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Eastside Catholic flip-flops on faculty changes, interim president, 2 board members out

Eastside Catholic School makes a major flip-flop after several faculty members resigned because of a staff shakeup. (KOMO NEWS)

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Eastside Catholic School makes a major flip-flop after several faculty members resigned because of a staff shakeup.

Everyone who was out has been invited back and the school's interim president and two board members are now off the job.

When two administrators were abruptly gone from Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish earlier this month -- the community not only responded -- teachers resigned and parents took to the internet.

A teacher posted on Facebook that she resigned at Eastside Catholic because she could no longer support the school's leadership.

One person fired off an online petition with more details.

It urged the school’s leadership to reinstate two principals; it called for the return of Eastside Catholic High School's principal and the principal from the middle school.

It connected those firings to two members of the school’s Board of Trustees and the school's interim president Father William Heric. The petition urged school leadership to give all three the boot.

More than 420 people signed the petition, and many supported its demands.

One person wrote, "Rethink this disastrous decision."

But not everyone disagreed with the board, some comments were supportive of the changes including this one that called the petition a 'joke' and said in part, "Eastside Catholic is a school that will not let parents bully the school into their requests."

Late Friday afternoon, Eastside Catholic announced a change of heart and reversed its August 2 decision. It asked the two administrator' to come back and rejoin them for the start of the school year.

It also asked faculty who quit in protest to come back too.

"We are working to restore our school's previous administrative structure."

The school said those two board members have stepped down and its now in the process of hiring a new interim president.

No confirmation yet if those ousted staffers or teachers who resigned in protest plan to return to Eastside Catholic.

Four parents who talked with KOMO said they were glad to see the school's reversal and anxious to get back to normal.

"We're happy to see things are working out, I have not read the entire email, but it looks like good news," said Christina, a parent with two students who attend Eastside Catholic. The school confirmed it sent all the details of today's announced changes to parents via email on Thursday.

In the end, Eastside Catholic said its decision came down to the community and faculty.

"The community has spoken," said Karen Hatch, Marketing and Communication's Director at Eastside Catholic.

She said after feedback from a Town Hall on Wednesday with the community and faculty, the school decided Thursday to reverse its decision calling the changes and their timing a mistake.

The school added those initial administrative changes were intended to support the board's vision for the school's future, but adds the timing was poorly chosen, because it happened just a few weeks before school.

On Friday, Eastside Catholic said it will postpone the start of school by a week.

Classes will now start August 30.

The school said it is working to hire a new interim president and that Father Heric will stay on as the school's chaplain.

KOMO checked in with the Archdiocese of Seattle and a spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment since Eastside Catholic is owned and operated by the Board of Trustees.

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