TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

August 2, 2013

St. Camillus closed when officials closed their minds and hearts


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — Regarding Mr. Noble’s news story on St. Camillus closing. Again.

Thank you.

Anytime, anywhere, especially in Kentucky, a school closing is tragic news.

May I tender a bit of perspective to the community?

St. Camillus closing is a matter of which date one chooses.

St. Camillus Academy closed 17 years ago. 1996.

It closed in 2004 also when, amazingly, local officials allowed a Corbin landmark since 1914, to be demolished.

But St. Camillus Academy also closed in 1992 because of inept management stirred together with a spate of greed.

During this time, those in charge at St Camillus, while insisting publically the school would not be closed, demanded the Alumni Association turn over monies the Association had accumulated over more than seven decades. That demand was rejected and relations between SCA and its Alumni Association, a bastion of hope and harmony, became icy.

Seldom mentioned: From early 1990s to as recently as five years ago, SCAAA funded  scholarships for local youngsters (chosen by the Sisters) to attend SCA.

All the way to the time of Mr. Noble’s story, the Alumni Association has been portrayed (wrongly) as “not a partner” instead of part of a solution to save the school.

As events have unfolded, the Alumni Association is the only solid citizen still standing in this yo-yo story. Having shown a collective willingness to help, to be involved and do all things possible to save the old school, those who made decisions to revive/save the school failed dismally to involve and consult with those who loved and cared most about the school’s welfare that dated back decades before the current SCA revivalists have lived.

So, for the record, St. Camillus Academy closed long before Mr. Noble’s story in the Times-Tribune. It closed when those who ran the place (into the ground?) in the 1980s and 1990s collectively closed their minds and hearts and demonstrated no sense of vision.

Bob Watkins

SCA Alumni Association President, 1991-1992