Focus on Education
12:46 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

New controversy swirls for Buffalo School District as Mary Guinn returns

A high-paid consultant, who was ousted by the Buffalo Board of Education, is returning as a new assistant superintendent.

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown.
Credit WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

Mary Guinn, originally hired as a school district consultant, was unexpectedly selected to return. 

Wednesday night Mary Guinn, originally hired as a school district consultant, was unexpectedly selected to return. 

The hiring of Guinn by Schools superintendent Pamela Brown in spring of 2013 created a great deal of controversy among some school board members. 

The District's consulting contract with Cross and Joftus included Guinn, who was acting deputy superintendent and consultant, with major management responsibilities in the school system. 

But the board ended the contract last year and fired Guinn. 

Guinn was not embraced by some members of the district and community during a reorganization of the school’s central office. There was also a great deal of criticism for the high price the district paid for the consulting fee.

But Wednesday night, after much of the media left a regular school board session at city hall, the board voted to 5 to 3 in favor of hiring Guinn.

That outraged board member Carl Paladino.  Paladino attempted to adjourn the meeting, but it ended in a vote. Paladino opposed it.  In her new position, Guinn will be paid $175,000

At a news briefing Thursday morning at City Hall, superintendent Brown told reporters Guinn can do the work that needs to be done to improve city schools.

"Dr. Guinn is experienced, highly qualified and credentialed,” said Brown.

Brown praises Guinn’s work ethic and understanding of the district vision and needs.  Brown told reporters that without a deputy superintendent in place, she has been forced to conduct both jobs for most of her 18-months in the district.

Reporters also asked Brown about the mayor’s remarks that debate is needed for discussions on mayoral control of the district.  She said she was “surprised” by his statements.