© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Anger aplenty as Williamsville swears in acting schools superintendent

Mike Desmond / WBFO News
John McKenna is sworn in as Acting Williamsville Schools Superintendent at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

Around 1,300 Williamsville Central Schools students had no classwork Tuesday and won't have classwork Wednesday. Superintendent Scott Martzloff was effectively fired from his $236,000 job Monday over a rocky restart of the school year. However, the new acting superintendent said there will be a plan soon.

Martzloff blamed staffing problems, which were only locked in Friday, for the rocky restart. Now he is on administrative leave and the man in charge of hiring is the acting superintendent.

John McKenna promised during a virtual School Board meeting Tuesday evening that there will be a plan soon, saying angry parents and students were heard.

"We've been working very hard on this issue. I know myself and stakeholders worked all last night and all day today. We'll continue until we get the right answers which will be very soon," McKenna said. "We will communicate with you as soon as we have the right answers. As soon as we make sure that we have the situation the best we can, we're going to let you know and it will be soon. Because you deserve it, to know soon."

Speaker after speaker blasted the way the district had handled the remote learning mess, with parents saying the threat of a COVID surge suggested remote was the way to go and students saying they wouldn't get their full education since they were sitting home while classmates were getting homework assignments and textbooks.

North High School junior Sumitra Pandit sai the failure to provide classes threatens her academic career.

"I watched my friends in the hybrid model go back to school and begin their learning process. I went on WITS and I saw the lesson plans for my classes this week. Lots of teachers are beginning to assign homework assignments  for this week already. Kids are getting their textbooks. As a student who is enrolled in four APs, I'm worried about my exams," Pandit said.

"I'm being punished for it, with a later start date and random district teachers who are being hired as we speak," said North High School junior Josh Stover. "I will be getting an unequal and sub-par education. Not knowing when my classes are going to start, who my teachers will be or what classes will even be like is causing me, my whole family and all of these remote students so much undue stress and anxiety."


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.
Related Content