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Familiar name returns to lead Ken-Ton on interim basis

A familiar face is returning to lead the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District as interim superintendent.

Stephen A. Bovino, former assistant superintendent for human resources, who retired Sept. 30 after 9½ years in the role, is taking over from Dawn F. Mirand, who surprised many in the district on Thursday by announcing she would retire in five days.

The School Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved the appointment of Bovino, who previously served as a teacher and administrator in the Williamsville Central School District, and as principal of John F. Kennedy High School in Cheektowaga.

"Steve has developed sincere trust and understanding of this district," said Board President Jill Y. O'Malley. "We believe he is the best to be able to hit the ground running, hold this together and focus on selecting the next superintendent."

At September's board meeting just before Bovino's retirement, Mirand said he helped the district “weather many storms,” including declining enrollment, school closures and changes in federal and state education policy.

“Perhaps most challenging of all was the many years he endured of the devastating budget cuts in Ken-Ton,” she said at the time.

Mirand, who did not attend Tuesday's meeting, submitted a statement read aloud by O'Malley.

"Few districts have ever undergone as many changes in such a short time as Ken-Ton has over the past three years," the statement read in part. "I am very proud to have led the district as the superintendent of schools through the numerous challenges and accomplishments."

O'Malley thanked Mirand for her service and wished her luck in future endeavors. The terms of Mirand's separation agreement and Bovino's employment agreement were not made available Tuesday.

Bovino, a Ken-Ton resident whose children graduated from Kenmore West High School, also was not present at the meeting but his employment became effective Tuesday.

"He's ready to get to work," O'Malley said. "We've had some conversations and he's familiar with the challenges in the district."

A special board meeting is planned for Jan. 19 at the district's administration office on Colvin Boulevard.

O'Malley described the meeting as an "informal" conversation about the next steps in the search for a permanent superintendent.

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