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Elementary principal, college leader optimistic for district's future

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Some community stakeholders and educators are fully behind Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash's effort to change struggling schools. WBFO Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with an elementary school principal and a college leader.

"Our biggest feeder is the Buffalo Public Schools,” said Jack Quinn, President of Erie Community College. 

Quinn tells WBFO News he has been working closely with the superintendent. ECC is very active in Say Yes Buffalo. “That's our feeder, so we care what happens there,’ said Quinn. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Jack Quinn, President of ECC.

As new Buffalo School board members will begin work this July, WBFO News asked Quinn to respond to the politics of the schools future.  

"Our biggest feeder is the Buffalo Public Schools," said Jack Quinn, President of Erie Community College.

“We have to be optimistic. Any election, if I put my election hat on now, every election brings with it responsibility. You can work really hard, you can get yourself elected to any office, but that’s when the real work starts,” replied Quinn. “I’m hoping, as someone who lives in Western New York, that things get better, they have to.”

Meanwhile, the principal of one of 10 Buffalo public schools taken off the 'struggling schools receivership list is also voicing optimism.

“It’s very exciting regardless of what happens. Superintendent Cash has been this year, setting a structure in place for future success in the Buffalo Public schools,” said David Hills, Principal at Waterfront Elementary. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
David Hills, Principal at Waterfront Elementary.

The school boasts a very difference population. Twenty-seven percent the students are English Language Learners.

Hills credits strong teams, monitoring the school's progress, in the State Education Department's decision to remove them receivership.

“That can meet frequently to decide what we needed to do for students in classrooms, on grade levels and for the whole school. We have a leadership team for the whole school. We have teams that meet vertically, from grade level to grade level. That team work and having a common mission and a common vision really spread throughout the learning community, so our parents knew what we stood for and everyone was a part of the team to decide what is the biggest problem we have to fix and work on that,” responded Hills. 

With new city school board members beginning work in July, Hills said he is very open to having them visit his school.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Outside the Waterfront Elementary School. David Hills, Principal, said he welcomes new school board members to visit.

“I always love to have people visit Waterfront. It’s a delightful place to be. I enjoy being here every day and I do think anyone that joins us would see something amazing going on,” explained Hills.

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