By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
EAST FLATBUSH — A Brooklyn Catholic school that was teetering on the brink of closing has been saved by the efforts of students, parents and teachers who raised $200,000 through bake sales and walkathons, and a loan of $500,000 from a generous benefactor.
The Board of Trustees at Nazareth Regional High School in East Flatbush said six weeks ago that that the school— in debt and with a declining enrollment — would be required to enroll at least 80 freshmen students, develop a business plan and raise $700,000 by April 15 to prevent closure.
On Wednesday the school announced that it had met these goals, and supporters rejoiced. One mom wrote on a website set up to coordinate the rescue effort, “Proud of my son and his fellow student body and alumni at Nazareth Regional High School! They successfully came together and saved their school!”
The entire school has spent the last six weeks raising $200,000 through bake sales, walkathons and T-shirt sales. Benefactor Sharon Patrick, an aunt of one of the teachers at Nazareth, donated thousands and loaned the school $500,000.
Nazareth is known for its championship basketball team and superior academics, with a 98 percent graduation rate.
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) said in a statement, "I am thrilled that Nazareth Regional High School has been saved and will remain a fixture in East Flatbush. As its representative in the City Council, I have been very invested in the fight to keep Nazareth open for its students and the public, which has long utilized the school as a community center. For the many who thought its closure was ensured, this is proof positive of the power people possess when they band together and are committed to the right cause."
Williams thanked the students, parents, teachers and alumni “who never gave up on the campaign to save Nazareth.” He also thanked Sharon Patrick as well as Prinicipal Providencia Quiles, “who has led this crusade and, working with the board of trustees, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Xaverian Brothers, has come up with a sustainable plan to manage Nazareth's infrastructure, enrollment and finances into the near future.”