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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Nazareth to stay open

By Matt Ehalt

Nazareth Regional High School will announce at a 6 p.m. press conference on Wednesday night that the school is staying open, according to girls basketball coach Ron Kelley. The board of trustees had voted in February to close the school because of declining enrollment and financial problems at the East Flatbush school.

"They're making the announcement that they're keeping the school open for the next five years," Kelley said. "And we're working to keep it open for the next 25 years."

For Nazareth to stay open, it needed to accomplish three things by April 15: enroll at least 80 freshman for next year's class, raise $700,000 to help pay off debts, and provide a sustainable plan to keep the school operating in the future. School principal Providencia Quiles, who could not comment about whether the school was going to remain open, had worked very hard to meet those goals by having fundraisers and others types of events to help save the school.

Nazareth won CHSAA State titles in both girls and boys basketball this season. The boys team won the Class B State title while the girls were the Class AA State champion. The girls team entered the season ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPNHS and had to deal with the death of head coach Apache Paschall, who died of heart failure in June.

"It's a big relief," Kelley said. "There is a God. I'm very happy. We're very happy with this principal. I think she works hard and we're very happy to be with this administration and we think everybody worked hard to save the school and we're very excited."