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Board looks internally for school chief

East Aurora's School Board is looking to appoint one of its own this week as the district's interim superintendent.

The School Board on Wednesday met behind closed doors to interview three internal candidates who had submitted letters of interest to be considered for the acting superintendent post.

The district has had to move quickly since late December, when news broke that Superintendent James C. Bodziak would be leaving after six years to take over the superintendency at Frontier Central schools beginning Feb. 22.

"We're kind of taking it one step at a time," School Board President Daniel Brunson said. "The board decided not to try to fill the permanent position before Mr. Bodziak leaves."

Brunson said that would have been too quick a turnaround. The board preferred to look among its eight-member administrative team for an interim superintendent and encouraged current administrators to apply. In all, four of the eight sent letters of interest, although one of those four decided to pull out. Brunson declined to identify the three in the running.

"We had good interviews and are hoping the board can appoint an interim Wednesday," he said of the board's 7 p.m. meeting in Main Street School.

The board has not yet finalized its process to search for Bodziak's permanent successor, although it has decided it will run its own search with some guidance from Robert D. Olczak, head of the Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

"We're still in preliminary discussion stages," Brunson said. "We have decided we will do this search on our own with some help."

That means East Aurora will not be turning to Vincent Coppola, who is finishing the interim post at Frontier until Bodziak takes over and who also actively helped in Frontier's latest search. Bodziak did not apply for the Frontier superintendency but was approached by the district.

"We were very fortunate to have a Jim Bodziak -- a superintendent of such high caliber," Brunson said. "We're looking for someone who brings people together. We're really looking for a leader for a school district that is one of the best in Western New York."

e-mail: krobinson@buffnews.com

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