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Ogilvie prepares to exit the city school district

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo School Board is expected to name a new interim superintendent at tonight's meeting.  That leader will replace outgoing interim leader Don Ogilvie and the hold the district over as the board selects a new superintendent.  WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley caught up with Ogilvie at his City Hall office as he wraps up his work for the city school district.

"It's been a year professionally that I will always look back on and value, both from the stand point of the importance of the work and the quality of the people I worked with," said Ogilvie.

Ogilvie is set to leave the Buffalo School District July 1st.  He is a former superintendent of Erie 1 Boces. 

A year ago the school board's majority selected Ogilvie for up to two-years after former superintendent Pamela Brown made her controversial exit.

"It is very clear that the pattern of requirement that the district has been subjected have just continued," noted Ogilvie.
Ogilvie was voted in by the majority as the minority abstained from voting. But over time majority members grew frustrated with Ogilvie. This  past March Carl Paladino was calling for Ogilvie to leave saying he failed to get full support of the majority's 'reform agenda'.

Credit WBFO News file photo
Buffalo School Board.

WBFO News asked Ogilvie what frustrations he felt as he tried to lead the district as the initial majority board support dwindled over the past year.

"If there have been difficulties, it has been in the area of adults in their enthusiasm and devotion of disagreeing, and it's unfortunate and that has taken place, but I think all of  us have grown through it and I think we recognize the important thing is too agree on priorities," said Ogilvie.
Ogilvie tells WBFO News he has been working closely with his cabinet members and exempt employees as to help in the transition -- hoping they won't have to go through a 'period of discovery' with new leadership. 

"Everything that was laid out in previous years, as concerns, has been bundled and brought on the table. Plans have been established and steps have been taken and now there is a blueprint and a schematic for the future, so my successor will have the opportunity to build on what's been created," stated Ogilvie.

Ogilvie noted 'most of the difficult conversations' with the State Education Department will have already taken place, saying that includes a receivership model for failing schools  as he leaves City Hall.  

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