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Ogilvie, School Board minority bloc call for national search

Interim Buffalo School Superintendent Donald Ogilvie and the minority bloc on the Buffalo School Board Friday renewed their calls for a national search for a new school superintendent.

The minority bloc also is requesting a special board meeting for Tuesday to begin the conversation about how to move forward selecting a new leader.

In a statement, Barbara Nevergold said: “The Buffalo Board of Education’s search for a superintendent collapsed today with the withdrawal of Emerson High School Principal James Weimer Jr. for consideration for the position. Weimer was the acknowledged choice of the board’s majority, who planned to appoint the superintendent upon the premature ouster or planned departure of current Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilvie. Ogilvie’s resignation on July 1 creates an urgent need for board action to initiate a plan for the appointment of an interim superintendent, pending a more extensive search for a permanent school leader.

“The board has the responsibility to work collaboratively to structure and initiate this process.

“The board’s minority is calling for a special board meeting on Tuesday, May 5 to begin this critical work.”

A statement from Ogilvie later Friday acknowledged Weimer was no longer interested in the superintendent’s job. Ogilvie said in view of that, he would “recommend to the board that they quickly begin the process that was unanimously voted on last year to work with a facilitator in forming a vision statement and renewing a search for a permanent superintendent of the district.”

Ogilvie praised Weimer as “an outstanding high school principal, respected by his colleagues, members of the business community and area employers.” The interim superintendent also said he is “confident” that Weimer is “going to do an outstanding job in the very important work of running his successful school and overseeing its expansion, which will eventually be located at Larkinville.”

The latest developments follow a tumultuous few weeks, during which the board majority faced an increasing level of criticism over how it went about the process selecting the district’s new leader. Board majority members originally conducted a search for deputy superintendent with the intention that person would slide into the top job. It became evident in recent weeks, however, they had their minds set on Weimer, touching off heated criticism from both members of the minority bloc and the community who were not included in the decision process.

Weimer let it be known that he is no longer interested in the position after a heated School Board meeting Wednesday night during which he became the subject of insults and criticism.

It is not clear how the board majority plans to move forward.