Entire Staff at Ohio Preschool Resigns at Once: 'We Gave Our Life to Those Four Walls'

The now-former directors and teachers at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Amherst said they were frustrated by the church leaders' lack of transparency about the budget

<p>Getty</p> Stock photo of a woman teaching children


Stock photo of a woman teaching children

The entire staff at an Ohio preschool is taking a stand.

According to ABC affiliate News 5 Cleveland, all of the members of the staff of the preschool at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Amherst — including the director and assistant director — resigned at once last week due to a lack of transparency from the church's leaders.

The school's now-former assistant director, Heather Nail, confirmed to the outlet that the resignations were driven by budget concerns.

“Each year to start your new year you got to know what your budget is,” Nail said. “And when you don't have a clear number of what your numbers are, it's very hard to start that year."

She and the now-former director, Wendy Kosakowski — who worked at the school for 18 years — confirmed that they had budget concerns for years and were never given the answers they needed from the church council about any preschool funds. This, they said, led them to reach a breaking point and decide to walk away.

"We held our heads up high, and we just left with our integrity and our morals,” Kosakowski told News 5 Cleveland, noting that the staff does "appreciate everything" they got from working at the school for a combined 50 years. "We gave our life to those four walls," Kosakowski said.

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Teacher Kerri Kobylka and aide Taylor Stempowski also stepped down when their colleagues did.

According to Kosakowski, her staff would attend meetings and ask where the money went from fundraisers specifically for the preschool and would receive no answers.

"We just decided we're tired of fighting for really finding out what's going on,” she said.

Local parents also expressed their frustration with the situation.

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"I did take him out of the program because all of the teachers left,” mom Taylor Watson, whose older son previously graduated from the preschool, told News 5 Cleveland of her younger son.

Jessica Pieciak, whose daughter just finished her second year at the school, said she is disappointed that the staff and church leadership could not resolve their issues. "I think the main issue here is the transparency,” she told News 5 Cleveland. “We were fundraising for the preschool, not for the church."

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Kosakowski said she empathizes with the families who make up the school's community.

"It's just very sad for those parents who cannot find another preschool because they're full,” she explained. “And those are the parents that I'm very sorry for, and I am truly sorry for how this year ended. This is not the way that we wanted it to end at all."

The teaching staff told News 5 Cleveland that the church plans to continue running the preschool with new leadership.

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