MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – There is not many schools with as rich a history in Mobile as Heart of Mary Catholic School.
“This is a school that educated African American children when there were no other schools of its kind and ability in the city,” said Heart of Mary Alum and Board member Karlos Finley.
The Kindergarten through 8th grade school has been teaching Southern Alabama children, but all of that was set to end. That is until this week. The Archdiocese of Mobile announcing the school will keep teaching, thanks to a GoFundMe that raised more than $450,000 and counting.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, a 12, we are elated by the fact that our school is going to remain open,” Finley said.
Finley is a proud Heart of Mary alumni. He is also a board member and prominent lawyer in Mobile who owes a lot of his success to the halls of Heart of Mary.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to give something back to an institution that has given that has given me things that have been the foundation of my livelihood,” he said.
The school was in danger of closing because of dropping enrollment and costs. This year there are only about 75 students enrolled. Moving forward the school will separate from the diocese and a new governing board will be formed.
“This is an effort for not just next year, but for long-term sustainability and hopes of another 121 years,” Finley said.
After the announcement that the school was staying open, phones have been ringing off the hook and the school already expects enrollment to increase.
The statement from the Archdiocese of Mobile as follows:
“After thoughtful conversation among all responsible parties, with support of the Archdiocese of Mobile, some national and local Heart of Mary School alumni have offered to take responsibility for the continued existence of Heart of Mary Catholic School in Mobile, Alabama. A new corporation and a new governing board are in the process of being formed independent of the Archdiocese of Mobile. This new board will take responsibility for the continued operation and administration of the school.
“The continuation of Heart of Mary has been made possible through the recent efforts and prayers of national and local alumni, as well as significant corporate and individual supporters who have pledged to provide a continuing financial foundation for the school. Additionally, new requests from parents to send their children to Heart of Mary point to increased enrollment.”
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