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Board appoints 2 to fill vacancies

A former teacher and a former member of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board were appointed Tuesday to serve on the board through next May's elections.

The appointments of Kathleen L. Gielow and Kellie Poynton-Gallagher return the School Board to full strength. They are filling vacancies created by the death of Louis M. Reuter Jr. and the resignation of Jill Robbins-Jabine.

Eight candidates had been interviewed during the past several weeks.

Gielow is a former special-education teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools and founder of Empower Youth Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit organization that provides youth with an early start on potential careers in business.

Poynton-Gallagher is a family law attorney who served a term on the School Board -- including a stint as vice president -- earlier this decade.

"The eight candidates that we interviewed were all very highly qualified, but these two candidates . . . will bring to the board a little something different," said board member Charles J. Wuest. "Something in experience. Something in forwardness. Something in just moving the board along."
Added board member Thomas J. Noonan, who was elected Tuesday night to succeed Reuter as the board's vice president:

"It was a very difficult time for us over the last few weeks. It was a challenge to figure out the best possible way to move ahead."

"To have a great selection like we had was extremely positive," Noonan continued. "I think the most important thing is . . . we needed some people who can hit the ground running."

The new members took their places at the table just moments after they were appointed and sworn in Tuesday. Both abstained from voting on items on the night's agenda.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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