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Dixon says yes, she wants the job

Since she was appointed interim superintendent a few months ago, Amber Dixon has declined to say whether she's interested in being a candidate for the permanent superintendency.

Well, now she's talking.

"I'm encouraged and excited by the changes we've begun making as a community on behalf of our children," she said. "I'd like to see them through."

This, of course, has been one of the brightest weeks in memory for the Buffalo Public Schools. Two major announcements gave the district quite a boost: Buffalo Promise Neighborhood and Say Yes to Education.

While one focuses on one just part of the city (the 14215 ZIP code), both programs have quite a bit in common. They both take a long-term approach to change. They both combine millions in public and private funding. They both look to improve education by providing health, social and community services to families.

And, of course, they both come as welcome news just a few months into Dixon's interim superintendency. Both projects were in the works well before she took the helm, and both were heavily steered by people outside the district.

And both have done a whole lot to inject some optimism around the Buffalo Public Schools.

Dixon says the two announcements have nothing to do with the timing of her decision to seek the superintendency.

Instead, she says she was waiting for the process to play out for submitting school improvement grants for seven low-performing schools. She's reviewing those applications and hopes to submit them by the end of this week.

"The work has begun, the board and community have a sense of who I am, and I believe we are moving forward together," she said.

The School Board is expected to decide in January which of seven consultants to hire for the superintendent search.