Fmr. Totino-Grace Head, Forced Out For Being Gay, To Lead St. Paul School
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An educator who was forced out as president of Totino-Grace High School because he is gay will now be the head of another Twin Cities private school.
Dr. Bill Hudson resigned from Totino-Grace last June after revealing to board members that he had been in a committed same-sex relationship for 18 years.
Hudson wasn’t sure where he would end up, but on Monday night, Mounds Park Academy officially named him the new head of school.
When he resigned from Totino-Grace, the school released a statement saying his lifestyle was not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic faith.
“I was sad to leave Totino-Grace,” Hudson said.
He says it was wrenching to have to leave not only his job as president of Totino-Grace, but a twenty-year career as a Catholic educator.
Three weeks after being forced out, he got a call out of the blue from Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul.
“My coming in as an openly-gay man and as administrator … [is] almost a nonstarter in the sense that it wasn’t a big deal,” he said.
Since last fall, Hudson has served as the director of institutional advancement at Mounds Park, which has almost 500 students from pre-K to grade 12.
“My story is a happy one, you know. And I’ve been able to come full circle,” he said.
During his nine years at Totino-Grace, two of which he served as school president, Hudson says he lived in fear that his secret would be discovered.
“There is a level of stress that I or any person that cannot be fully open or authentic in their workplace carries with them,” he said.
At Mounds Park, he doesn’t have to hide anything.
“What I’ve been able to experience here at Mounds Park Academy is anything from bringing my partner to our faculty staff party at the beginning of the year,” he said.
And with a second chance to do a job he loves, Hudson says his passion for education has been renewed.
“I feel like I have this incredible debt to repay to this community for what it has let me do personally, and that just makes me want to work harder,” he said.
Hudson did not want to publicly address the Catholic Church’s position towards gay men and women.
He did say he remains a devout Catholic, and harbors no hard feelings towards Totino-Grace.
He will officially take over his job as the head of school in July.
Totino-Grace teacher Kristen Ostendorf was fired in September for revealing that she was in a same-sex relationship.