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Cleveland Hill School District chooses new superintendent

The Cleveland Hill School District has a new leader, and he says he's excited to work for such a "proud, tight-knit community."

Jon A. MacSwan, who has been principal of West Seneca High School since 2004, will start as Cleveland Hill's superintendent effective Sept. 17.

MacSwan said he's looking forward to getting to know a new district and leading it through what will no doubt be challenging budget years.

"The big thing I would look to do is working collaboratively with faculty and staff and students and stakeholders from across the district to identify areas we need to improve," MacSwan said in an interview prior to Wednesday's School Board meeting.

The Town of Cheektowaga-based district is relatively small, with one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, for a total of 1,500 students.

MacSwan's predecessor, Sharon L. Huff, left her post to become superintendent of the Pioneer Central School District, said Cleveland Hill Board President Bob Polino.

For the past few months, Bruce Inglis has been serving as interim superintendent. Inglis led the district for seven years before retiring in 2007. He was replaced by Gordon Salisbury, who retired early in 2009 for health reasons.

That makes MacSwan the fourth superintendent in almost as many years. He said he's committed to the job and is looking forward to starting a long career at a school district that employs as many people as the high school he is leaving.

"I'm looking to stay here a long time," said MacSwan, 41. "I certainly hope I'm going to be able to break the carousel of superintendents they've had here."

Prior to his tenure as head of West Seneca High, MacSwan was an assistant principal, summer school principal and director of driver's education at Williamsville East High School.

While at West Seneca, he dealt with two student deaths in the same month in January 2009. He also handled the school's response to news this past June that Timothy Michael Bek, a long-term substitute English teacher at West Seneca, was facing charges of possession of child pornography. FBI agents alleged that Bek created a fake Facebook profile and attempted to lure boys at West Seneca into sending him explicit photos.