Dismissed Convent School educator sues

Celine Curran, who was fired last May after 37 years at the neighborhood’s Convent of the Sacred Heart High School — including three decades as dean of students — sued the school on October 11 for wrongful termination and gender and age discrimination.

The complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that director of schools Gordon Sharafinski “has a bias and prejudice against female employees who are confident, self-assured and strong.” Curran, 56, seeks an unspecified amount in damages, along with reinstatement to her last position as student life coordinator at the school. The lawsuit also asks for a jury trial to determine the matter. A response to the suit has not yet been filed.

In a June 20 posting on the school’s website announcing the decision not to renew Curran’s contract, Sharafinsky wrote: “I have communicated to parents and staff about this issue to the extent allowable and as transparently as I could. However, there is much information to which the community has not been privy and, because of privacy laws, I cannot share.”

Curran’s firing prompted an outpouring of criticism and outrage from students, parents and alumni. A Facebook group supporting Curran has almost 900 members.

In an August 9 letter to the Sacred Heart community, Sharafinski announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2011-12 academic year.