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Superintendent Jack Mann announced Thursday that he plans to leave the North Collins School District to accept the position of director of special education and support services for the Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District.

The announcement prompted mixed emotions from community members angered over how Mann has been treated by the School Board.

"This is a sad day for this community," said Robert Turnbull, who headed the group opposing the action.

On Nov. 10, the district superintendent of Erie 2 Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Richard G. Timbs, told the board that it should brace for skyrocketing costs associated with finding a successor to Mann, who was told by the board in October that it would not renew his contract. "I told them over 64 percent of New York's superintendents are going to retire in the next five years, making the search difficult and qualified candidates expensive for taxpayers," he said.

The leadership of the board took a hit when several residents accused board members of putting personal issues with Mann ahead of district goals.

"This was never just about Mann. It was about the leadership of the board being held accountable for its actions and not acting with the best interest of the district in mind," Turnbull said.

The district has not disclosed the amount taxpayers will pay in legal fees associated with defending their decision not to renew Mann's contract.

Board member Stanley F. Tezyk said that Mann will finish this calendar year and that an interim superintendent will fill the post until a successor is found.

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