Share this article

print logo

New school chief to get letters

A new Buffalo school superintendent has yet to be selected, but some reformers want to make sure that whoever fills the position is aware of what people expect from the new education chief.

Say Yes to Education -- the national group guaranteeing a free college education to all Buffalo Public Schools students who qualify -- is launching a book of letters to the new superintendent from various stakeholders.

Titled "Letters to the Superintendent," the project is an opportunity for people to write a letter to the new top administrator about their hopes, dreams and aspirations for education in the 21st century, said Peggy Brooks-Bertram, who's coordinating the project.

Submissions will come from parents, students, grandparents, focus group participants, city officials, organization leaders, immigrant and refugee parents and others.

"We're saying welcome aboard, but these are the things we want to share with you," said Brooks-Bertram, the book's editor and co-founder of Buffalo's Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research & Education on Women.

The search for the next superintendent has been narrowed to three finalists: Pamela Brown, a former assistant superintendent for Philadelphia schools; Amber M. Dixon, Buffalo's interim superintendent for the past eight months; and Edward Newsome Jr., an assistant superintendent in the Baltimore County, Md., schools.

The School Board hopes to appoint a new superintendent by July 1.

"Letters to the Superintendent" will contain at least 100 to 120 letters from local people. For any non-English speaking individuals who want to participate, the letters can be written in the native tongue and will be translated for the book. Both copies will be included in the book.

The finished product is expected to be completed and ready by mid-July and will be presented to the new superintendent so that he or she can experience the sentiments of the community.

All submissions must be submitted by email to by June 15.

For assistance with writing or uploading correspondences, two workshops will be held in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library at 6 p.m. June 7 and at 1 p.m. June 9. The library is located at 1324 Jefferson Ave.