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Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Christian Brothers Oust Damien School President--Dispute Over Child Molestation Settlements
By News Release @ 2:00 AM :: 8833 Views :: Education K-12, Religion

Source: Fired Damien leaders were disputing money for sex assault lawsuits

HNN Jan 8, 2019: … The Christian Brothers Order fired former President Wes Porter last Thursday, along with 2 volunteer leaders.

Sources tell Hawaii News Now the three were fired after they resisted a request from the Christian Brothers to set aside over a million dollars in potential costs for sex assault lawsuits from the past.

A spokesman for the order disputes that report, says that sex assault settlements had nothing to do with the firings. The school leaders, the spokesperson says, were terminated after they openly considered separating the school from the Christian Brothers control….

read … Source: Fired Damien leaders were disputing money for sex assault lawsuits

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Damien Memorial School President Porter is Out; Christian Brother Brian Walsh Named New President

News Release from Damien Memorial School January 3, 2019

OAHU, HONOLULU – The Members of Damien Memorial School have announced the appointment of Bro. Brian M. Walsh, CFC, to serve as the school’s new president, effective immediately.  Bro. Walsh is a career educator with extraordinary administrative experience in a variety of roles spanning more than five decades.  

In making Bro. Walsh available to serve in this new capacity, Bro. Kevin M. Griffith, CFC, Province Leader of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America, said,  “Bro. Walsh has a long and distinguished legacy in protecting and safeguarding the Catholic identity of our Edmund Rice Christian Brother schools, as well as of ensuring that the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education are at the forefront of the school’s teachings.”          

With the announcement of Bro. Walsh’s arrival at Damien Memorial, the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, who are responsible for ensuring the Catholic identity of Damien Memorial School, thank Mr. Wes Porter for his two and a half years of service as the school’s president.  

In making this announcement, Bro. Raymond J. Vercruysse, CFC, Chairman of the Members, said, “The Members of the Corporation thank Mr. Porter for his service as president at Damien. We wish him well as he moves on from this role, and we wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

In recent months, it had become apparent to the Brothers that Mr. Porter’s style of leadership at Damien Memorial was in direct conflict with the school’s mission as an Edmund Rice Christian Brother school.  Thus, it was the sole decision of the Members of the Corporation of Damien Memorial, the legal entity that owns the school, to move in a new direction.  

In addition to Mr. Porter’s departure, it was also announced that changes have been made in the school’s governance model, whereby the Members of the Corporation have dissolved Damien Memorial’s Sponsor Council and removed the chairman of the school’s Board of Directors.  These measures have been taken following an unsolicited and inexplicable move by the Board chairman to separate Damien Memorial from the governance of the Christian Brothers.  

“Consequently, changes have been made to the administrative and governance structure at Damien Memorial. When confronted with ultimatums by some at the school, it became apparent to the Christian Brothers that change was needed, Thus, we have taken the difficult, but resolute position to move in a new direction,” said Bro. Vercruysse.   

Bro. Griffith added, “I am confident that Bro. Walsh, as Damien’s new president, will work tirelessly with the entire school community to ensure that the students at Damien Memorial will receive a faith-based education that espouses to the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education.” 

In taking on his new role as President at Damien Memorial, Bro. Walsh said, “I look forward to implementing a strategic plan for the school that is guided by the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education. Families can be assured that at Damien their sons and daughters will learn in a safe, academically nurturing environment that is rooted in Catholic identity, demands excellence in the classroom, fosters solidarity with the marginalized, and celebrates the dignity of each person.”  

Bro. Walsh continued, “In this highly competitive and complex world, an Edmund Rice Christian Brother education is rooted in Gospel values that not only prepare students for success in their professional pursuits, but that also helps them to develop into compassionate, high character individuals and productive citizens with a commitment to care and advocacy for the marginalized, and service to Church, community and country.”

“I look forward to working with the entire school community in continuing Damien Memorial’s more than five decades of success in graduating students whose minds and hearts have positively impacted society,” added Bro. Walsh, whose administrative roles have included, among others, principal, president, superintendent of schools, deputy province leader, and province leader.

To ensure a smooth transition, Bro. Walsh plans to meet with the school’s principal, Dr. Kyle J. Atabay, before classes resume next week for the start of a new school semester. Letters to faculty, staff and parents were distributed today introducing Bro. Walsh to the Damien Memorial community. Bro. Walsh will meet with faculty and staff for the first time on January 7, 2019 at an already scheduled faculty in-service day.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu, the Most Reverend Clarence R. Silva, was informed of these changes by Bro. Griffith prior to their implementation.


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