School officials rally community in wake of Dickinson fire
With ashes on his head, ashes in one of his schools and an administrator behind bars, Dickinson Catholic Schools President Steve Glasser told students, parents and community members Wednesday at Queen of Peace Catholic Church that it’s time to move forward after Monday’s fire at Trinity High School.
Speaking at a forum after an Ash Wednesday Mass, Glasser and the Rev. Patrick Schumacher thanked community members for their support and spoke about the plan Dickinson Catholic Schools leadership has outlined in the wake of the fire.
Schumacher spoke about Trinity Principal Thomas J. Sander, who was charged Tuesday with arson and endangerment by fire.
Sander was charged by Dickinson Police Department officials after he was questioned about the fire. Both charges are Class B felonies.
On Wednesday morning, Judge Dann Greenwood ordered that Sander, 30, be held at the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center on a $500,000 cash bond.
Schumacher, chair of the Dickinson Catholic Schools board, said during the forum that Sander had already said he would not be returning next year. He did not indicate whether the school had declined to renew the first-year principal’s contract.
“On Feb. 10, Mr. Sander met with his staff to indicate to them that he was not returning next year,” Schumacher said.
Glasser said that beginning Monday and lasting until at least the end of the school year, Trinity students will attend classes at a number of public schools around Dickinson, and in the basement of one of the Catholic churches.
Schumacher said the school is insured for $17 million. In a release sent Wednesday afternoon, Bishop David Kagan of the Diocese of Bismarck said he would oversee a meeting of Dickinson Catholic Schools leaders Friday in Dickinson.