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Board divided over superintendent search

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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The dispute between the two factions of the Buffalo Board of Education is heating up over whether to move up someone inside the school system to be superintendent or go through a long process in search of an outside candidate.

Three times in the last quarter century, the board has gone outside for a superintendent. The searches have produced James Harris, James Williams and Pamela Brown. All were eventually pushed out.

The current board majority wants to hire a deputy superintendent who will move up to superintendent when Interim Schools Superintendent Donald Ogilvie leaves June 30.

Buffalo Teachers Federation Presidential candidate Patrick Foster wants more information and a wider talent pool.

"How can we be assured that it's not someone who is just going to be bent on shaking things up for the sake of shaking things up?" Foster wondered. 

"Are we looking for a consensus builder, a dynamic leader or just someone to shake things up?

Foster points out there have been six people in the superintendent's office since 2004. Supporters of an insider say there will be less of a learning curve while supporters of a national search say it might find a top-level choice, even if there is a learning curve to being in Buffalo.
 

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.