Bishop O'Connell President to Step Down in June

Prebble does not give a reason for her departure.

Bishop O'Connell High School President Katy Prebble announced Monday she will resign in June at the end of the current school year.

Prebble has served as president of the school — which attracts many students from Vienna — since July 2010. Her resignation letter does not indicate a reason for leaving, and a school spokeswoman did not immediately respond to queries beyond what was in a news release late Monday.

"I have been inspired by O'Connell's spirit and traditions and am a better person for being guided by the (Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) Sisters," Prebble stated.

"Many of you may know that years ago Mother Teresa visited O'Connell and spoke to our students. Her message of love and compassion continues to fill the heart of our community. I will faithfully serve our community over the next few months and wish only the best for O'Connell. It is always a great day to be a Knight."

As school president, Prebble oversaw a student body of 1,200, the news release states.

Her tenure has been marked by the renovation of the school's athletic fields and two new chemistry labs. She also is responsible for the addition of a global studies program, dual enrollment courses with Marymount University and adding pre-engineering courses to the O'Connell curriculum, according to a letter from Sister Bernadette McManigal, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.

"Bishop Paul S. Loverde joins me in thanking Katy for her service and in wishing her well in her next endeavors," McManigal wrote. "We will miss her."

Prebble was president when English teacher Tom Duesterhaus, a Vinnea native, disappeared in June 2011 from the McLean home he shared with other Youth Apostles. Duesterhaus, who had taught there since '99, disappeared not long after finding out his contract would not be renewed.

He has not been found.

Prebble's presidency also included the controversial firing of John Harrison, who taught world history and practical law. At the time, Harrison laid the blame for a number of teachers leaving O'Connell — voluntarily or otherwise — at Prebble's feet.

Harrison was fired in April 2012, which caused about 250 students to protest and drew quite a bit of media attention.

Within 24 hours, more than 2,000 people joined a Facebook group opposing the firing of Harrison, with some alumni posting they would stop sending contributions to the school out of protest.

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