"Without Ms. Gau, Alleman will not be the same."
Father Daniel Mirabelli, Director of Development at Alleman High School in Rock Island, expressed that message while leading a prayer for hundreds on Friday, June 6th, 2014.
"Help us in this most difficult time," he prayed. "We want everyone to know what Ms. Gau means to Alleman High School. Alleman will never be the same without her."
That quiet voice turns into hundreds as students, alumni, parents, and colleagues marched around Alleman High School holding signs and shouting chants like "We want Ms. Gau back!"
Ms. Gau, or Michelle Gau, was Alleman High School's Assistant Principal until Monday, June 2nd when an online petition says she was dismissed by the Diocese of Peoria. The petition has collected more than 1,500 signatures as of this afternoon and this morning, hundreds came together for a rally.
"This just shows how much love and how much respect everybody has for her because she is Alleman," said one student, Cindy Hernandez. "She is us."
"They're losing an awesome person, an awesome teacher, an awesome assistant principal and it's wrong to let her go," added a parent, Patty Scott.
"She's a wonderful person," said another parent, Sue Berry. "She's done so much for Alleman. I just can't imagine Alleman without her."
The Diocese of Peoria has not said why Ms. Gau was let go after 32 years. News 8 has left several messages, but no one has returned any calls.