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A consultant to the North Collins Board of Education in its search for a new superintendent has reported there are two in-house candidates qualified for the job.

Vincent J. Coppola, executive director of the Western New York Educational Service Council, reported to the board Wednesday.

The district has been operating with an interim superintendent since January after the board's controversial decision to not renew Jack Mann's contract. Mann left Jan. 3.

"At this point there will be a series of interviews with staff and the public that will take place over the next month," interim Superintendent John McDonough said Thursday. McDonough, a previous superintendent, returned to the district to serve as interim until a permanent replacement for Mann is appointed. He is not a candidate for the permanent post.

School business administrator Michele Straeck has identified herself as one of those two candidates. Officials would not comment on who the other in-house candidate is.

"I believe it would allow me to continue to work with our exceptional teachers, staff and community in a proactive way that would allow us to continue improving education for the benefit of each of our students," Straeck said in a telephone interview Thursday.

The board also learned Wednesday that board member Patricia Myers is not running for re-election in the May 17 election.

Myers, the only remaining board member involved in hiring Mann, would not comment on whether the board's action surrounding him influenced her decision.

Newcomer Elizabeth Gallaway is seeking election to Myers' seat, which has a five-year term.

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