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Buffalo School Board elects Petrucci as president, selects other leadership roles

Louis Petrucci, Ann Rivera, Kathy Evans Brown.jpg
Mike Desmond/WBFO News
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Buffalo school board members Ann Rivera, Louis Petrucci and Kathy Evans-Brown pose for a photo at Thursday's board meeting at Waterfront Elementary School.

The Buffalo Board of Education has a new leadership team and some new ideas on what members should do in their positions.

In a reorganizational meeting Thursday at Waterfront Elementary School, former Board President Louis Petrucci was voted back into that position, succeeding Sharon Belton-Cottman. Kathy Evans-Brown was elected Student Achievement Vice President, and Ann Rivera was elected Executive Affairs Vice President. All three were elected unanimously.

Petrucci said there is hope that a united board, all working on areas that interest them, can improve the school system in a year when it will need help.

“I'm hoping that by bringing everyone together, by giving them specific tasks that align with their passions, their instincts, their training and what they are really good at, that we, as a board, will be best able to serve the students, the parents, the families, the teachers and all the employees of the Buffalo public schools,” he said.

The reorganization of the board comes during a crucial summer for the district. All students are expected to be back in the class this fall, following a year in which large numbers were learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key early decision for the board will be how to spend the $289 million coming in from federal stimulus legislation. Petrucci said there are plenty of suggestions on how to spend the money, and board member Paulette Woods will help manage them.