AUBURN — Students and family members held a peaceful demonstration Friday to protest the circumstances surrounding the recent firing of Saint Dominic Academy president and high school Principal Tim Gallic.

“I will go out on a limb and say he (Gallic) was the best principal St. Dom’s has ever had,” said protest organizer Michael Stowe, a junior at the school. “Students are upset and families are too.”

Gallic was “fired and gone the same day,” Stowe said while explaining that students would like answers to their questions about why Gallic was let go. “This is not a hit against the school or the teachers. This is about the way he was fired,” said Stowe.

“We want to show our support for him because the (Roman Catholic) Diocese is not telling us anything. Nobody is giving us any answers.”

Allana Stevenson, principal of the school’s Lewiston campus, said Gallic’s departure was the result of a business decision made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which operates St. Dom’s, and the move came as a shock to the students.

“I think, in speaking with the students, what we’re seeing is that they just feel as if they weren’t really a part of the decision,” she said. “They were surprised by it. They really liked Tim Gallic and they have every reason to be sad that he’s not going to be with them anymore.” 

Students and staff at St. Dom’s have always made up a strong community, Stevenson said. “And so I think it’s a natural disappointment when you lose a member of that community. I can respect that.” 

Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools, said the decision to let Gallic go came down to a matter of finances.

“The position of president at St. Dom’s was cut due to budgetary concerns,” she said on Friday. “When the position of president was created, enrollment could support the financial commitment. At this time, high school enrollment cannot support that position.

“As always,” Pelletier said, “the Office of Maine Catholic Schools is focused on continuing to provide all of our schools with the tools and resources necessary to produce faith-filled, lifelong learners in safe and supportive environments. Though there are many alternatives to Catholic education, there are no substitutes, and we thank everybody for their continued support and prayers.”

Gallic took over as president of the academy in late 2018 after former president, Donald Fournier, left the position after serving four years. Gallic was also principal of the high school, a role taken over by Stevenson after Gallic’s departure.

Gallic did not respond to inquires about the matter.

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