District introduces Superintendent candidates
Two of the three finalists for the Buffalo Public School's Superintendent position met with members of the community Thursday. Each candidate shared how they can help turn the struggling district around.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon and Dr. Edward Newsome, a Baltimore County administrator, are two of the finalists for the Superintendent position in Buffalo.
Interested community members got a chance for some one-on-one time with the candidates Thursday.
"I'm hoping it's a real race. In that this isn't for show and Superintendent Dixon doesn't already have it in the bag," Buffalo teacher Patricia Kawi said. "I'm actually hoping that there are real contenders and that it's a real choice."
Some people said Dixon is the right choice based on how well she's worked with others as Interim Superintendent and her familiarity with the district.
"Amber is a Buffalonian. She's been a teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools. She's been an administrator, a parent of a student who's gone through the Buffalo Public Schools," said Joyce Stilson, Coalition of Arts Providers for Children president.
Dixon was named Interim Superintendent in August of last year after Dr. James Williams stepped down from the position. She said she wants the job because the future of the district is at stake.
"I think the past nine months or so have really been important in finding the nuances of how we get things done in this district and in this city. I think what's important is looking at the steps we've made," Dixon said. "The positive steps we've made going forward in terms of working with our unions and working with the community."
Newsome said as an Assistant Superintendent of High Schools in Baltimore, he's worked with a similar demographic of students. He said early childhood education is a key to improving graduation rates.
"There needs to be a collaborative strategy where by central office, school staff, parents and other community dynamics work together," he said.
A third finalist, Dr. Pamela Brown, was not able to attend the reception Thursday because of a family emergency. Brown currently serves as a Senior Research Associate for a company that develops educational programs.
The district said Brown will visit Buffalo in the near future.