Recently, the headmaster of St. Michael Academy in Petoskey filed a lawsuit in Emmet County Circuit Court on the school’s behalf against the members of the academy’s board of directors. The diocese is taking no position on the pending litigation and will leave it to the Court to resolve the issues raised by the parties.
To clarify the relationship between the diocese and St. Michael Academy, in 2013, a small group of parents in the Petoskey area decided to establish an independent Catholic high school in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area. Bishop Bernard Hebda was supportive of the parents’ efforts. According to the school’s bylaws, the diocese’s Superintendent of Schools was given an ex officio position as a member of the school’s board, without any voting rights.
In 2014, the diocese provided a small loan and briefly provided some accounting services to the school, but otherwise has not been involved in the school’s operations. For unknown reasons, in 2016, the academy amended its bylaws and eliminated all ex officio board member positions.
St. Michael Academy is, and has always been, an independent school that is not controlled or operated by the Diocese of Gaylord.