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Coppola expected to fill Hamburg school post temporarily

The man who is leading the search for a new Hamburg school superintendent is expected to be named to fill the post temporarily later this week.

Hamburg School Board President David M. Yoviene told The Buffalo News on Tuesday that consultant Vincent J. Coppola has the unanimous support of the normally fractious board.

Yoviene said the board plans to approve Coppola’s appointment when it holds a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the district’s Administration Building, 5305 Abbott Road.

“He is a smart, safe and stable choice,” Yoviene said.

Yoviene said Coppola was seen as someone who could bring calm to the district and make it more attractive to a permanent superintendent. That search is set to begin in February.

Coppola will replace Richard E. Jetter, who was placed on administrative leave last month after Hamburg village police charged him with falsely reporting that his car had been vandalized. Jetter had been appointed superintendent in March after serving as interim superintendent.

Coppola, who led the search last year that resulted in the appointment of Jetter, will receive a per diem rate with no benefits.

Coppola will be given the title of acting superintendent instead of interim superintendent because Jetter has not yet resigned. Negotiations are underway to arrange for his official departure.

Well-respected and trusted in educational circles, Coppola, who is 77, spent more than 20 years in various positions in the West Seneca School District, serving as superintendent from 1987 to 1994, when he left to assume the top post in the Corning-Painted Post Area School District.

Since returning to this area, he has been a consultant to school districts in their searches for new superintendents. While conducting searches, he has served as interim superintendent twice for the Frontier Central School District and once for the Grand Island School District.

Although he has an Orchard Park address, he lives within the boundaries of the Hamburg Central School District, and his children went to Hamburg schools.