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Cash gets a glowing evaluation, contract extension – and a raise

Wednesday was a good day for Buffalo School Superintendent Kriner Cash.

The School Board gave him a glowing review.

His employment with the district will be extended for one additional year, to Aug. 23, 2020.

And he’ll be getting a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase annually on top of his current $275,000 salary.

During a special meeting, the board unanimously accepted and approved Cash’s evaluation, except for Mary Ruth Kapsiak, who was absent. Kapsiak is retiring.

By all indications, Cash’s bosses feel he is doing a great job. On a scale of 1 to 4, they gave him an average score of 3.43.

In assessing Cash’s performance in his first year on the job, board members looked at several areas. In terms of his relationship with the board, he got a 3.39. His lowest score was in instructional leadership, which was rated 3.27. His highest score – 3.57 – was for his professional and personal attributes. Board members also felt Cash is doing a good job at leading change, giving him a 3.56 grade.

Cash received a 3.49 for his focus on results and a 3.41 for leadership of the executive staff. And board members gave him a 3.32 for his management of employees and relationship with the community.

Board members then spoke to Cash directly.

“I think the composite scores show a great deal of satisfaction with the direction that Dr. Cash has taken the district,” said Larry Quinn. “And we have confidence what his future actions will be.”

“Superintendent Cash came to Buffalo with boots on the ground and has done a phenomenal job in the short period of time he’s been with us,” said Sharon Belton-Cottman. “I’m very proud that he represents our district ... and I look forward to working with him in the future to see his vision completely flourish and develop in this district.”

Carl Paladino added that he was “amazed” at how quickly Cash adjusted to Buffalo.

“I think you’ve done an exemplary job tackling many of the issues that have caused our dysfunction in the past,” Paladino told Cash. “I believe that we continue to have a lot of challenges, and I think what you’ve heard today was that you have the support of the entire board to tackle those challenges.”

Barbara Seals Nevergold echoed Paladino’s sentiments.

“I do agree with (Paladino) that we’re looking forward to working with him,” Nevergold said. “We’re agreeing that we want you, and we want you to be successful.”

“Once you came to the district, you hit the ground running, so to speak, and really have moved this district many, many light years from where it was,” she added. “We’re pleased to have you with us ... We’re looking forward to working with you into the second year and accomplishing even more.”

Cash’s leadership qualities were particularly impressive to Theresa Harris-Tigg.

“You have my support 100 percent,” she said. “I appreciate what you’ve done thus far. You came into a very fractured board, a skeptical community, and you have made some inroads here.”

The year added to Cash’s contract signaled assurances from both sides, said Board President James M. Sampson.

“Not only is the board committing to that with Dr. Cash, but Dr. Cash is committing to wanting to be able to continue working with the board, this district, this community, our kids and our city to help further the work that you started,” he said. “We’re encouraged and I think we’re all gratified to see that’s happening.”

The board also approved a buyout agreement in which the board would pay Cash a severance package equivalent to 18 months of salary at the rate he is getting paid at the time.

Cash said he was very grateful for the board’s support.

“It is a true blessing to be here with you,” he said. “I’ve really grown to enjoy and love Buffalo for the quality city and the quality community that it is.”