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Charleston Catholic Honors Legacy Of Retiring Principal
By Kera Mashek
June 4, 2014


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) Classes just let out at Charleston Catholic High School for summer, and with that, comes the end of an era. Long-time principal Debra Sullivan is retiring after 28 years.

At Debra Sullivan's retirement celebration, it was easy to see how many people this long-serving educator has impacted, but nearly 30 years ago, it didn't seem like she'd even take the principal job.

"I had to ask her twice! So I twisterd her arm and she came the second time," said school president and Sacred Heart rector Msgr. P. Edward Said.

Eyewitness News asked, "So 28 years later, are you proud of your decision?"

"I've been proud of my decision all 28 years. I've been extremely please with her leadership. She's gone beyond the call of duty," said Sadie.

Zach Bogan is a Charleston Catholic alum. He says Sullivan always made a point to care for every student, and that's a big reason he came back to work as a coach at the school.

"It's like a second family really, and you know, you can't say enough about her. She knew everything about every student--the good and bad--and she was always there and did a lot for me. She's just one of the best people that I know," said Bogan.

Colleen Hoyer feels privileged that sullivan took her under her wing, preparing her to be principal at Charleston Catholic next year. She aslo credits Sullivan with helping to build up the school with new athletic facilities and always pushing for the best in curriculum and technology for students and teachers.

"She has built a remarkable program here with academics and athletics, and faith formation in just helping kids be the best they can be, and that's what we do at Charleston Catholic and what we will continue to do here," Hoyer said.

Sullivan says she's humbled and ready for whatever retirement holds, but she's not done leaving her mark at this school. Instead of accepting going away gifts, she asked for donations to a scholarship she's creating to help future students afford a Catholic education.

"I believe that attending this school can be transformative, and the more children who have that opporuntity, I think the better off, not only Charleston will be and West Virginia, but our world," Sullivan said.

So even though students and staff will miss her dearly, it's clear the gift of Debra Sullivan's leadership will continue for many years to come.

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