The new majority on the Williamsville Central School Board – elected with the backing of the teachers union – emerged with strength Tuesday night, electing a new president and taking a hard look at the district’s lawyers.
And it was a change for President Toni L. Vasquez to be part of the majority.
Months ago, Vazquez had been the lone board member supporting a call from principal and teacher unions for an independent investigation into employee complaints about the superintendent.
But Tuesday, she took her seat at the board table as president next to Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff
“I have stood alone, yet proud and strong at times, when others would have crumbled and faltered,” Vasquez said before she was elected president.
She defeated incumbent president and longtime board member Ronald Shubert. The vote for Shubert was held first, and it was 5-4 against him. When it came time for the vote on Vazquez, Shubertn voted for her, as did Mark Mecca and newcomers Mary Bieger, Teresa Anne Leatherbarrow and Suzanne Van Sice. Shawn P. Lemay, Patricia M. Losito and Michael J. Schmidt voted no.
There was an identical vote in the election of Mark Mecca as vice president.
Vazquez said she will continue to promote the “highest standards of education,” and she said she believes her election solidifies the board’s desire to promote diversity and inclusion for all.
Vazquez, who is starting the second year of her second term, said due to the “challenging state” of the district, change was in order.
“Without an immediate diversion from the status quo, our progressive future is at stake,” she said.
Most of the evening was devoted to routine appointments and designations, although the board did remove one of the district physicians, who the superintendent said lives in Virginia.
The board also delayed voting on appointing legal firms for the district until it could discuss the matter in executive session.