Since it opened in 1973, The David School in Floyd County has, in the words of former board member Johnnie Ross, "turned around many lives" by providing a hands-on learning experience for Eastern Kentucky students who dropped out or were in danger of dropping out of high school.
"One-on-one is really awesome here," graduating senior Amber Allen recently told the Herald-Leader's Bill Estep.
Now, supporters are hoping to turn around the life of the financially troubled school, with help from Attorney General Jack Conway's office.
At that office's request, Floyd Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris recently barred longtime director Daniel J. Greene from the school property and appointed a new five-member board to oversee the school operations.
The new board immediately fired Greene, who was one of the founders of the school.
The details of the dispute between Greene and some school supporters are depressingly familiar — allegations involving the leadership of a non-profit organization gaining too much personal benefit from the expenditure of its funds.
Kentuckians have seen the headlines of such stories with appalling frequency in recent years. What makes this episode sadder than most is that Greene is widely and rightly credited with doing much good with The David School through the years.
When this controversy is over and all the facts (whatever they are) have been revealed, there will be lessons to be learned.
There always are, and they usually involve oversight and accountability issues.
But one lesson Kentuckians can already take away from this episode is the simple reminder that the attorney general's office has broad authority to investigate institutions that have charitable assets and will go to court to try to protect those assets and keep those organizations operational.
The office may not always succeed in achieving the latter goal. Getting Golden Years Rest Home into receivership in 2011 didn't keep the troubled Letcher County personal care home from later closing.
We certainly hope the outcome is better with The David School. But at least we know there is someone on this particular oversight job.
To contact the attorney general's office on this issue, call 1-502-696-5300 and ask to speak to some who handles charitable assets cases.