Diocese announces new Superintendent of Catholic Schools

2014-07-01T16:38:00Z 2014-07-02T16:37:04Z Diocese announces new Superintendent of Catholic SchoolsBy NICK BALATSOS nbalatsos@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Montana Catholic Schools have a new superintendent.

Bishops of the Catholic Diocese in Helena and Great Falls-Billings on Tuesday announced Timothy Uhl as the next Montana superintendent of Catholic Schools, a position that oversees more than 20 schools throughout the state.

Uhl, who previously served as a principal of two Catholic schools and assistant principal of one, will begin Aug. 25. He will replace Patrick Haggarty, who resigned in April to take a job out of state, according to a previous statement from Montana Catholic Schools.

The announcement Tuesday said that Haggarty left to take a position as superintendent for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle, where he will serve more people, spokesman for the diocese in Helena Dan Bartleson said.

Bartleson said that Uhl is currently on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Uhl will serve at the discretion of the bishop. His duties will include approving annual budgets, conducting school visits and evaluations and implementing policy.

Earlier this year, Haggarty and the Diocese of Helena defended its decision to fire an unwed Butte Central teacher because she was pregnant.

Shaela Evenson “made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract,” which requires her to follow Catholic teachings in both her personal and professional life, Haggarty said in February. “It’s a sensitive issue, and it’s unfortunate all around.”

Also in February, an assistant softball coach at Billings Central High said she was dismissed because of her work at Planned Parenthood.

Tarn Duff, 26, was an unpaid volunteer during the Rams’ 2012 season and received about $1,500 for her work coaching hitters and outfielders during the 2013 season.

Haggarty said then that he concurred with the recommendation not to offer Duff a contract for the upcoming season, but did not agree that she’d been fired. Contracts for the spring sports season had not yet been offered to coaches, he said.

“I don’t know if you can say she’s been fired,” he said in February. “We fulfilled the terms of the contract, and so did she.”

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