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Finalists named in Superintendent search

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The school board made it official yesterday, Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon is one of three finalists for the post left vacant when James Williams retired in September.

The others named and listed with their credentials are Edward Newsome, an assistant superintendent for high schools in Baltimore County Public Schools, and Pamela Brown, former assistant superintendent and chief academic officer for Philadelphia.

"Doctor Brown currently serves as Senior Research and Planning Associate for the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology in Marlborough, Massachusetts," said School Board President Lou Petrucci.

"Dr. Brown (also) served as Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer for the school district of Philadelphia and worked in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. she has over 30 years of experience in public education."

Dixon and Newsome will tour some schools today before the 5:30 meeting in Waterfront.

They will meet with the school board tomorrow.
Petrucci says Brown had a family emergency and will come here soon.

Former school board member and activist with Citizen Action and the Alliance for Quality Education Sherry Byrnes offers two questions to the three candidates.
"How are you going to handle the transition in to shorten the learning curve especially given the fact that most superintendents don't last four years, kind of like the NFL?"

"How do you understand your experience to relate to what Buffalo's needs are today and your ability to bring that experience and those skills here and hit the ground running?"

Byrnes says a lot of people in the city are concerned about the quality of the schools in the wake of more data suggesting deep problems.

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.