Page 8 July 30, 2020
St. Anthony from front page
Superintendent Dr. Melissa Moore emailed
that “I am sorry to hear about St. Anthony’s
School closure. ESUSD has an established
board policy and administrative regulation on
permits that we are required to follow. It is
based upon students meeting a minimum set
of criteria to be eligible and where space is
available. I encourage the families who are
interested in ESUSD to apply for permits as
soon as possible.”
El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles wrote that
“It’s unfortunate that such a storied part of
our community, one that has educated decades
of our children, is being closed. We wish the
best for the faculty, staff and families of St.
Cristina Maxwell had a Kindergartner
attending St. Anthony this past school year.
She said she knew that the school had ongoing
financial issues but was not prepared for
the seemingly abrupt closure. She said she
appreciated sending her child to a smaller
school, with a “hands-on environment,” also
touting the “moral foundation” of Catholic
education. She said her first first-grader would
likely be attending Center Street Elementary
later this year.
Maxwell’s parting comments regarding
Father Robert: “He is absolutely a coward.”
She noted that we live in a time, she said,
that people are starting to realize that those in
power are being scrutinized for the decisions
that they make that affect others. “It is time
to call these people out,” she said.
One of Frank Foray’s children wrapped
up fourth grade this year at St. Anthony,
with another child in the pre-school. He
said he is looking into finding another
parochial school for the upcoming school
year. The Westchester resident said he was
also blind-sided by the closure. He said he
knew the school had ongoing economic
concerns, but that school administrators
and parents had been working diligently
to bridge the financial gap. He offered his
opinion that the parish did not do enough
promotion to build enrollment “in the
surrounding areas,” adding that “it is not an
enviable (time) to try and find a new home
for the kids.”
Nora Cisneros, a professor at Cal State
Los Angeles, had two children affected
by the school shutdown. She said that her
family would miss the El Segundo “tight-knit
community” and the rigor of a parochial
education that a small school like St. Anthony
can offer. She lamented a perceived void in
communication and leadership with the parish
that ultimately led to the school closing, and
the short amount of time available to find a
new school site. “Definitely a surprise,” she
said, of the closure.
Adrienne Rodriguez served as the PTO
President at St. Anthony for the past two
years. A Hawthorne resident, she said that
she is looking to place her daughter, Virginia,
who has attended St. Anthony for eight
years in a Torrance parochial school. Of her
daughter’s experience at St. Anthony, she said
that “The education was awesome,” touting
the efficacy of St. Anthony distance learning.
She said that when word spread about the
closing, “kids were crying. They want to go
back to school and their friends. She said she
believes Father Robert used the COVID-19
pandemic as an excuse to shutter the doors.
She, like other parents interviewed for this
story, felt let-down by parish leadership. “I
feel Father Robert has wanted to close-down
the school for six years,” and that he used
the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as
an excuse to shut the doors. “100 percent,”
Linda Williams, who lives in Gardena,
saw her daughter finish second grade at
St. Anthony earlier this year. She, too, was
blind-sided by the decision to close the
school, which left her scrambling to secure
a third-grade site for the 2020/21 school
year; however, it will unfold for her daughter.
When I spoke to her, she was confident that
her child would be able to enroll in one of
the ESUSD elementary schools.
Williams said when she received news
of the closure, she experienced a gamut
of emotions, including feeling “shocked,
devastated, upset, angry, sad.” She saw
Father Robert as “very detached, and
unempathetic” towards the consequences that
the displaced students and families would
have to deal with.
Although Curcio said that she was
“extremely disappointed and heartbroken,”
about the closure, she was not shocked. “As
I voice my brutally honest opinion, which I
know many share, I realize that some people
may be offended. My intention was not to
hurt anyone, but rather to inspire change in
an antiquated system. For the most part, I
try to focus on positive memories of working
with those who, together in faith, made St.
Seniors from page 6
Finance from page 7
your loan over a longer period of time.
If you currently rent and need help
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notes of any conversations you have in person
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Remember that these may be stressful
financial times for your landlord, too. Try to
communicate the facts about your situation
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The owners of multifamily rental properties
financed by Fannie Mae or other governmentbacked
financing can seek forbearance and
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protections: You cannot be served with an
eviction notice solely for nonpayment of
rent, and you cannot be charged late fees or
penalties. You will still need to pay the rent
that is owed, but your landlord must give
you flexibility to repay over time.
Importantly, homeowners with a Fannie
Mae-financed mortgage and renters in a
Fannie Mae-financed multifamily property
(5+ units) qualify for free access to
housing counseling approved by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD). The counselors provide
free personalized assistance to help you
navigate broader financial challenges
you may be facing so you can return to
For more resources and information about
your rights as a homeowner or renter during
the COVID-19 pandemic, and to determine
if your home or multifamily apartment
building is financed by Fannie Mae, visit
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