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Group forms hoping to save Clay High from closure plans

Clay High School, South Bend

A group of Clay and German township residents aren’t ready to give up on saving Clay High School.

They’ve formed Save Clay Inc. and held their first board meeting Sunday.

They have an uphill battle under the current South Bend school board, which last month voted 4-3 to close the school after next school year. It’s an effort to right-size the district after years of declining enrollment.

But if they can back a candidate who can win one of two school board seats up for election in November 2024 – seats now held by John Anella and Leslie Wesley, both of whom voted to close Clay -- they could have some options, says their spokesman, attorney Pete Agostino.

Yet another possibility involves petitioning the Indiana Board of Education to let Clay split off from the corporation and form its own school district, Agostino says, but he notes he need to do more research on that one.

“By continuing to fight I think we can accomplish a change in the school board and also hope to influence some legislation that can make it easier for townships that are being ignored or misplaced to form their own corporation districts,” Agostino said.

Also attending Sunday were the three school board members who voted against closing Clay, Mark Costello, Jeanette McCullough and Stuart Greene.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An audio version of this story incorrectly stated that John Anella and Leslie Wesley voted against closing Clay High School, when in fact they voted to close it. WVPE regrets the error.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).