Board gets new member, and parents and students express support for Sci Academy during tough times

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The board of Collegiate Academies met briefly Wednesday night to review financial reports, accept the resignation of a board member, and hear from students and parents.

Board member Salmon Shomade submitted a letter of resignation to the board Wednesday morning, though he did not cite a reason. Board President Diana Lewis said they hope to replace him by June.

Former KIPP board member and newly appointed Collegiate Academies board member Stephen Rosenthal will serve out Shomade’s remaining time as vice chair.

Several students, former students, and a parent attended Wednesday night’s meeting to speak on behalf of the schools.

“I know there’s been a lot of negativity in the days that’s passed,” said Sci Academy parent Karen Harris, “I’m not always in agreement, but I have no problem talking to her teachers. I do appreciate how you care. You go above and beyond.”

She noted that her daughter has a 4.0 grade point average and has been accepted into several colleges across the country.

“Without Sci [Academy] I would still be skipping school at my old school, and would never have made the honor roll,” said one Sci Academy sophomore. “It gets strict sometimes…But you made me make my mom proud again.”

Board treasurer Doug Finegan reported that Collegiate Academies’ finances remain in the red until funding from the state catches up to current enrollment. The state counts students on Oct. 1 and Feb. 1, but does not update the per-pupil funding until later in the year. Finegan said he expects to see a surplus as soon as the update is made.

Finegan also reported that the initial $1 million grant from Oprah Winfrey has gained just over 8 percent* at Iberia Wealth Management.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story said the account was now worth $1.86 million. In fact, it’s worth $1.089 million. 

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