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Search begins for new superintendent

The Hamburg School Board on Tuesday night began the process of finding a successor for the district's retiring superintendent.

Donald A. Ogilvie, superintendent of Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services, began the search with a special work session. The board selected Ogilvie a consultant after Peter Roswell announced his retirement earlier this month.

Ogilvie, who in recent years has conducted 15 searches to fill superintendent vacancies in Western New York, said the board could expect the search to last about six months. It is "doubtful," he said, that a new superintendent would be in place by Sept. 1, the effective date of Roswell's retirement.

"The market is such now that there is competition for superintendents. It's important that you don't blink at the end when you find the person you want," Ogilvie cautioned.

However, the consultant said he already had six calls inquiring about the opening in Hamburg without any advertisements or official search announcements going out. He added that, at present, Hamburg would not be competing with any other local districts. The search for an Akron Central superintendent is nearly completed, Ogilvie said.

Board members decided that the wording "residency encouraged" be included in the selection brochure but debated whether job candidates should have prior experience in the superintendent's chair.

"I don't want to eliminate people who could be strong just because they're not superintendents," board member Margaret Moses said. "I think there are strong directors, assistant superintendents and even high school principals who are dealing with everything a superintendent is. I'd like to leave the door open for them."

Board member Matthew Dils said he is concerned about turnover and does not want the position to be a "steppingstone" for someone. Hamburg's last few superintendents, including Roswell, have averaged a decade in the district's top post.

In the next four weeks, the board will be naming community members to serve on an advisory board that will help interview candidates.

In other matters, four candidates have announced they will run for three School Board openings. Incumbents Edwin J. Osborne and William Supprell Jr. will run along with newcomers who, though not related, have identical names: Diane M. Reynolds and Diane R. Reynolds. They will be distinguished on the May 15 ballot by their middle initials only.

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