School must be a blessing

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

After 40 years spent creating a legacy among Shelby County private schools, Shelby Academy closed before the fall semester in 2009, citing financial troubles.

It’s been more than a year since then, and despite attempts to reopen the school, the doors remain shut. Currently, Evangel rents Shelby Academy’s athletic facilities, but the school itself remains vacant.

The school’s closing came as a shock to the Shelby County community, and especially to those who worked there. According to Jacqueline Curtis, a former Shelby Academy teacher, the educators had already signed contracts for the 2009-2010 school year.

Obviously, those contracts went unfulfilled. Even worse, though, Curtis — along with other Shelby Academy teachers — remain unpaid for their work during the last three months of teaching in the 2008-2009 school year.

Perhaps it’s time for the remaining members of Shelby Academy’s board of trustees to admit that Shelby Academy will not reopen anytime soon — if ever — and find a way to honor their debts by paying the teachers. In our view, the simplest way to do so would likely be selling the building.

Those teachers, many of whom likely had a hard time finding other positions, deserve that money. For them, it would be a blessing, maybe a way to pay off their bills or start building a nest egg.

We urge Shelby Academy’s trustees to vote to sell the school and be that blessing. Shelby Academy’s true legacy will live on through such a noble act.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.