Once set to retire Sunday because of health reasons, Lockport School Superintendent Bruce T. Fraser will remain in the job until Aug. 21, the date his contract is scheduled to expire.
Fraser, 55, changed his mind about leaving over the last two weeks because of several major issues the district needs to deal with in the next several months: settling three assistant school superintendent contracts and "the fast-approaching 2006 budget deliberations.
Also, he said he wants to provide the Board of Education several options in the face of a possible enrollment decrease connected to the Delphi Corp. crisis. Niagara County's largest employer decided to seek bankruptcy protection last fall.
"To drop all of these issues in the lap of any incoming superintendent would be unfair," Fraser said.
Board President W. Keith McNall said the board has accepted Fraser's offer to stay on until his contract expires.
Fraser's decision also has prompted the School Board to suspend the process of naming a new superintendent.
The board has gone through applications from 14 superintendent candidates and had narrowed the field two finalists: Terry Carbone, the district's director of research and development, and Seneca Falls School Superintendent Gerald Macaluso. Macaluso withdrew his candidacy earlier this month.
With Fraser's decision to continue, McNall said, the board has suspended the search and plans to seek more candidates after it establishes timelines for a new search.
"Mrs. Carbone will remain a finalist candidate while she continues on in her current [district] position," he added.
Fraser also said that Clark Godshall, superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services, will continue to head the district's superintendent search, which got under way initially in August, when Fraser made his decision to step down after more than four years at the helm. At the time, he blamed "a long-term sleep-deprivation condition."