Focus on Education
Thu May 8, 2014
Superintendent reacts to school board election results
The future of Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown could be in jeopardy following Tuesday night's school board election. Two candidates elected to three-at-large seats, Larry Quinn and Patti Bowers Pierce, are expected to align with board member Carl Paladino, who is seeking Brown's removal.
Reporters caught up with Superintendent Pamela Brown Wednesday morning in Buffalo for her reaction.
"I respect the democratic process. I want to congratulate the new and returning board members and I look forward to the work that I know they will do for the benefit of the children in the district," said Brown.
Brown would not directly respond to questions about a potential vote that could end her Buffalo career.
"Well certainly the board has the authority to select the superintendent for the Buffalo Public Schools. I respect their authority to do that, at the same time, I'm proud of the progress we have made," said Brown
There has been a racial divide with the current school board, but with the new members, it shifts the majority power. Brown says she has been concerned about the "distraction" the divide has caused.
School board president Barbara Seals Nevergold won reelection to one of three at-large seats Tuesday. Seals Nevergold says she remains a "staunch supporter" of Brown.
"That I believe Dr. Brown has done an excellent job, that i believe that with only two years of work in the community. when the district has suffered serious problems for many, many years prior for her to coming here, there needs to be time for the kind of change we want to happen, and two years is not enough time," said Seals Nevergold.
Seals Nevergold blames the school boards racial divide on Paladino.
"It's unfortunate. I think it has been intensified by many of the remarks Mr. Paladino has made, and continues to make. Hopefully the new board members who were supported by him do not share the same kinds of rhetorical comments that he makes and the same kind of statements about individuals, particularly about the superintendent," said Seals Nevergold.
West District school board member James Sampson couldn't predict what the new majority will be pushing for when they arrive in July.
"I can't answer that at this point. I haven't had discussions with Larry or Patti or anybody else on the board. I think we need a breather to just sort of settle down," said Sampson.
Late last year members of Buffalo's business community offered Superintendent Brown a half-million-dollar package asking her to resign, but Brown didn't accept it, and when WBFO News asked if she would reconsidered it. the Superintendent insisted she is not interested"
I would probably make the same decision today," said Brown.