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West Catholic High School Gets $1-Million Gift

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(West Catholic High School.  Photo provided)

(West Catholic High School. Photo provided)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — West Catholic High School, in West Philadelphia, is undergoing a metamorphosis.

In addition to a name change (adding the word “preparatory”), school officials are acknowledging receipt of a $1 million gift they say will help students immeasurably.

Brother Richard Kestler, president of West Catholic Preparatory High School, says the donors wish to remain anonymous but had very specific ideas about how their money should be allocated.

“Some of the money will be used for additional personnel in school, some for enhancement for children who have one or two years of deficiency in reading or math, a music instructor, and money for extracurricular activities,” he tells KYW Newsradio, plus money set aside for in-service days for teachers.

“It means very transformational things for our school,” he said today.  “We’ve been able to look at things we never would have been able to look at in the past.”

Kestler says the school is resilient: students from 90 schools have chosen to attend West this September.  West Catholic was earmarked for closure early last year by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but escaped that fate when the archdiocese turned over operation of four high schools to an independent foundation (see related story).

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