LAWRENCE — A Salisbury resident is one of two members of Central Catholic High School’s staff identified as recently being placed on leave pending the outcome of misconduct investigations.
Parents, students and law enforcement officials identified social studies teacher and Salisbury resident John Housianitis, as well as basketball coach and Dean of Students Richard Nault, as the two staff members suspended last week during investigations of their behavior.
Information on the action taken was included in a letter sent Thursday evening to students, parents and alumni by Central Catholic’s president, Christopher Sullivan. The two were not identified in Sullivan’s letter.
Allegations involving the staff members came to the school’s attention in the wake of the firing of Andrew Nikonchuk, the former director of curriculum and instruction at the school. Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell is under investigation for the drugging and rape of a student in 2006.
The first of the new allegations involves Housianitis, who posted compromising photos of himself on an adults-only, password-protected website, according to Sullivan’s letter.
“I am aware that copies of these photos have been circulated,” wrote Sullivan, who did not specifically name Housianitis in his letter. “This staff member’s online behavior is inconsistent with the values of self-respect, compassion for others, and healthy decision-making for the children we serve.”
When a reporter reached Housianitis by phone Friday afternoon, he said, “I have no comment at this moment until the school releases information.”
Housianitis is a member of the board of trustees for Salisbury Community Television. He hosts “Salisbury Speaks,” a public affairs program broadcast on the nonprofit cable channel.
Housianitis is also a member of the board of directors for the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association, according to its website. Prior to moving to Salisbury year-round, Housianitis was a member of the Lawrence School Committee.
Nault last month reportedly sent inappropriate messages through a social media site to a student who graduated in 2016, Sullivan said in the letter. Screen shots of the messages were circulated among the Central Catholic community, he said.
“The school is conducting an investigation regarding these allegations,” Sullivan wrote in the letter that did not identify Nault by name. “The sending of these messages violated the school’s policies pertaining to appropriate social boundaries between students and faculty.”
A man who answered the door at Nault’s listed address on Thursday afternoon declined to comment to a reporter.
Sullivan noted that in neither case were any students physically harmed.
“Both individuals involved will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of our investigation,” Sullivan said. “We will communicate the nature of our findings and the status of each individual’s employment once that process is complete.”