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The Lockport School Board has hired Jennifer Gilson as assistant principal at North Park Middle School, a move that apparently did not sit well with two board members.

Superintendent Bruce T. Fraser said he recommended Gilson for the $65,000-a-year post "because she has the background and ability" to do the job.

A Lockport resident, Gilson has worked in the North Tonawanda School District for the past six or seven years as an English teacher, a special-education teacher and completed an administrative internship at the district under the supervision of North Tonawanda Superintendent John George, Fraser said.

"She complements the abilities of new (North Park) Principal (James Smyder). She has a lot of capacity and potential," said Fraser, noting he believes Gilson will do a good job and be an asset.

Member Warren "Clip" Smith and Beverly McDonough opposed hiring Gilson at a recent board meeting, but said nothing about it.

On Friday, Smith said he opposed the move because he felt Gilson did not have enough experience to effectively do the job, noting North Park is a school facing trouble on state-mandated tests in subject areas like mathematics and English.

"I voted against it because North Park already has a rookie head principal, and now it will have a rookie assistant principal with absolutely no experience," Smith said.

McDonough could not be reached to comment Friday.

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