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The superintendents of the Holland Central and Le Roy Central school districts are the top two finalists to become Hamburg's next school chief.

The Hamburg School Board last week narrowed a field of five top candidates to two -- Peter G. Roswell, superintendent of Holland schools since 1985, and Mark Lewis, superintendent of Le Roy schools since 1992.

Board President William Brand Tuesday identified the two candidates, noting that each has notified his board of education of his application with Hamburg.

"They both have been in their positions for a while, and I think both have been in districts where they have gone through some building processes, and brought them up academically and improved their performance," Brand said of Roswell and Lewis.

"They've really explored curriculum and have a pretty good perspective on where education is going."

Hamburg's search for a superintendent began last April, when Donald A. Ogilvie left after eight years to become superintendent of Erie I Board of Cooperative Educational Services. In the interim, Associate Superintendent Edwin Osborne has been acting superintendent. Initially, 36 viable candidates applied for the position.

The School Board is expected to select a new superintendent by the end of October, although he probably would not start until Jan. 1. The salary cap for the job is $105,000, depending on experience. A three-year renewable contract would be offered.

Board trustees praised Roswell and Lewis' qualifications, educational background and ability to handle the job very well for the district. The board also is weighing which candidate would be a better personality match for Hamburg schools. Trustees emphasized that both men are very knowledgeable, exhibit a great degree of common sense and have excellent people skills.

The candidates will meet with administrators, teaching staff, students, citizens and representatives of the Parent-Teachers Association on Oct. 16 and Oct. 20. The meetings are by invitation only.

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