REPORT: Entire Preschool Teaching Staff Resigns, Blames Church

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The entire staff of a church-run preschool in northeastern Ohio resigned, alleging that the church council lacked fiscal transparency, News 5 Cleveland reported Friday.

Director Wendy Kosakowski, Assistant Director Heather Nail, Teacher Kerri Kobylka and aide Taylor Stempowski, all stepped down from their positions at the preschool at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Amherst, News 5 Cleveland reported. They had raised budget concerns with the church’s administrative council for years but alleged that the church gave no clear answers regarding the preschool’s finances.

The staff had spent nearly half a century in sum working at the preschool — Kosakowski and Nail had spent 18 years each, Kobylka nine years, and Stempowksi three.

Kosakowski told the outlet that several thousand dollars had accrued into the preschool account from many fundraisers organized each year.

“Each year to start your new year you got to know what your budget is,” Nail told the outlet. “And when you don’t have a clear number of what your numbers are, it’s very hard to start that year.”

During the Parent Teacher Organization meetings, the staff would ask how much was in the preschool slush fund, but the council allegedly “had no answer. They had no answer [of] where it is [and] what’s going on with it,” Nail alleged.

“We just decided we’re tired of fighting for really finding out what’s going on,” Kosakowski told outlet. (RELATED: Catholic Preschools Sue State Officials Over Law Barring Them From Funding Program)

The abrupt resignations left concerned parents and their kids in limbo.

“I mean it’s basically like they become your extended family,” said parent Joe Pieciak of the staff.

Joe and Jessica Pieciak’s daughter just finished her second year at the preschool.

“She’s definitely ready for kindergarten,” Jessica said of her daughter. “It’s because of these ladies.”

Both parents expressed disappointment at the rift between the church and staff, acknowledging that they had plans to send their youngest daughter to the same preschool.

“I think the main issue here is the transparency,” Jessica told the outlet. “We were fundraising for the preschool, not for the church.”

Another parent, Taylor Watson, one of whose sons had graduated from the preschool, withdrew her other son given the mass resignation and is working out where next to send him.

Kosakowski sympathized with the parents who were struggling to find another preschool as others were full. “I am truly sorry for how this year ended. This is not the way that we wanted it to end at all.”

“We held our head up high, and we just left with our integrity and our morals,” Kosakowski told News 5 Cleveland. “We gave our life to those four walls, and we appreciate everything.”

The church thanked the staff Thursday and announced that the preschool now had a “new administration” that was “looking forward to serving [parents] and [their] young children.”