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Buffalo School Board to conduct quick super search

WBFO Photo/Mike Desmond

Buffalo School Board members decided Wednesday night on a quick national search for a new superintendent, expecting there may be yet another interim superintendent with current Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilvie leaving June 30.

With time running very short, the board finally reached a small compromise and agreed to a national search, but one which will take far less time than the year-long quest used for the last three out-of-town superintendents hired.

Board Member Larry Quinn wants the final specifications approved and sent out on Wednesday to look for applicants. He expects the job can be filled next month, not something all members agree on.

Board Member Barbara Seals Nevergold says there has to be a plan in case a permanent superintendent isn't in place June 30.
"We need a discussion about what kind of person we are looking for," says Seals Nevergold. "In the meantime, I think we need to consider that Mr. Ogilvie will be gone July 1. We cannot go without an acting or interim superintendent so we need to consider what we're going to do in the event that we need to have that person. Who are we going to put in that place."

There's a push against a long and involved process or public discussions, although there will be a web site for the process, taking public comments for the board to consider.

Last night's meeting often devolved into a lot of long-running issues being shouted about and included a nose-to-nose screaming match between Board President James Sampson and Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman.

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.