osborne, a teacher at Billings Central Catholic High School. "And as teachers we're very protective of that."

Osborne teaches business and technology and said the letter is about supporting Central's principal for the job and also that there is no one currently in the position.

"I think it's a little bit of both," Osborne said. "The letter that the teachers signed is mainly in support of (Principal) Shel Hanser, that says that we really believe in this person and that he has been an important part of our community here at Billings Central. Teachers have also sent individual letters, that are more worried about the process that's gone through."

After this story was originally reported, some teachers reached out to MTN News to say they do not agree with Osborne.

Turoski said she can not discuss candidates and the position has been open for less than two weeks.

Osborne talked about what he wanted to tell the board.

"My message to the board is that I would love for them to fulfill their duty to name a president that's qualified that comes from the Catholic schools," Osborne said. "And that can lead us into a whole new era of excellence within the Billings Catholic schools."

Turoski says a transition is in place and an agency is handling the hiring of the president.