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E. Aurora school search to start

East Aurora's hunt for a new school superintendent will be a tightly timed search with about a one-month window for applicants to apply for the post.

The School Board is drafting a pamphlet on the district and expects to put the finishing touches on it in the next few weeks before formally posting the opening in March.

East Aurora's superintendent, James C. Bodziak, is leaving Feb. 19 to become superintendent of the Frontier School District.

In the interim, East Aurora has named Brian Russ, its director of instructional technology and chief information officer, acting superintendent through the end of June. Russ already has said he intends to apply for the permanent position. He was one of three internal administrators to be interviewed for the interim appointment.

The board already has indicated it is leaning heavily toward looking at internal candidates again -- as it did for its interim appointment. But the board also welcomes outside applicants in its search.

Many of the current board members were serving when the district conducted its last superintendent search and ended up hiring Bodziak six years ago. As a result, they say they have a greater comfort level in knowing the ins and outs of what they're doing in a search.

"We want to do this fairly quickly," board Vice President Kathyann Q. Lorka said Saturday. "We have the experience of doing a search, and hopefully with some good internal candidates, the process could be shortened."

The next big date in the search timeline is the board's Feb. 9. That is when the board plans to seek guidance from the district's attorney and Robert D. Olczak, district superintendent of Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the interim district superintendent of Erie 2 BOCES.

The board is conducting its own search with some advice from Olczak but is not hiring an outside consultant as it has done in the past.

During its Feb. 9 meeting, the board is expected to review its draft of the brochure, review contract language and possibly establish a salary range for the position. Bodziak is earning about $152,000.

The finalized posting for the position would likely occur in early March, with applications due by April 8 -- allowing for just a three- to four-week window. The board would then review the applications, select whom it wants to interview and begin interviews the first week in May.

Lorka said the board hopes to be able to make a decision on the appointment by the end of May.


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