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KEN-TON SUPERINTENDENT EXPECTED TO TAKE HELM OF DISTRICT NEAR ALBANY

the last a particularly stormy one -- Robert McClure, superintendent of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, is expected to leave his post for a superintendent's job in a district near Albany.

McClure is scheduled to sign a five-year contract with the Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park, a middle-class suburb north of Albany, at that district's School Board meeting tonight.

"Bob wasn't looking. We sought him out," said James C. Grande, Shenendehowa board president. "He does have a fine reputation, and the board really thought him a strong instructional leader."

McClure could not be reached to comment, but he is scheduled to start his new job Jan. 5.

McClure, whose salary had recently been raised to $119,616, apparently left some board members in the dark about his intention to leave.

Trustee Anne Evans, the board's vice president, said she learned of his plans Wednesday from a reporter for the Saratogian, a newspaper based in Saratoga Springs.

Dan Wiles, the board's newest member, said today he was also surprised.

"It kind of leaves us short," said Wiles. "I guess he's looking for Shangri-La."

That's not a description many would apply to Ken-Ton lately.

Buffeted by revelations about large sums some board trustees spent in recent years for conference travel, parties at expensive restaurants and other celebrations, voters earlier this year ousted a long-time incumbent and nearly defeated the school budget as well.

The controversies also gave rise to a new taxpayer-watchdog group that has been critical of the district's spending habits and educational practices.

His departure also comes at an awkward time for Ken-Ton, Erie County's second-largest suburban school district with 9,000 students and similar in size to Shenendehowa. Ken-Ton recently lost Fred Morton, its assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and learning, to a job in Virginia.

His replacement, Sylvia S. Sulowski, started this month. The trustees also have a busy year ahead of them, having recently agreed to delve into such sensitive topics as offering full-day kindergarten and expanding bus service.

"Now we'll have to start looking for a new superintendent, too," said Mrs. Evans.

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