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West Seneca schools superintendent sets new retirement date

Mark J. Crawford has postponed his retirement date as West Seneca schools superintendent until May 27.

Crawford is staying on in the post he has held for six and a half years, overseeing one of the region's largest suburban school districts with more than 6,600 students in nine schools, for nearly three months longer than he anticipated.

Crawford in November had set a retirement date of March 3, but last month agreed to delay his departure to give the board more time to find his replacement.

School Board President Kate Newton said prospective superintendent search consultants will be interviewed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The board will meet shortly after that to determine how we're going to proceed with our superintendent search," she said at Monday's regular meeting.

The board could then call a special additional meeting in January to hire a search consultant.

The district last month advertised for proposals from consultants to help guide it in selecting a new superintendent. In its request, the district noted that the board anticipates appointing a new superintendent between April 1 and July 1.

The district advertised locally for search consultants, as well as casting its net to Rochester and the Albany area. The West Seneca district covers 25 square miles, including most of West Seneca, and portions of the towns of Cheektowaga, Orchard Park and Hamburg.

Crawford – affectionately called "Doc" because of his doctorate in education or simply "Mark" – celebrated his 65th birthday in November, and told The Buffalo News then he knew he wasn't getting younger. He also acknowledged recent health issues contributed to his decision.

West Seneca is not the only large suburban school district in Erie County in the midst of a search for a new superintendent. The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board on Tuesday is expected to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dawn F. Mirand, who announced Thursday that her retirement would take effect Tuesday. The Ken-Ton Board is also expected to name an interim superintendent on Tuesday.

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