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School Board makes no progress on superintendent

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo Board of Education has now had two one-hour long discussions about how to pick a replacement for the departing Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown. On Wednesday, they decided another meeting was necessary.  "I understand that people certainly have to shake their heads sometimes at what they see," said School Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold after yesterday's meeting and the continuing heated battles over establishing a process to pick an interim replacement for at least a year.

If the superintendent leaves between now and July 1, there may be an acting superintendent since Albany requires someone be in the job.

Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman says the incoming board majority has already put together a short list for interim superintendent.

"Judy Elliott, Barbara Smith Ogilvie, and, Keresztes, which of that group Keresztes is the only one that possesses the day-to-day experience and knowledge of this district."

Elliott is the distinguished educator,assigned to the school system by the State Education Department.

Smith is the district CFO. Donald Ogilvie is the retiring Erie One Boces superintendent. Will Keresztes is the associate schools superintendent.

Board Member Jay McCarthy says if his incoming majority has a short list, no one has told him.

"I don't think so. That's why we want to get out to the community that we want a request for applications immediately so that we can get people in here and start to vet their backgrounds."

That incoming majority is expected to elect James Sampson as the president when the board meets July 1 for its reorganization meeting and he says the board needs to pick someone who can run a complicated organization.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.