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The Amherst Central School Board Monday night appointed a teacher for the gifted and talented, meaning that a program for higher ability children will get under way during the coming school year at the district's two elementary schools.

Nora J. Trincanati, formerly a fifth-grade teacher at Smallwood Drive Elementary School, will begin the research and development phase of the project this fall, according to Superintendent Dennis D. Ford. Implementation will take place during the second semester.

A second teacher for the gifted and talented will be appointed once the district is ready to implement the program. Both positions were included in the 1997-98 school budget.

Ford said the gifted and talented program will begin at the elementary schools, but at some future time the district will address the needs of students at the middle and high schools.

"It's our expectation that the program will grow and expand through the years," he said.

Development of an instructional philosophy for higher ability children has been the School Board's No. 1 goal for the past year. Toward that goal, trustees met with teachers and administrators from the Williamsville, Clarence, Orchard Park and Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda school districts, as well as local and national experts.

Mrs. Trincanati, who taught in the Amherst district for two years, said her immediate responsibilities will involve observing other gifted and talented programs, attending related conferences and doing research at Buffalo State College.

A teacher in the Buffalo Schools for 10 years, Mrs. Trincanati worked in the gifted and talented program for two years at the Olmsted Magnet School.

In other business, Mark A. Whyle, director of administrative services, told the board that the Smallwood cutout will be ready for use in September. The work involves widening Smallwood Drive in front of the school so that cars can pull off the road to pick up and drop off pupils.

Whyle told trustees that the blacktop will not be put down until the Town of Amherst completes a 1998 sewer project on Smallwood. The district is paying the town about $15,000 to construct the cutout. Private companies wanted $19,000 to $20,000 to do the job.

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